'Glee' Cast, Creators Remember Cory Monteith With 'Emotional Celebration'


Cory Monteith's Finn was last seen headed for boot camp in Georgia, after enlisting in the Army in the third season finale. 

The Glee cast, crew and creators gathered Thursday to remember their friend and colleague, Cory Monteith.

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"Today, Ryan Murphy and Lea Michele gathered the cast, crew and producers of Glee, along with colleagues from the network and studio, to share memories and music in an emotional celebration of the life of Cory Monteith," producer 20th Century Fox Television said in a statement. "We thank the public for their continued outpouring of love and support as we grieve our friend and colleague during this difficult time."

Monteith died July 13 at the age of 31. An autopsy revealed that the actor who played Glee's Finn Hudson since the show's inception died of "mixed drug toxicity, involving heroin and alcohol."

Fox and producers 20th Century Fox TV have pushed back the fifth-season premiere of Glee to Sept. 26. Co-creator Murphy told The Hollywood Reporter that the plan is to pay tribute to Monteith -- whom he described as an "older son" -- on the series with a tribute during the show's third episode, assuming he and the producers "can get it perfect."

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"The right thing to do for the show, at least at this point, is to have that character pass," Murphy said. "When we do the tribute episode to that character, we'll have to do it in a way where the cast members will not have to re-create feelings of grief that they’ve had this week -- but do it in an upbeat way. If we can do this responsibly and help young people through these feelings, that’s the best that we can hope for."

Murphy -- who noted he was taking cues for the show from Monteith's girlfriend, Michele -- said his team didn't intend to tackle the tribute episode until after this week's memorial, as so much of the cast and crew are still making sense of their emotions. Grief counselors will be on the Glee set for several weeks once production resumes.

E-mail: Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com