July 17, 2013 11:25am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Glee's' Dianna Agron 'Leaning on Wonderful Memories' of Cory Monteith
Glee's Dianna Agron is remembering the loss of a beloved friend and former onscreen love interest.
The actress on Wednesday released a statement about the loss of Glee star Cory Monteith, who was found dead Saturday in his Vancouver hotel room. An autopsy revealed that a lethal mixture of heroin and alcohol led to the death of the 31-year-old actor.
"I have never lost a friend. In this difficult time, I am leaning on all of the wonderful memories we shared with Cory, how many ways he was able to make us smile," said Agron, who as mean-girl cheerleader Quinn was Monteith's first love interest on the Fox musical. "Glee was a gift to all of us. It gave us a family in this industry."
Agron acknowledged the show's underdog theme -- of which Monteith's Finn Hudson was the central player -- in remembering the loss of a beloved member of the series.
"We really cut our teeth and grew up on this show. In playing underdogs, we learned that we had dug into the hearts of our viewers and that we could stay there," she said. "Cory is so deserving of that place in everyone's hearts. He was one of the most generous and kind people that I have ever met. He had a smart, curious mind, he was an enormous talent. He was loving to not only me but my family."
As one of Glee's original stars, Agron, Monteith and Lea Michele's Rachel comprised one of the first and most popular love triangles on the series.
"My heart goes out to his family, to Lea, to everyone that is struggling with the loss of our friend," the always insightful actress went on to say. "We will miss you Cory. We will always carry a piece of you with us."
On Tuesday, representatives for Michele -- Monteith's real-life girlfriend -- said the actress has been grieving with the late star's family.
Agron's role on Glee had been scaled back in recent seasons following her character's graduation. She's slated to appear as a guest star in season five. It's unclear how Glee will move forward with its fifth season, which is slated to return Sept. 19.