Ryan Murphy Says "Glee" Tribute Episode to Cory Monteith Will Not Address Cause of Actor's Death

By Carey Purcell
16 Aug 2013

Cory Monteith
Cory Monteith
Photo by Tommy Garcia/FOX

Ryan Murphy told Deadline.com that "Glee" will not address the cause of Cory Monteith's death on the hit Fox TV show.

Monteith, who starred as Finn Hudson on the TV series about a high school show choir, died July 13 at the age of 31 due to "mixed drug toxicity" of heroin and alcohol. Fox president Kevin Reilly had previously stated that "Glee" would air an episode in tribute to Monteith, addressing drug and alcohol abuse.

Murphy said the writing team for "Glee," which had been aided by Monteith's on-screen and real-life girlfriend Lea Michele, had originally planned to have Finn's character die of an accidental drug overdose, but they have decided against that idea.

"Basically, what we’re doing in the episode is we are not telling you yet, or maybe not at all, how that character died," he said to Deadline.com. "That might be weird for some people, but it felt really exploitative to do it any other way."



The cast and crew of "Glee," who have been working on a two-episode tribute to the Beatles, have found solace in being together following Monteith's death, Murphy said.

The episode is intended to be "a celebration of that character's life," Murphy told Deadline.com. "I think it turned out to be a lovely tribute, and it’s a very heartfelt look at how young people grieve. After that, we’re going to take two weeks or three weeks down to get our heads together because it’s been a really hard thing to write. We loved Cory and we loved Finn and it feels like a huge loss and a huge heartache not to have either of them around. We’re trying to craft an episode that’s not just about us grieving but about a lot of the young fans grieving."

View Playbill.com's Screening Room celebrating Monteith's work on "Glee."