Sunday 21 December 2014

Glee star Monteith died of overdose

Published 16/07/2013 | 22:42

Glee actor Cory Monteith died of an overdose of heroin and alcohol (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Glee actor Cory Monteith died of an overdose of heroin and alcohol (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Glee actor Cory Monteith, who struggled for years with substance abuse and once said he was lucky to be alive, died of an overdose of heroin and alcohol, authorities in Canada said.

"There is no evidence to suggest Mr Monteith's death was anything other than a most tragic accident," the British Columbia coroner's office said.

Monteith, 31, who played Finn Hudson in the TV series was found dead in his Vancouver hotel room on Saturday. He was believed to be alone when he died - hotel video and electronic records indicate he returned to his room by himself in the early hours.

Police, who ruled out foul play, said they believed Monteith had been dead for several hours before he was found. They said the coroner's report did not indicate the levels of heroin or alcohol in his system. "Our belief is that when he took the heroin he was alone," said Vancouver Police Department spokesman Brian Montague. "There was evidence in the room that was consistent with a drug overdose. We're not providing exactly what we found at the scene."

Police said it was too early for the coroner's office to conclude whether Monteith was the victim of a bad batch of heroin, which turns up from time to time in Vancouver.

Monteith's death recalled the lives of Heath Ledger, Corey Haim and River Phoenix - actors who battled substance abuse and died in their 20s and 30s. Monteith had talked bluntly about struggling with addiction since he was a teenager, calling it a serious problem and telling Parade magazine in 2011 he was "lucky to be alive".

In the interview, he said he was using marijuana and drinking by the age of 13 and his drug use was "out of control" at 16. "Anything and everything, as much as possible," he said. "I had a serious problem."

Monteith admitted himself to a treatment centre in April for substance addiction, a representative said at the time. He also received treatment when he was 19. He told Parade that his mother and friends had staged an intervention then, afraid he "could die". However, he said: "I did the stint but then went back to doing exactly what I left off doing."

Glee, with its catchy song-and-dance numbers and high-profile guest stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Britney Spears, became an instant hit when it debuted in 2009. Monteith served as the show's resident hunk with a heart of gold. The show's producers called him an exceptional performer "and an even more exceptional person".

The publicist for Monteith's girlfriend and Glee co-star, Lea Michele, said: "Since Cory's passing, Lea has been grieving alongside his family and making appropriate arrangements with them. They are supporting each other as they endure this profound loss together."

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