July 18, 2013 6:58am PT by Hilary Lewis
Jane Lynch on Cory Monteith: 'A Real Bright Light' (Video)
Jane Lynch remembered her late friend and Glee co-star Cory Monteith on Wednesday's Tonight Show.
Jay Leno said he was sorry to hear of Monteith's shocking death this weekend and noted that he'd never met the actor before asking Lynch to tell him about her friend.
"Cory's one of the biggest hearts, a real bright light," she told Leno. "He knew he was breathing rarefied air with the gifts that this show gave us. He was always aware that it was a gift, and he was quite generous and one of those adventurous type people."
"I don't think he left one day unlived," she added. "He was a real bright light in our family. We lost a really great guy."
When asked how she would like people to remember him, Lynch said he once flew across the country, paying for the trip himself, to meet with a sick kid whose last wish was to meet him.
"That's the kind of guy he was, just a real giver," she said.
Lynch was a bit fidgety, stammering and uncomfortable as she recalled her Glee colleague, but she didn't appear to be ready to start crying.
Monteith was found dead on Saturday in a Vancouver hotel room. He was 31. An autopsy later revealed that the actor, who had struggled with substance abuse, died from a combination of heroin and alcohol.
Watch the full clip of Lynch's memories of Monteith below.