It was almost two years ago to the day that Glee actor, Cory Monteith, was interviewed by Shawna Malcom of Parade magazine, discussing his past struggles with addiction and his fight to rebuild his life.
The young man known by so many as the handsome character Finn Hudson on the hit tv show Glee, grew up in Victoria, British Columbia. By the early age of thirteen years old, Cory was drinking and smoking pot. At age sixteen Cory dropped out of high school, as his life had spiraled out of control. In his 2011 interview with Parade magazine Cory remembers his drug use saying, "Anything and everything, as much as possible...I had a serious problem." Three years later at the age of nineteen, Cory's mother and friends staged and intervention and he went to rehab for the first time. He admits that although he completed the treatment, he went right back to his old habits once he got out, that is until a defining moment in his life.
It wasn't until Cory had stolen a large sum of money from a family member, that Cory really became resigned to the idea of changing his life. He was given a choice to either get clean, or the family member would report him to the police and press charges. So Cory chose to get clean. He moved in with a family friend in Canada, and quit using drugs. He worked as a roofer, drove a school bus and was even a Walmart greeter. Cory was focused on re-building his life.
He also started working with an acting coach, who put Cory in front of the camera for the first time, and it was then that Cory felt a sense of satisfaction from working hard. He felt that he was good at something, and he was right. Cory's acting career took off and he was cast in a handful of smaller roles, and then in 2009, Cory landed the role of Finn Hudson in the Fox Television hit Glee, where he also met his girlfriend and co-star Lea Michele. During his interview with Parade magazine, Cory was asked why he wanted to come out about his past and he said, "I don't want kids to think it's okay to drop out of school and get high, and they'll be famous actors too. ...But for those people who might give up: Get real about what you want and go after it."
Sadly, on Saturday, July 13th the 31-year old was found dead in his hotel room in Vancouver, British Columbia of an apparent drug overdose from a toxic combination of heroine and alcohol consumption. The tragic death of Cory Monteith hit his family, friends and co-stars extremely hard. In an interview with Elle magazine, Lea Michelle recalls a metaphor that has helped her cope with the devastating loss, "A lighthouse doesn't save the ships; it doesn't go out and rescue them, it's just this pillar that helps to guide people home."