“Glee” hasn’t been without its share of drama over the years, but fans of the show were certainly not expecting to receive news of a cast member’s death over the weekend.
Cory Monteith was found dead in his hotel room in Vancouver on Saturday, and an investigation is pending. Police won’t speak about a possible cause or what might have been found in his room, but they did say they don’t suspect foul play. Monteith struggled with drugs during his teen years and completed a stay at a rehab facility in April. The 31-year old actor said that finding an interest in the arts helped him move towards a clean life when he was younger.
“I think kids really need a place to go and feel like they belong,” he said in a video for Project Limelight, a Vancouver charity offering theater and arts programs to at-risk youth. “When I was a kid, I struggled a lot with who I was and where my life was going and what I was interested in. And I was fortunate to have the arts inspire me.”
A celebration of the show–which was to include autograph sessions and singing competitions–that was scheduled over the weekend became a memorial for Monteith as fans got word of what had happened.
“We all woke up to hear the story, and no one really wanted to believe it was true,” said Chloe-Louise Bond, a 22-year-old fan from Wakefield, England. “Walking into the main room, you could just feel the tragedy in the air, absolute strangers became a family right in that moment. Everyone was crying and hugging and just trying to get over the shock.”
Monteith’s co-star and girlfriend, Lea Michele, has asked for privacy and hasn’t spoken publicly about his death.