Remembering Cory Monteith From Glee

Remembering Cory Monteith & his top Glee moments on what would have been his 38th birthday. Co-stars Lea Michele, Naya Rivera, & Chris Colfer reminisce.  

Chelsie Overocker

AfterBuzz TV Host & Writer
Posted On: May 11th, 2020 3:23 pm pst

Maria Menounos
Keven Undergaro
AfterBuzz TV Founders

Founded by Emmy winning journalist Maria Menounos and Producer Keven Undergaro, AfterBuzz TV is the artist-friendly entertainment news platform that celebrates, discusses, interviews, promotes and reports on the widest range of stars, creators and content through video, audio and article publications.

On July 13th Cory Monteith passed away at the age of 31 from a drug overdose. 


Today, Cory would have celebrated his 38th birthday but fans and friends will still be honoring him, as a lot of his co-stars considered him to be family.

Before Cory got his big break in Hollywood he was still figuring out life. He worked as a roofer, drove a school bus, was a Walmart greeter, and soon started taking acting classes.

“I met this acting teacher, he gave me a script, I read for him, and he was like ‘You could have a career doing this.’”

Monteith mentioned that encouraging moment in an interview with People magazine.  

Then, he made a video of himself drumming on Tupperware containers with pencils in the kitchen which ultimately changed his life forever as he got cast to play our favorite jock/singer Finn Hudson.  


What we admire about Cory the most is you don’t need to pave a perfect road in order to figure out what you want to do with your life. He taught us that it’s okay to feel lost. Your mistakes don’t define you but add character to who you are.  

That’s one of the reasons we could relate to Cory because he entered Hollywood not expecting to be a bigtime star. He was just taking everything day by day and most importantly, being himself. 

Cory not only was a loveable guy but his character [Finn] on Glee was a fan favorite. What made Finn popular was that even when he didn’t have all of the answers on how to solve an issue, he would always be there for his peers.  That eventually led him to be a leader on the show.

The way Cory portrayed his character reminded us of similar traits in his own personality. In honor of Cory, here are our top favorite Finn moments on Glee and how the actors from the show remembered working with Monteith. 


When Cory sings a cover of Girls Just Want To Have Fun, making this one of our top favorite songs from the series. Cory turns the popular upbeat melody into a slow piano version that gives the song more depth. 


Right before Cory performs, his character [Finn] has a heartfelt conversation with Santana Lopez [Naya Rivera] about her coming out, that she’s interested in women. Finn tells Santana that he cares for her and will stand by her side with any challenges she has to face. 


“Look you were my first, that means something to me. You mean something to me. If something ever were to happen to you and I didn’t do everything I could to try and stop it, I’d never be able to live with myself.” 

We love the relationship dynamic between Cory and Naya. Their connection isn’t only strong on screen but off screen as well. Naya has expressed that her and Cory have a sibling-like relationship that shares a special bond. 

According to Hollywood Reporter, Naya stated that Cory was a special part of this world. 


“Cory was and always will be a part of my own family and a good friend. He was a special part of this world and will forever be missed.”

Our next favorite Glee moment is when Cory performs Jessie’s Girl in the doctor’s office when Finn is trying to convince Rachel Berry [Lea Michele] that they belong together. 


This song fitted perfectly with the storyline because Finn was able to express his true feelings towards Rachel with every note he hits in the song.


Cory Monteith and Rick Springfield are like two peas in a pod. Someday, we wouldn’t mind if Rick recorded Jessie’s Girl again adding in Cory’s vocals. 

The next iconic moment we’ll remember in Glee is Finn dressed up in a red Lady Gaga costume and has glitter around his eyes. 


Finn is defending Kurt Hummel [Chris Colfer] against two jocks who are making fun of him for his flamboyant costume. This was an iconic character change in Finn. Cory delivered the scene well making (us) fans believe that Finn was no longer a mean jock in high school. 


Not only did Cory play the “big brother” role to Chris on screen but that relationship was transmitted off screen as well. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Chris expressed how he thought of Cory as family instead of a co-star. 


“He really was the big brother I never had…I always felt so respected by Cory, and I think being a young gay kid, I’ve never really felt respected very much by older straight types. But with Cory, I think we just respected each other so much.” Chris states,“I think that’s what I’ll always remember- the abundant respect that he gave everyone. I think that’s why it was such a hard loss.” 

Another solo Cory performed on Glee that brought us to tears was when he did a cover to I’ll Stand By You.

The backstory behind this song is when Finn is singing I’ll Stand By You to his unborn daughter; proving his love for her and that he will be a devoted father. While performing this song Finn doesn’t know that the child isn’t his, but that’s why this scene is so touching because we get to really see Finn’s heart.

What makes this song even more special is this was the song Cory auditioned with before he got cast in Glee. Wherever we hear I’ll Stand By You well be thinking of Cory Monteith.  

The last Cory moment on Glee that moved us is when Finn is saying goodbye to Rachel and letting her go off to New York to follow her dream of becoming a Broadway star. 

Credit: DailyMail

“You’re gonna get on that train. Okay? And you’re gonna go to New York and you’re gonna be a star. Without me. That’s how much I love you.” 

Till this day this is still one of our top emotional breakup scenes in TV history. What made this a tear jerker even more is Cory and Lea were dating in real life when acting out this scene, giving this breakup a powerful performance. Us fans could look beyond their characters and imagine that this was Cory talking to Lea. 

Credit: The Hollywood Reporter

“You know what we’re gonna do? Surrender. I know how hard that is for you because of how hard you hold onto stuff. But we’re just gonna sit here and we’re gonna let go. Okay? And let the universe do its thing. And if we’re meant to be together. Then we’ll be together.” 

Three months after Cory’s death, Lea opened up with Elle magazine of how she is mourning a private loss in public. 

Credit: US Weekly

“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..Lately, I’ve been using it as a guiding metaphor…I never thought I would be in this position in my whole life.” 

Lea wrote two songs after Monteith passed away. The first track, If You Say So, was not only an emotional song that left us in tears but these were the last words Cory said to Lea before his death. 

Credit: The Hollywood Gossip

“You said, I love you girl. I said, I love you more. Then a breath, a pause, you said, If you say so.” 

“Cannonball” was another song Lea recorded. This track expresses how you have to keep living and not let the pain overcome you. 

“I close the door. I got this new beginning and I will fly. I’ll fly like a cannonball.” 

While Lea was in the studio recording these songs she admits that she was breaking down but remembered that’s not what Cory wanted for her. 


“I feel like I’m starting to just sink in it, and he would never want me to do that. I need to remember that you have to live, because you can want to die.” 

Last year, Lea shared a tribute to Cory by tweeting a meaningful message. 

“The light always remains.” 

Cory Monteith will always be our light and the lighthouse to guide us back home when we feel lost. Fans will always keep Cory in their hearts and as Finn sings in Glee, I’ll Stand By You

Credit: New York Daily News

If you love Cory like we do share this article with a friend.  Tune in daily to AfterBuzz TV articles and aftershows for the latest news and info.

About The Author:

Chelsie Overocker is a host for AfterBuzz TV. She grew up in Denver, Colorado and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in communications and marketing.

Founded by Emmy winning journalist Maria Menounos and Producer Keven Undergaro, artist-friendly AfterBuzz TV is the world’s largest digital broadcast network and pop culture news platform, producing post-game ‘after-shows’ for nearly all favorite TV shows, interviewing cast and showrunners and providing the widest video, audio and article coverage of shows, content and influencers than any entertainment news platforms in existence

“We don’t just celebrate and cover the top shows, content and stars, we celebrate and cover ALL the shows, content and stars.”

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