By Nicole Mordant
VANCOUVER, July 16 Cory Monteith, the
31-year-old heartthrob of Fox Television's musical-comedy
series "Glee," died of an apparently accidental overdose of
heroin and alcohol, Canadian authorities said on Tuesday.
The British Columbia Coroners Service said in a release that
post-mortem testing on the star, who was found dead on Saturday
in a downtown Vancouver hotel room, died of "mixed-drug toxicity
involving heroin and alcohol." It said Monteith's death was
unlikely to have been intentional.
"There is absolutely nothing at this point, no evidence to
suggest this is anything but the most sad and tragic accident,"
said Barb McLintock, a spokeswoman for the Coroners Service.
Monteith was found dead shortly after noon on Saturday in
his room at the Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel. Vancouver police
said they believed he was alone in the room after returning to
the hotel early on Saturday morning.
"There was evidence in the room that was consistent with a
drug overdose," Vancouver Police Department spokesman Brian
Montague said at news conference, adding that the department's
findings supported the Coroners Service report.
Montague said police had ruled out foul play. He would not
say what evidence they found in the actor's hotel room.
Representatives for the actor's girlfriend, Lea Michele, who
played Monteith's on-screen love interest in "Glee," issued a
statement on Tuesday thanking fans for their support.
"Since Cory's passing, Lea has been grieving alongside his
family and making appropriate arrangements with them," Michele's
representatives said in a statement. "They are supporting each
other as they endure this profound loss together."
Monteith was public about his struggles with substance
abuse. In April, he completed voluntary treatment for
unspecified substance addiction at a rehab facility. He had also
been treated in a facility at age 19.
'GLEE' WAS BREAKTHROUGH
The actor, who was born in Calgary, Alberta, and grew up in
Victoria, British Columbia, told Parade magazine in 2011 that he
had a serious drug problem during his teenage years for which he
Monteith is the latest young entertainment star to have died
from drugs or alcohol. British soul singer Amy Winehouse died in
2011 from accidental alcohol poisoning at the age of 27.
Other notable recent drug-related deaths in Hollywood
include Oscar-winning Australian actor Heath Ledger, who died in
2008 from an accidental overdose of prescription drugs at age
28, and former child star Brad Renfro, who died from an
accidental heroin overdose a week before Ledger at age 25.
Monteith began his career in a number of small roles leading
up to a recurring part between 2006 and 2007 in the ABC Family
science-fiction drama "Kyle XY" and another role around the same
time on the MTV series "Kaya."
"Glee," which is set in the small town of Lima, Ohio, was
Monteith's breakthrough. It is centered on a high school glee
club. Popular for its song and dance routines and big-name guest
stars, the show has won Golden Globe, Emmy and Peabody awards.
Monteith's death is a major blow to a show that promotes a
positive message, and his character, high school athlete Finn
Hudson, who grew to defend the school's misfits, played an
integral part in advancing the series' theme of tolerance.
The fifth season of "Glee" is expected to premiere on Sept.
19 on U.S. broadcaster Fox, which is owned by Twenty-First
Century Fox Inc.