The death of "Glee" star Cory Monteith has unleashed an outpouring of grief and support from fans of the show, as well as the late actor's castmates.
The latest to weigh in was Jane Lynch. The actress, who plays head cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester on the show, got emotional when talking about Monteith during an appearance on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" on Wednesday night.
"Cory's one of the biggest hearts, was a real bright light. He was one of those guys that ... he knew he was breathing rarified air," she said, her voice breaking at times. "The gifts that this wonderful show gave us ... He was always aware that it was a gift and he was quite generous. He was one of those adventurous types of those people. I always admired how he would get up...you know, he would fly to Mexico, he'd throw parties for his friends. I don't think he left one day unlived. He was a real bright light in our family and we've lost a really great guy."
An autopsy report found that Monteith, 31, died of a mixed drug toxicity involving heroin and alcohol. His body was discovered in his hotel room at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel in Vancouver on Saturday after he missed his checkout time.
Monteith recently completed his second stint in rehab tied to an ongoing struggle with drugs and alcohol. In April, Monteith voluntarily checked into a facility to deal with an unspecified substance abuse issue.
Also expressing her grief was Dianna Agron, who played Monteith's love interest on the hit show. In a statement, Agron said, "I have never lost a friend. In this difficult time, I am leaning on all of the wonderful memories we shared with Cory, how many ways he was able to make us smile. 'Glee' was a gift to all of us. It gave us a family in this industry. We really cut our teeth and grew up on this show. In playing underdogs, we learned that we had dug into the hearts of our viewers and that we could stay there.
"Cory is so deserving of that place in everyone's hearts. He was one of the most generous and kind people that I have ever met. He had a smart, curious mind, he was an enormous talent. He was loving to not only me, but my family. My heart goes out to his family, to Lea, to everyone that is struggling with the loss of our friend. We will miss you Cory. We will always carry a piece of you with us."
The actor's death from an accidental drug overdose has obviously hit his girlfriend and fellow "Glee" star Lea Michele very hard as well. According to TMZ, she there with Monteith's mother and brother on Tuesday when the actor's body was cremated following the completion of the coroner's investigation.