Cory Monteith earned the admiration of millions of fans as jock-turned-glee club member Finn Hudson on FOX’s hit show “Glee.” His performances were endearing, and he often had the audience wishing that real life could be filled spontaneous musical numbers. Over the weekend, the world was a shocked to learn that the actor, only 31 years old, had died in a Vancouver hotel room.
Although Monteith passed well before his time, a lot of the time he did have was spent in service to others. While most “Gleeks” know the actor could belt out a tune with the best of them, they might not know that he leaves behind an impressive legacy of helping others.
Here are three ways we can remember Cory Monteith as both a talented actor and inspiring champion for good:
+ He Cared About Seeing Kids Smile
If you've seen a candid picture of the “Glee” actor in recent years, you've probably seen one of his patented megawatt smiles. Monteith was always quick to flash a grin, so it's no surprise that the actor cared about making sure everyone had that same opportunity. In March, Cory tweeted his support for Operation Smile, a nonprofit organization that offers free surgeries for young people with facial deformities. While Monteith has been tied to numerous charities over the last few years, we think the actor would love to be remembered for helping kids smile a little brighter.
+ He Helped People Find Their Way Home
As a Virgin Unite Ambassador, the actor worked with Richard Branson to help raise awareness about homelessness. He had shown his support for the cause before, but as an official Virgin Unite Ambassador, Monteith was able to spend time working directly with organizations working to end homelessness. The actor, who was touched by what he saw, even helped launch Project Limelight, a free theater program that inspires kids in troubled areas through the arts. In this video, Monteith talks about how he wishes he had gotten the chance to work with such an organization when he was younger, saying, “I think kids really need a place to go and feel like they belong.”
+ He Spoke Out for Equal Rights
Judging by the outpouring of condolences from the actor’s friends, co-stars, and admirers, it seems Cory never wasted an opportunity to embrace other people with love and respect. It should be no shock, then, that the actor was adamant in his support for equal rights for all people. The actor spoke out against Prop 8, and he even participated in the Straight But Not Narrow campaign for straight allies.
Although Cory did some wonderful things in his life, it was still far too short. Our hearts are heavy for the world’s loss, and we hope that his legacy inspires his fans to dedicate their time to helping others. To see how you can support some of his favorite causes, check out the actions widgets below. To leave a message of support for his friends, family and the many people he’s helped over the years, leave a comment below.