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'Glee' convention becomes memorial for Cory Monteith

  • In this Monday April 12, 2010 file photo, Cory Monteith, a cast member in the television series "Glee," arrives at the "Glee" Spring Premiere Soiree in Los Angeles, Vancouver police say Canadian born actor Montieth, star of the hit show "Glee" has been found dead in city hotel. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File)

What was supposed to be a weekend celebration of the musical TV series "Glee" turned into an impromptu memorial of song and dance for Cory Monteith after news of the "Glee" co-star's death rocked a "Glee" fan convention in England.

The hundreds of "gleeks," as they're known, joined a chorus of thousands worldwide who took to social media with similar expressions about Monteith's passing. The actor's struggles with addiction echoed those of other young stars whose premature deaths also left young fans grieving.

"The whole day was simultaneously the best and worst experience of my life," said Chloe Harvey, an 18-year-old fan from Portsmouth, England. "The news was devastating. No one had any idea what to say or do. It just shows how much of a truly amazing guy Cory was that everyone was so shocked and emotional about the news. Everyone was crying and sharing their stories."

Cory Monteith (1982-2013)

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Monteith, 31, was found dead in his Vancouver, British Columbia, hotel room on Saturday, according to police, who said an autopsy is expected Monday to determine the cause of death.

Police said Monteith had been out with people earlier, but video and electronic records from the hotel indicated he returned to his room by himself early Saturday morning. He was believed to be alone when he died.

The Fox network and the producers of "Glee," including 20th Century Fox Television, called Monteith an exceptional performer "and an even more exceptional person." They said he was "a true joy to work with and we will all miss him tremendously." Lea Michele, Monteith's "Glee" co-star and real-life girlfriend, asked for privacy upon hearing the news of his death.

While it's not known what caused his death, Monteith's passing recalls the lives of Heath Ledger, Corey Haim and River Phoenix — actors who battled substance abuse and died in their 20s and 30s. Monteith 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."

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