The entertainment world was shocked Saturday night when Vancouver police announced Cory Monteith, the actor who played Finn on Fox's Glee, was found dead in a hotel room Saturday afternoon after a year spent struggling with addiction.
Doug LePard, acting chief of Vancouver police, told reporters Saturday night that the 31-year-old Monteith, a Victoria, British Columbia native, was found by hotel staff shortly after noon on Saturday at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel in downtown Vancouver. The actor, who broke out playing Finn Hudson on the Fox show, had missed his check out and staff found his body in the room, alone, when they went to check on him. Family, co-workers and fans have to wait for the autopsy and investigation results to find out exactly what killed the fresh-faced star, but police are trying to piece together what happened in the 24 hours leading to Monteith's death. LePard ruled out foul play when speaking with reporters, and said hotel security video showed Monteith leaving with friends Friday evening only to return to his room alone early Saturday morning.
Monteith had a serious history with substance abuse, which crept back into his life earlier this year, forcing Glee writers to explain him off the back half of last season. He checked into a rehab facility in March -- his second stint searching for recovery, the last coming when he was just 19 years old.
"Cory was an exceptional talent and an even more exceptional person," said Fox and 20th Century Fox Television, Glee's producers, in a statement. "He was a true joy to work with and we will all miss him tremendously. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones."
Monteith had struggled in bit roles before breaking out as Finn during Glee's first few seasons. He was the football star, the cool kid, who didn't want to have anything to do with glee club. He joins, of course, and went on to become one of the show's most important characters: "As Monteith played him, Finn was also often the heart and emotional anchor of a show that could take dizzying plot twists and roller coaster shifts in tone," writes Time's James Poniewozik. Finn also competed for the affection of the two cutest girls on the squad. One of those girls, actress Lea Michelle, became his real life girl friend.