When Glee first aired in 2009, no one expected it to change the world. But change the world it did, for the better. Actor and musician Cory Monteith was a huge part of the show’s success. On Saturday, July 13, Cory Monteith was found dead in a Vancouver hotel room. He was 31-years-old.
Like many fans of Glee, I was absolutely shocked and saddened by the news of his passing. The character of Finn drew a lot of ire from the lesbian community for outing Santana (among other things), and we made no bones about it. I myself poked fun at Finn more than a few times in my vlog. However, there was never any denying that Cory Monteith was a talented man. The heart of Glee has never been just one person. It’s always been about the ensemble—the misfit glee club that became a family. Now there will be a massive rift where Finn Hudson once stood. Whether or not you liked or identified with his character, you will feel his loss. We will all feel his loss.
It’s too soon to tell how the news of Cory’s passing will ultimately affect Glee, but I can only imagine it will profoundly change the show. Right now, I don’t want to think about that. I want to think about the chills I still get from “Don’t Stop Believing,” and how Cory and his cast mates sang their way into a cultural phenomenon. One that would change people’s hearts and minds. I want to think about Cory banging away at that drumset, while lovingly watching Lea sing. I want to think about how Kurt and Finn became friends, then brothers. Most of all, I want to think about Cory and the legacy of music and kindness he leaves behind. He was more than just an actor on a popular TV show. He was a person; something we sometimes forget in the frenzy of fandom.
We here at AfterEllen send our most heartfelt condolences to the Monteith family, his partner Lea Michelle, and the entire cast and crew of Glee. Here’s to you Cory.