I've interviewed hundreds of TV actors over the past couple of decades, and Cory Monteith was one of the good guys.
Polite. Helpful. Easy to deal with. Friendly. Forthcoming.
That's not necessarily the norm. But every time I talked to Monteith about his role on "Glee," he always seemed like a normal guy.
It's no surprise that he came off like that before the show premiered. After all, he was pretty much a complete unknown.
It says more about his character that he remained a good guy even after he, along with the rest of the "Glee" cast, became an overnight sensation. Yes, he suddenly had money and fame - something he'd gone after and something a lot of people would do just about anything to achieve.
But it's not easy to suddenly have so many people wanting a piece of you.
The news of Monteith's death came as a huge shock. I'm not startled by what happens in Hollywood all that often, but this news caught me by surprise.
The immediate speculation is that his passing was the result of his long battle with drugs. He had been open about his addictions, and it seems a logical explanation for how a 31-year-old man could die so suddenly.
As of this writing, we don't know what happened. And it's important to keep that in mind.
I'll remember Monteith as Finn Hudson on "Glee." No, the show isn't what it used to be - but the its pilot episode was a TV masterpiece with Monteith playing a pivotal role.
And I'll also remember chatting with Monteith at several Fox events and the Television Critics Association Awards and coming away thinking, "What a good guy."
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