Cory Monteith, star of hit show 'Glee,' found dead

Monday - 7/15/2013, 8:48pm EDT

FILE - This Aug. 19, 2012 file photo shows actor Cory Monteith at the 2012 Do Something awards in Santa Monica, Calif. Monteith, who shot to fame in the hit TV series "Glee" but was beset by addiction struggles so fierce that he once said he was lucky to be alive, was found dead in a Vancouver hotel room, police said. He was 31. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

JEREMY HAINSWORTH
Associated Press

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- Cory Monteith, the heartthrob actor who became an overnight star as a high school quarterback-turned-singer in the hit TV series "Glee" but had battled addiction since his teenage years, was found dead of undisclosed causes in a hotel room, Vancouver police said. He was 31.

Police said Sunday that an autopsy is expected to take place Monday to determine the cause of death. Acting Vancouver Police Chief Doug LePard said late Saturday there was no indication of foul play.

The Canadian-born actor, who played Finn Hudson on the Fox TV series about a high school glee club, was found dead around noon Saturday in his room on the 21st floor of the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel on Vancouver's waterfront, according to police.

Monteith had openly talked about struggling with addiction since he was a teenager, saying he had a serious problem and took just "anything and everything." He told Parade magazine in 2011 that he was "lucky to be alive."

In April, Monteith checked himself in to a treatment facility for "substance addiction" and asked for privacy as he took steps toward recovery, a representative said at the time. It was not his first time in rehab. He received treatment when he was 19.

Lea Michele, his "Glee" co-star and real-life girlfriend, told People magazine at the time that she loved and supported him and was proud he was seeking help.

Michele was requesting privacy after receiving news of Monteith's death, said her representative, Molly Kawachi of ID-PR .

"We ask that everyone kindly respect Lea's privacy during this devastating time," Kawachi said in in an email to The Associated Press.

Monteith's body was found by hotel staff who entered his room after he missed his check-out time, LePard said. Monteith had checked into the hotel on July 6.

"We do not have a great deal of information as to cause of death," said British Columbia Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe. She said further tests would be needed to determine how Monteith died.

LePard said Monteith had been out with people earlier and that those people are being interviewed.

Video and electronic records from the hotel indicate Monteith returned to his room by himself early Saturday morning, and he was believed to be alone when he died, LePard said.

Lapointe said he had been dead for several hours by the time his body was found.

Several "Glee" cast members took to Twitter to express their feelings.

"I have no words! My heart is broken," Dot-Marie Jones, who plays football coach Shannon Beiste, said in a post on her Twitter account Saturday night. She called Monteith a "hell of a friend" and an "amazing" man.

Noah Puckerman actor Mark Salling said Sunday he was "going through a million memories and emotions today."

Lauren Potter, who plays Becky Jackson, the cheerleader with Down Syndrome, tweeted that she feels "totally heartbroken right now."

"I love Cory so much this hurts my heart," she wrote. "I hope my Glee family is OK right now. I love them all. Cory was always so nice to me. I have so many good memories."

Harry Shum Jr., who portrays dancer Mike Chang on the show, expressed disbelief on Twitter.

"This tragic news still doesn't seem real to me," said Shum. "I love you, Cory."

John Stamos, who appeared as a guest star on several episodes of "Glee" tweeted: "Heartbreaking. RIP Cory. We talked about how lucky he felt to be alive-and sober. We talked about playing drums. Glad i knew you Cory." Monteith played drums in a California-based indie rock band Bonnie Dune.

Matthew Morrison, who plays glee club coach Will Schuester, issued condolences before performing at a Sunday afternoon show at the cabaret 54 Below in New York, according to the New York Times. The newspaper said he changed his opening number to sing an a cappella rendition of "What I Did for Love" from the musical, "A Chorus Line," which was featured during the second season of "Glee."

"You guys came to see a show, I came to perform a show, so that's what we'll do," he said, according to the newspaper. "And we'll do it in Cory's honor."

The Times said Morrison went on with a set of show tunes and jazz standards, dancing on stage and quipping with the audience about the infamous drug-den history of the space under the 1970's club, Studio 54, where the performance took place.

Fox and the producers of "Glee," including 20th Century Fox Television, called Monteith an exceptional performer "and an even more exceptional person. He was a true joy to work with and we will all miss him tremendously."