Glee star Cory Monteith, 31, died Saturday at the Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel in downtown Vancouver. (Photo: USA Today)
USA TODAY - Glee star Cory Monteith, 31, died Saturday at the Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel in downtown Vancouver.
"We are so saddened to confirm that the reports on the death of Cory Monteith are accurate. We are in shock and mourning this tragic loss," his publicist, Melissa Kates, confirmed to USA TODAY.
Word began to spread on Twitter at roughly 1 a.m. ET that the Glee star had died after an apparent drug overdose. CTV British Columbia, a local news station based in Vancouver, appeared to report the news first.
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Vancouver police said in a news conference Saturday evening that Monteith was found at noon on the hotel's 21st floor. He checked into the hotel July 6 and had been expected to check out Saturday. When Monteith missed his checkout time at noon, hotel staff went to his room and found him.
"An autopsy is scheduled for Monday," Vancouver Acting Police Chief Doug LePard said. "The coroner will be determining the next steps with respect to establishing cause of death, but all indications are that there was no foul play."
Monteith voluntarily admitted himself into a rehab facility in March for substance addiction. In late April, the star completed the program and checked out. His last public outing was with his girlfriend and Glee co-star, Lea Michele, at the Chrysalis Butterfly Ball June 8.
Monteith even joined in on the Sharknado social media phenomenon July 12, asking his 1.5 million followers what exactly "a Sharknado" was.
The actor shot to fame when Glee launched in 2009, playing lead hunk and football player-turned-warbler Finn Hudson.
Monteith told Parade magazine in 2011 that he was "out of control" as a teen. He revealed that at age 13, he drank, smoked pot and skipped school in Victoria, British Columbia, after his parents divorced. By 16, he said, his drug use had escalated. He was "doing anything and everything, as much as possible." At 19, he entered rehab for the first time.
Glee's executive producers, along with 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Broadcasting Company, released a statement Sunday: "We are deeply saddened by this tragic news. Cory was an exceptional talent and an even more exceptional person. 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."
The show is scheduled to resume production at the end of July.
Monteith had been dating Michele for more than a year. The two looked happy together at the June gala, and Michele had issued a statement of support to People when he entered rehab in April. "I love and support Cory and will stand by him through this. I am grateful and proud he made this decision," she told the magazine.
Michele's spokeswoman, Jillian Roscoe, issued this statement early Sunday: "We ask that everyone kindly respect Lea's privacy during this devastating time."
It is unclear when the couple were together last. Michele posted vacation pictures from a girls' trip to Cabo San Lucas on Twitter over the July Fourth holiday. On July 1, she attended a Beyoncé concert in L.A. and posted lyrics from one of singer's love songs, 1 +1 on her account, with a heart.
"I saw him a few weeks ago in NY, looking so happy. heartbreaking ..." Sophia Bush wrote on Twitter.
The Glee cast, including Monteith, assembled as recently as June 28 to shoot promotional photos for the upcoming Season 5 of the Fox series. Adam Shankman, a frequent Glee director, reacted the the news early Sunday morning:
"Goodbye my amazing and beautiful friend," Shankman wrote on Twitter. "The lights in my world just grew dimmer. The world just lost one of our best. I love u so much..." Kristin Chenoweth, who frequently guest-starred on the show, wrote, "RIP Cory Montieth. You will be loved. Always."
His co-star Mark Salling offered just one word via social media as the news broke.
It was simply "no."