Cory Monteith Biography

Cory Monteith, born in Calgary, Alberta and raised in Victoria, British Columbia, was a Canadian actor best known for his role as Finn Hudson in the hit FOX program Glee.

Cory Monteith Drug Use, Rehab

Monteith struggled with drug and alcohol abuse for most of his life. He began drinking, smoking marijuana and skipping school at the age of 13, six years after his parents divorced. In an interview with Parade in 2011, he admitted to trying “anything and everything, as much as possible.” After attending 16 schools, he dropped out of high school permanently at 16 years old and held a variety of odd jobs to maintain his drug habit, including Walmart greeter and taxicab driver. At 19, his mother and friends held an intervention for him. Monteith went to rehab, but continued using once he was out. After his stint, he stole money from a family member, knowing full well he’d be caught – an incident he referred to as a cry for help. After receiving an ultimatum – get clean or be reported to the police – Monteith decided to honestly get sober.

Monteith then moved to Nanaimo, B.C., with a friend, where he met acting coach Andrew McIlroy. In exchange for running errands and keeping the studio clean, McIlroy gave Monteith free acting classes. He had Monteith do a scene as a character contemplating suicide, saw that he had a great talent, and encouraged Monteith to pursue acting as a career. Monteith then moved to Vancouver to do auditions, where he occasionally stayed with McIlroy. He eventually signed with agent Elena Kirschner at RED Management, who remained his agent until his death.

Monteith had a few roles as an actor before his big break on Glee, including bit parts on Supernatural, Smallville and Kyle XY. He also had a few movie roles including the films Kraken: Tentacles of the Deep and Final Destination 3.


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Cory Monteith ‘Glee’

For his Glee audition, Monteith and his agent sent in a video of him playing the drums on Tupperware using pencils in his agent’s office to show his musical ability. Because the auditions required proof that the actors could sing as well, Monteith later sent in a tape of himself singing REO Speedwagon’s Can’t Fight This Feeling despite having received no vocal training in his life. He drove straight from his agent’s office in Vancouver to Los Angeles when he found out he had received an in-person audition for the show. His vocal abilities were considered weak at a group audition, but he performed well in a follow-up, where casting directors felt he had captured the charm of Finn. He was hired within an hour of his final audition, and shot to international fame in the role.

Cory Monteith Family

Monteith had been estranged from his father, Joe, after his parents’ divorce. Joe reached out to his son after he won the role of Finn and, despite their distance, the two rekindled their father-son relationship in late 2009 after 17 years apart. “We’d spoken maybe three or four times [during that period]” Monteith told Parade. “He reached out to me on Facebook. I couldn’t shut the door, so I got on a plane. He greeted me at the airport, and [he and Monteith’s stepmother] were so happy they were almost crying. It was a good time. At some point, you realize your parents are human. They make the best decisions they can with the options available to them.”

Cory Monteith Dating History, Personal Life

Through his years as an actor, Monteith has dated many women, including Julie Sanderson, Mallory Matoush, Emi Perry, and, reportedly, singer Taylor Swift. Monteith began publically dating his Glee costar and on-screen love Lea Michele in early 2012, though many speculated that the relationship began before that given their close friendship since the start of the show. It was rumored that the two were planning to move in together in the summer of 2013.

Monteith was involved with many charities in his adult life. These include Project Limelight, – a free theatre program cofounded by Monteith’s mentor Maureen Webb aimed to create a creative space for the youth of Vancouver’s troubled Downtown Eastside – Virgin Unite, – a charity started by billionaire Sir Richard Branson that aims to pool together volunteering efforts from across the company to help the efforts of small charities – and Chrysalis – a charity that aimed to provide a path to self-sufficiency for low-income and homeless individuals by providing support and resources toward finding employment.

Cory Monteith Overdose, Death

At the end of March 2013, Monteith announced that he was returning to rehab for the first time in over a decade. His friends, including Glee creator Ryan Murphy, realized Monteith had begun abusing drugs again and staged an intervention, assuring him that his job on the show was safe. When Monteith completed rehab at the end of April, he appeared to be doing well.

Monteith died at the age of 31 of an accidental drug overdose – a lethal combination of heroin and alcohol. His body was found on July 13, 2013, in his hotel room at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel in Vancouver. His body was cremated after a private showing later that week which his mother, brother, and girlfriend attended.

Glee aired a tribute episode called ‘The Quarterback’ to honor Monteith on October 10, 2013.