Cory Allan Michael Monteith was born on May 11, 1982. On July 13, the Canadian actor tragically passed away. During Cory’s short life he went through a lot. He faced challenges and constant battles. However, this didn’t stop him from being a kind-hearted and a genuinely good person. He lived to make other people happy. He lived to make a change for others. To this day, Cory still has people all around the world who continue to remember him for the loving guy he was. Today, Cory Monteith would have been 34 years old. In honor of his birthday, we have explained why we loved, and will continue to love, him.
When Glee started airing, Cory became a fan-favourite because of his down-to-earth, genuine personality. He never took anything for granted and he always made sure to say how grateful he was to have success. His former acting coach said, “He was always grateful and sort of amused that he was this guy that people knew as “Cory Monteith”. He’d say, “Andy, can you believe this?” We went to Radio City Music Hall once for the Glee tour and we were standing on stage looking out at the crowd before the concert started and he just went, “Who’d have thought?””
Helping other people was something that was very dear to Cory’s heart. He especially took his time to support organizations such as Project Limelight Society, Virgin Unite, and Chrysalis. He also supported causes such as adoption, fostering, orphans, AIDS & HIV, children in need, disaster relief, education, health, homelessness, LGBT+ support, literacy, and mental and physical challenges.
“I feel like we have a responsibility to make it known to the public what everybody could do, how everybody can make a difference. And I think that revealing these different charitable causes, like Virgin Unite or PETA or any of these other causes, are how people can contribute, they can help out. Even if it’s small, everybody can do something.” – Cory Monteith
Cory didn’t only help other people through organizations. He used his own experiences to reach out to people and tell them that he knew what they were going through. Cory had a troubled childhood and he battled drug- and alcohol addiction throughout his teenage years. Although he managed to get clean and live a good life, the battle against the demons never stopped. In the end, they won. However, his addiction did not define who he was as a person, nor should it ever be a factor in people’s opinion of him. Addiction can hit anyone, and having an addiction does not make you a bad person or weak. Cory wanted to live. He wanted to have a healthy life, which is why he sought help. He once said, “My past made me who I am today. I can’t just pretend it never happened. But the biggest lesson I learnt from that is that I can be an example for others who are still struggling.”
Cory could have kept his past a secret, but he didn’t. His openness inspired thousands of people worldwide to share their own stories. They saw that if someone they admired wasn’t afraid of talking about his personal battles, then they shouldn’t be afraid either.
Cory accepted everyone as they were. He didn’t judge because he knew from personal experience that everybody has a story. He was an all-around good guy who didn’t care if you were black, white, Asian, gay, straight, bisexual, old, young, man or woman. He cared about people. And what mattered to him was if someone was a good person.
“Be nice to everyone, always smile and appreciate things, because it could all be gone tomorrow” -Cory Monteith
He constantly used his platform to remind people that they were good enough and that they should be true to themselves. To him, you were good enough if you were yourself. Everyone has scars and bruises, but that doesn’t make you broken or undeserving of love.
Cory worked with a number of LGBT+ groups. He recorded public service announcement videos for Straight But Not Narrow and The Bully Project. He also attended events for The Trevor Project and co-hosted the 23rd annual Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) Media Awards in New York City in 2102. When Cory passed, GLAAD spokesperson Wilson Cruz said, “We mourn the loss of our friend Cory Monteith, whose support of LGBT youth and his work to end bullying served as an inspiration to countless young people.” They also praised him for his LGBT+ work by saying, “GLAAD is saddened by the loss of such a strong ally and grateful for the outstanding work he has done for LGBT youth during his short life.”
One of the things that made Cory relatable was the fact that he was a realist instead of an optimist. He didn’t believe that everything would turn out great if you just waited for it. Instead, he let people know that if you work hard at the things you’re passionate about, you will succeed. He valued hard work, even when he had no idea what he wanted to do with his life. Before he became an actor, Cory worked several, very different, jobs. He was a cab driver, a Walmart greeter, a school bus driver, and a construction worker. He once revealed that he felt lost during that time. He hadn’t found himself. One day he discovered an acting class which he decided to take. He found out that he was good, and since then, that’s what he did. However, fame came much later in life. But to Cory, fame didn’t matter – his work did.
“This isn’t about the fabulousness of me. I don’t think I am extraordinarily talented. To me, it’s a testament to hard work, and the idea that, if you get a break, you can do anything. I really mean it: If I can do it, anybody can do it….It proves how amazing we all are as people, and how much potential we have as human beings.” – Cory Monteith
Cory touched many people’s hearts as Finn Hudson. Finn was a character that everyone loved, even when he was being unlikable. He was the quarterback and the male lead in Glee Club everyone rooted for. He was a supportive friend and he stood up for what he believed in. Many fans agree on the fact that Finn wouldn’t have been as amazing if Cory hadn’t portrayed him.
“We had a hard time casting Finn. That was a really hard part, because you had to really like him, and he had to sing and dance, and as soon as Cory came in, we were like, “Oh!” And it was after a while. We’d been to New York, too, looking for Finns, and as soon as Cory walked in, it really was quite a revelation. He was our first choice, and our only choice.” — Brad Falchuk
When Glee was first starting, Ryan Murphy, Ian Brennan, and Brad Falchuk had difficulty finding the right actor. When Cory first auditioned, he was insecure about his singing abilities so he found another way to show his musicality. He has always been a drummer, but he didn’t have any drums around when he had to film his audition so he had to play on Tupperware. This set him apart from everyone else. This is what made him special, he wasn’t afraid to think outside the box.
If you want to honor Cory Monteith then please consider helping his mother support the Saint James Music Academy.
Happy birthday, Cory. We will continue to honor you by spreading your positivity and kindness. Thank you for letting us be a part of your life. We love you.