The weekend is over, but it's still hard to shake the shock of hearing that Cory Monteith was found dead in a hotel room in Vancouver, Canada. An autopsy for the Glee star will determine the exact cause of death, but it's hard to believe that anything will truly explain why such a promising young star was taken from us at just 31 years old.
Cory came out of near obscurity when he arrived on Glee, but he quickly became a favorite, in no small part because of who he was beneath the surface of his character, Finn Hudson. We mourn Cory today by remembering what we loved most about him:
1. His candid talk about his drug use. Many artists struggle with addiction, but Cory's decision to talk about it openly was inspiring to many who saw him as proof that we are more than just the demons we battle.
2. His lopsided smile.
3. His love of Lea Michele. Watching those two in public, it was hard not to see them as carbon copies of Finn and Rachel. He seemed just as in love and just as supportive as his on-screen alter ego was of her on-screen alter ego. Remember when he told Ellen they were a couple?
4. His dancing. Cory can sing like an angel, but like Finn Hudson, he had two left feet. Two adorable left feet.
5. His dedication to LGBT causes. Cory was a straight ally to the fight for equality, hosting the GLAAD Media Awards, working with the Trevor Project, and filming PSAs like this one to inspire gay teens:
6. His drumming. We only got a small taste of his skills on Glee, but Cory performed with the band, Bonnie Dune, off set and he really let go on stage. One video of him rocking out is titled "Cory Monteith's drumming sexual [sic] frustrates me" because he was just THAT good.
7. His work with homeless youth. Cory came close to homelessness as a teen, and he never forgot where he came from. Since becoming a star, he has dedicated himself to helping homeless youth, even partnering with Richard Branson to raise money to keep these kids off the streets.
8. His Project Limelight. Cory has spoken in the past about acting changing his life, and he threw himself into changing lives for kids, helping to start the non-profit Project Limelight to provide a free theater program for children.
9. His humility. Cory was known for being down-to-earth, not a star who got too big for his britches when he became famous. Robert Ullrich, the Glee casting director, called him the show's "most accessible" actor when Cory stopped by an episode of The Glee Project last summer to mentor the kids trying out to be his new co-star.
10. His voice. Let's face it; we would never have known Cory if it weren't for the voice that won him the role of Finn on Glee, and what a voice it was. When he sang, Cory took the boy next door quality of Finn Hudson and made him the boy you couldn't take your eyes off.
Glee will not be the same without Cory. Our hearts go out to the entire Glee cast today, but especially Lea Michele.
What made you fall in love with Cory Monteith?
Image via Fox