Jane Lynch delivered emotional tribute to her Glee co-star Cory Monteith at the Emmy Awards on Sunday.

The special tribute was one of five that took place separate from the “In Memoriam” segment of the show, each presented by someone close to the deceased. Michael J. Fox spoke of Family Ties producer Gary David Goldberg, Rob Reiner remembered All In The Family’s Jean Stapleton, Edie Falco spoke about her Sopranos co-star James Gandolfini and Robin Williams appeared to pay tribute to his Mork and Mindy co-star Johnathan Winters.

Lynch stepped out on stage wearing a black suit, and delivered a short speech about her time with Monteith. She made sure to tell fans that Monteith was as kind and friendly as his character, Finn Hudson, on Glee.

“I’m here to say that all that warmth and that charm, that open-hearted quality that we loved in Cory was no act. Cory was a beautiful soul. He was not perfect, which many of us here tonight can relate to. His death is a tragic reminder of the rapacious, senseless destruction that is brought on by addiction. Tonight, we remember Cory for all he was and mourn the loss for all he could have been. To a generation that loved Cory so, please know, this gifted and wonderful young man was worthy of your love. And, if you were lucky enough to know Cory as we did, and witness firsthand Cory’s goofy, breezy sense of humor, his natural instinct for inclusiveness and his unbridled sense of generosity day in and day out, I promise, you’d have loved him even more,” Lynch said.

The personal tribute to Monteith was a controversial decision made by the production team of the 2013 Emmys. Many questioned the validity of honoring Monteith so exclusively when he had never been nominated for an Emmy, and, in fact, had only become a recognizable figure on television in 2009, when Glee premiered.

Adam Klugman, son of actor Jack Klugman, was extremely unhappy that Monteith was being honored while his father, who maintained a career in television for half a century, was merely remembered with a photograph in the “In Memorium” montage.

“We’ve come up with this idea – five different people that we chose sort of from different areas of television are being spoken about by people who were important to them. [They’ll speak about them] not in a pitying way, but I think in a respectful, classy way that will make you remember their life in a positive, forward-momentum kind of style,” Emmy host Neil Patrick Harris said of the new format.

Lynch had been one of the first Glee stars to comment on Monteith’s sudden death July 13. Monteith died of a drug overdose, and had been struggling with addiction from a very young age. Lynch appeared on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno not even a week after his death, and spoke of Monteith, calling him “a real giver.”

Glee returns with Season 5 Thursday, Sept. 26, and the third episode of the season will be a tribute to Monteith and his character Finn Hudson.

Olivia Truffaut-Wong

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More on Cory Monteith:

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Lea Michele Tearful Tribute To Cory Monteith At Teen Choice Awards: 'He Was Very Special To Me'