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The actor, who was born in Calgary, Alberta, and grew up in Victoria, British Columbia, told Parade magazine in 2011 that he had a serious drug problem during his teenage years for which he received treatment.
Monteith is the latest young entertainment star to have died from drugs or alcohol. British soul singer Amy Winehouse died in 2011 from accidental alcohol poisoning at the age of 27.
Other notable recent drug-related deaths in Hollywood include Oscar-winning Australian actor Heath Ledger, who died in 2008 from an accidental overdose of prescription drugs at age 28, and former child star Brad Renfro, who died from an accidental heroin overdose a week before Ledger at age 25.
Monteith began his career in a number of small roles leading up to a recurring part between 2006 and 2007 in the ABC Family science-fiction drama “Kyle XY” and another role around the same time on the MTV series “Kaya.”
“Glee,” which is set in the small town of Lima, Ohio, was Monteith’s breakthrough. It is centered on a high school glee club. Popular for its song and dance routines and big-name guest stars, the show has won Golden Globe, Emmy and Peabody awards.
Monteith’s death is a major blow to a show that promotes a positive message, and his character, high school athlete Finn Hudson, who grew to defend the school’s misfits, played an integral part in advancing the series’ theme of tolerance.
The fifth season of “Glee” is expected to premiere on Sept. 19 on U.S. broadcaster Fox, which is owned by Twenty-First Century Fox Inc.