'Glee' Star Cory Monteith Dies at 31

Cory Monteith Horizontal - H 2013
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Cory Monteith Horizontal - H 2013

The actor was found dead at Vancouver's Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel.

Glee star Cory Monteith was found dead at Vancouver's Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel Saturday, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. He was 31.

The actor was found at noon Saturday on the hotel's 21st floor, Vancouver police said in a news conference. He checked into the hotel July 6, and was expected to check out Saturday. When Monteith missed his checkout time at noon, hotel staff went to his room and discovered his body. 

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Police said Monteith was with other people Friday nightAn examination of hotel video footage showed him returning to his room alone early Saturday morning. Police believe he was alone when he died. No cause of death was given and no foul play is suspected, police said. Police are questioning the people he was with Friday night. It was unclear if he was with any Glee castmates or his longtime girlfriend and co-star Lea Michele. An autopsy is scheduled for Monday.

In March, Monteith voluntarily checked himself into rehab for substance abuse. He departed the facility in April. That stint marked his second trip to rehab. He previously checked into rehab when he was 19. It was unclear why the Calgary native had checked into the Vancouver hotel. He was a frequent visitor to Vancouver during hiatus.

Family, Vancouver police said, have just been informed. He had been deceased for several hours when his body was discovered.

"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," representatives for the actor told THR in a statement.

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Glee executive producers, producers 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Broadcasting Co. said in a statement: "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."

A spokesperson for Michele told THR, "We ask that everyone kindly respect Lea's privacy during this devastating time." Michele -- who plays Finn's onscreen love, Rachel -- and Monteith went public with their real-life romance a year ago.

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Glee vocal producer Alex Anders said of Monteith, with whom he frequently worked in the recording studio: "Heartbroken by the loss of my friend @CoryMonteith Praying for his family and loved ones. Such a good hearted man that will be sorely missed."

Monteith's Glee co-star Mark Salling, who played Finn's best friend, Puck, took to Twitter on Saturday as news of his friend's death had spread with a poignant, "no." Castmate Dot-Marie Jones used all caps to convey her grief.

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Added Adam Shankman, who directed Monteith in Glee's Rocky Horror Picture Show-themed episode: "I will always cherish you in my heart. Thank you for so many wonderful days. I love you," he tweeted along with a picture of the late actor with Michele on-set. 

Said castmember Dot-Marie Jones, who played Finn's former football coach, on Twitter: "I have no words! My heart is broken Cory was not only a hell of a friend he was one amazing men [sic] that I will hold close to my heart forever."

Monteith has played Finn Hudson, the lovable boy next door, on Glee since it debuted in 2009. He also has a role in the upcoming indie All the Wrong Reasons. It's unclear how Monteith's sudden passing will impact production on Glee, which is poised to premiere its fifth season on Sept. 19.

Monteith became a face for the Fox musical shortly after the series premiered, rocketing to fame as the first hit from the series, a Monteith-led cover of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" turned Glee into a worldwide phenomenon. The series airs all over the world and has spawned scores of gold records on the Billboard charts for its ever-growing list of singles and soundtracks. 

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After Monteith's character graduated from the high school-set series, Monteith continued to have a major presence on the series. Fox and the Glee creators briefly considered doing a New York-set spinoff featuring Monteith, Michele and Chris Colfer (Kurt) before opting instead to do a split-location format in season four.

When he checked into the rehab facility last March -- with the support of Glee producers and Michele as well as the network -- his character, who was slated to return for a handful of episodes of Glee's fourth season, was reduced to accommodate the young actor. Finn spent the bulk of season four searching for an identity and finally settled on studying to become a teacher after returning to co-coach his former glee club. Monteith was slated to be a series regular for season five, one of only a handful of original stars to still be featured in that capacity.

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Here's the full statement from acting Vancouver Police Chief Doug LePard:

"Shortly after noon Saturday, the Vancouver Police received a call from the BC Ambulance Service regarding a sudden death in a room on the 21st floor of the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel at 1038 Canada Place in downtown Vancouver.
Police attended within minutes of the call and paramedics advised the man in the room was clearly deceased. Coroner’s staff did attend the scene.
The deceased has been identified as 31-year-old actor Cory Monteith, who achieved great fame on the popular TV series Glee.
Before I give further information, on behalf of the Vancouver Police, I want to pass on our condolences to the family, friends, castmates and millions of fans of Mr. Monteith. As was the case in countless homes, I watched Glee regularly with my daughters, and I know there will be shock and sadness in many households with the news of his tragic death.
Mr. Monteith checked into the hotel in July 6th and was due to check out of the room today. There were others with Mr. Monteith in his room earlier last night, but video and fob key entries show him returning to his room by himself in the early morning hours and we believe he was alone when he died.
When he missed his checkout time, staff went to the room at noon and found his body.
We know there will be considerable interest in this case, and we have detectives assigned to the case who attended with our Forensic Identification Unit to examine the scene, to ensure to the extent possible that there are no unanswered questions.
Hotel video has been secured as well as room access records. Our investigators have spoken with hotel staff, who are providing the utmost in cooperation.
An autopsy is scheduled for Monday. 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."
E-mail: Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com
Twitter: @Snoodit