TMZ first reported that Salling's body was discovered near a riverbed in Sunland-Turjunga neighborhood of Los Angeles where he lived.
Last December, the troubled Glee alum plead guilty to possession of child pornography after more than 50,000 images of child porn were found on his computer and thumb drive. Salling was awaiting sentencing at the time of his death.
"Mark was a gentle and loving person, a person of great creativity, who was doing his best to atone for some serious mistakes and errors of judgment," Salling's attorney, Michael J. Proctor, said in a statement to Buzzfeed News. "The Salling family appreciates the support they have been receiving and asks for their privacy to be respected."
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the actor was facing roughly four to seven years in prison. He would also have been required to register as a sex offender as part of the plea agreement.
Salling rose to fame with the rest of his Glee castmates in 2009. Ryan Murphy's Golden Globe-winning musical dramedy was a ratings juggernaut for Fox, and by 2010, the cast had embarked on their first of two successful North American concert tours, Glee Live! In Concert!
But there was plenty of drama behind the scenes. Star Cory Monteith quietly battled drug addiction throughout the show's early run. He tragically died from a heroin overdose in 2013 and was subsequently written off the series in its fifth season. Meanwhile, Naya Rivera was fired from the show in 2014 after feuding with star Lea Michele and the show's producers.
In 2015, Murphy expressed his regrets over how he handled things with the cast. "To this day," he said, "I'm devastated by everything that happened with that show."
Hours after news of Salling’s death broke, Matthew Morrison — who starred as Will Schuester on Glee — paid tribute to the actor on social media with a touching photo of himself, Salling, and Monteith. Morrison captioned the photo with a frown emoji and two angel emojis on either side of it, referencing the two late actors.
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