Fans leave flowers, cards for Glee's Cory Monteith
Monteith was born in Calgary and raised in Victoria, where his mother still lives
Richard Monteith struggled to hold back his sobs on Sunday as he laid down a bouquet of white flowers outside the Vancouver hotel where his cousin and Glee actor Cory Monteith died the previous day.
Squatting with his head in his hands, Richard's shoulders shook as he wiped away his tears before he carefully tucked a card into his bouquet.
His flowers sat next to another bouquet and a stuffed animal — tributes to the Canadian actor who Vancouver police confirmed died on Saturday.
Richard said little, only mentioning that he and Monteith were "decently close," and the two had last seen each other in Vancouver in April.
Monteith, who played the role of football player and singer Finn Hudson on the popular television series Glee, was found dead in his room at the Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel on Saturday afternoon.
Police said the cause of death still must be determined, but investigators do not believe foul play was involved.
Tributes from celebrities and fans of Glee poured in on Sunday as those who admire Monteith learned of his sudden death.
Outside the downtown Vancouver hotel, 16-year-old Helen Slater placed a stuffed moose as well as a note for Monteith.
Slater, a fan of the show visiting Vancouver from England, said she was shocked to hear the news of Monteith's death. She called him "a complete goofball" and a "positive influence," and decided a stuffed moose was a fitting tribute because Monteith was Canadian, and had been seen before in photos wearing moose antlers.
"The note says how he was a part of Glee, and how that's kind of changed my life," Slater said, tearing up. "Nothing's going to be the same anymore. It just put me (through) some really tough times, and helped me through depression a lot."
"I don't know how they're going to put this into the show," he said. "I think they should do something like… maybe a memorial or something."
Stayed close to his roots
On his Twitter account, Monteith described himself as "tall, awkward, canadian, actor, drummer, person.
Monteith was born in Calgary and raised in Victoria, where his mother still lives.
Before becoming an actor, Monteith worked as a Wal-Mart people greeter in Nanaimo, B.C., as well as a taxicab driver, school bus driver, and roofer.
When he moved to Los Angeles, Monteith continued to visit B.C., as the Grey Cup marshal in 2011 and to take in a Canucks game with girlfriend and Glee co-star Lea Michele last May.
Randy Lum, owner of a sushi restaurant in Vancouver's West End, said Monteith was a regular customer.
"A very genuine man who was down to earth, for sure," Lum said. "His head never got big, you know?"
In 2009, Monteith spoke to Jian Ghomeshi on CBC Radio's Studio Q, recalling how he first applied for the part in Glee, despite never singing in public before.
"Originally they wanted somebody who could sing and dance, and that wasn't me. I mean I had never sang or danced anything before. I was a drummer.
"In lieu of the singing, dancing part of the tape, I sent myself playing the drums on the Tupperware and mugs and wine glasses and stuff with unsharpened pencils ... I didn't think I would stand a chance," he said.
"The one thing you learn how to do in Vancouver as a working actor is, you learn how to kind of bend yourself into roles. You learn how to figure out any way possible to qualify yourself as the guy for the job."
Struggled with addiction
Acting Vancouver Police Chief Doug LePard told reporters on Saturday that Monteith's body was found around noon after he failed to check out from his room as scheduled.
LePard said the actor had been with some other people in the room the night before, but video and electronic records show that Monteith entered the room by himself on Saturday morning.
His death comes several months after he told People magazine that he had admitted himself into rehab for substance abuse, but police declined to speculate whether there was any connection.
Monteith, had been open about having suffered from drug addiction before, and about having received treatment when he was 19.
Those close to him said they thought Monteith was on the mend.
"I had several interactions with him ... where he said to me that he was feeling amazing and even said, I'm feeling fantastic again," said Adam Shankman, a Glee guest director.
"And, you know, he was obviously referring to, you know, moments he had this year going to rehab and so I'm like everybody else really devastated and confused by what happened."
He recently shot a Canadian film called "All the Wrong Reasons," slated to come out later this year with actors Kevin Zegers, Karine Vanasse and Emily Hampshire.
He was an avid supporter of the Project Limelight Society, a Vancouver charity that offers a theatre program to at-risk youth.
Just days before his death, Monteith dined with casting director and Project Limelight co-founder Maureen Webb, as well as with Elena Kirschner from a local talent agency in an east Vancouver restaurant, according to tweets posted by the three parties.
"Thanks for always being kind Cory. You came a long way from hanging on the beaches in Vancouver with the gang pre-Glee," tweeted Gerard Funk, an actor from Vancouver who joined the Glee cast last year.
An autopsy is expected to be performed on Monday.
With files from the CBC