'Glee' actor Cory Monteith found dead in Vancouver hotel room
Canadian actor Cory Monteith, best known as one of the stars of the Fox television show "Glee," was found dead in his Vancouver hotel room Saturday afternoon. He was 31.
Acting Vancouver Police Chief Doug LePard confirmed that Monteith's body was found in the room on the 21st floor of the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel shortly after noon local time. LePard said that Monteith had checked into the hotel July 6 and was due to check out Saturday. Staff went to Monteith's room when they realized that he had missed his check-out time.
An autopsy is scheduled for Monday, but LePard said that all indications are that there was no foul play. Surveillance video and data from fob key entries showed Monteith returning to his room in the early hours of Saturday morning. LePard said Monteith had been out with people earlier in the evening, and that those people are being interviewed.
"We do not have a great deal of information as to cause of death," Coroner Lisa Lapointe said.
"On behalf of the Vancouver Police, I want to pass on our condolences to the family, friends, castmates and millions of fans of Mr. Monteith," LePard said in a statement. "As was the case in countless homes, I watched Glee regularly with my daughters, and I know there will be shock and sadness in many households with the news of his tragic death."
Monteith had just shot photos to promote the fifth season of "Glee" with his girlfriend and co-star Lea Michele last month.
"Having the best time at our #Glee cast #Season5 gallery shoot! I can't believe it's our 5th season! Times flies when you're having fun:)," Michele tweeted on June 28.
In a statement to Fox News, a representative for Michele said, "We ask that everyone kindly respect Lea's privacy during this devastating time."
"I have no words! My heart is broken," Dot-Marie Jones, who plays football coach Shannon Beiste on "Glee," said in a post on her Twitter account Saturday night. She called Monteith a "hell of a friend" and an "amazing" man.
"What an absolutely tragic loss of a very talented young man," tweeted Zooey Deschanel, star of another Fox show, "New Girl."
"Rest in peace Cory. My heart goes out to his family and loved ones. Our prayers are with you," Katy Perry tweeted.
Fox and the producers of "Glee," including 20th Century Fox Television, called him an exceptional performer "and an even more exceptional person. He was a true joy to work with and we will all miss him tremendously." 20th Century Fox Television is owned by 21st Century Fox, the parent company of Fox News.
"We are in shock and mourning this tragic loss," his representatives at Viewpoint Public Relations in Los Angeles said in a statement.
Monteith, who played Finn Hudson on "Glee," had voluntarily entered rehab for substance abuse problems in April, and had asked for privacy as he took steps toward recovery, according to a representative at the time.
Lea Michele, his "Glee" co-star and real-life girlfriend, told People magazine that she loved and supported Monteith and was proud he was seeking help.
It was not Monteith's first time in rehab. He received treatment when he was 19 and had previously talked about his addiction struggles, saying he had a serious problem and took just "anything and everything." He told Parade in 2011 that he was "lucky to be alive."
Monteith, who turned 31 on May 11, starred in "Glee" as a high school football player who puts his status and popularity at risk to join the glee club and its outcast members.
The show, with its pop music-based song-and-dance numbers and high-profile guest stars including Gwyneth Paltrow, became an immediate hit and made stars of its relatively unknown cast.
The series, which debuted in 2009, is in its fourth season.
On his Twitter account, Monteith described himself as "tall, awkward, canadian, actor, drummer, person."
In a 2010 interview with The Associated Press, Monteith was upbeat about life. He said that if "Glee" were to be canceled he would be OK.
"I've never been afraid of working," he said. "I've never been afraid of auditioning for jobs. Obviously, I've never been afraid of anonymity. I was happy (before `Glee'). I'm happy now. I guess I'm well adjusted."
Monteith was among the "Glee" actors who remained series regulars as their characters graduated high school and moved on to other adventures.
According to his biography on Fox's website, Monteith was born in Calgary, Alberta, and moved to Vancouver Island as a child. Before turning to acting, he held a variety of jobs including Wal-Mart greeter, school bus driver, roofer and cab driver.
Monteith's TV credits included roles on the series "Kaya" and "Kyle XY" and guest appearances on "Smallville," "Supernatural," "Stargate," "Flash Gordon" and "Interns." His film credits included "Final Destination 3," "The Invisible," "Deck the Halls" and "Whisper."
Fox is owned by 21st Century Fox, the parent company of Fox News.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.