In what is both shocking and extremely sad news, Glee star Cory Monteith has died. This news was confirmed tonight during a press conference held by the Vancouver police. Cause of death is not yet confirmed, however the Vancouver police did say that there were no signs of foul play at the scene, and they'll be gathering information over the next couple of days, including speaking with Monteith's family in an effort to determine cause of death.
According to the Vancouver police, Monteith checked into the Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel on July 6 and was supposed to check out today, but when he missed his check-out, the staff went to check his room and found his body. Investigators believe he had been deceased for several hours when he was discovered. Security cameras showed him returning to his room by himself in the early morning hours.
While there isn't confirmation on the cause of death, we do know that Monteith had been battling substance abuse issues this year and had checked himself into rehab a few months ago, resulting in time off from his role as Finn on Glee. Whether or not substance abuse led to his death is unconfirmed, but I expect we'll be hearing updates on this over the next few days. In the meantime, our thoughts go out to Monteith's friends and family in their time of loss.
Monteith was one of the original stars of the Fox musical dramedy Glee, playing the role of Finn, the sweet but jockish, musically gifted student and love interest to Lea Michele's Rachel. He remained one of the leads of the series over the first three seasons, but his role was diminished in the fourth season after Finn graduated. And then he was absent completely from the last couple episodes of the season due to entering rehab. At that time, a statement from Glee production company 20th Century Fox expressed support for Monteith's decision to enter rehab, adding, "Everyone at the show wishes him well and looks forward to his return." His absence from the series will certainly be felt when Glee returns this fall for Season 5.
Born in Alberta, Canada, Monteith's earliest credited role was an appearance on Stargate: Atlantis. He later went on to play roles in Kyle XY and Canadian/American series Kaya, and then he hit it big with Glee. Among his upcoming credits is a part in the indie film All the Wrong Reasons.
This is the second sudden death of a beloved and relatively young star in less than a month. The Sopranos star James Gandolfini passed away suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 51, last month, while on vacation in Italy.