The final moments of Glee star Cory Monteith’s life have been revealed, with a coroner’s report stating the Canadian actor was found dead on his hotel-room floor with drug paraphernalia – including a spoon with drug residue and a used hypodermic needle – nearby.
Mr. Monteith, who rode the role of quarterback-turned-crooner Finn Hudson to international fame, was found dead on the 21st floor of Vancouver’s Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel in July. He was 31.
The coroner had earlier said Mr. Monteith died from a toxic mix of heroin and alcohol, and called the death accidental. But both the coroner and police had refused to comment on what was discovered in the hotel room, or even where Mr. Monteith’s body was found.
The final report, written by Coroner Claire Thompson and released Wednesday, said Mr. Monteith was “found in a collapsed position on the hotel-room floor.” It said he had been dead for several hours and reiterated there was no evidence of foul play. The report said the drug paraphernalia was found during the examination of the scene. Two empty champagne bottles, along with multiple glasses, were also discovered.
Vancouver police had earlier told The Globe and Mail that Mr. Monteith had three friends in his hotel room the night he died, but they all left together to hit the town. Mr. Monteith returned alone at 2:16 a.m.
The rising young actor’s substance-abuse problems were well-documented. He had previously spoken of his drug and alcohol use as a teenager and sought help for substance addiction earlier this year. He told Parade magazine in a 2011 interview that he was “lucky to be alive.”
Mr. Monteith, who grew up in Victoria, spoke with The Globe last year, when he was in Vancouver to announce a theatre program for at-risk youth. During the interview, he said he was going down “a very dark path” before he met one of the women behind the theatre program, called the Project Limelight Society.
The final report noted Mr. Monteith’s history of drug use, and intermittent periods of rehabilitation and abstinence. It said the periods of abstinence ranged from months to years in duration.
“Alcohol and heroin are both central-nervous-system and respiratory depressants. In combination, these drugs can cause sedation and death. Heroin is classified as an opioid drug; individuals typically build up a concentration tolerance to this type of drug over time. After a period of cessation from opioid drug use, a previously tolerated drug-concentration level may become toxic and fatal,” the report said.
Mr. Monteith was at a moderate level of intoxication, the report said. Morphine and codeine were also found in his system.
Ms. Thompson did not make any recommendations.
Mr. Monteith’s death prompted an outpouring of grief, from Vancouver to Ottawa to Hollywood and beyond.
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson called him a “well-spoken, caring, funny man.” Federal minister James Moore said Mr. Monteith was “an incredibly talented young artist” and said the world had “lost a Canadian gem.” Business magnate Sir Richard Branson called him a “beautiful soul.”
Lea Michele, Mr. Monteith’s on-screen and off-screen girlfriend, said he would forever be in her heart.
A memorial was set up outside the hotel after Mr. Monteith’s death, with fans dropping off flowers and stuffed animals.
A tribute to Mr. Monteith aired during last month’s Emmy broadcast.