Cory Monteith's Autopsy Report Has Some Devastating Details

The untimely deaths of Cory Monteith and his castmate Naya Rivera were so shocking and heartbreaking that some people came to believe that their show "Glee" was cursed. Monteith's autopsy report also contained details about his 2013 death that were sure to sadden fans even more — it revealed that the Canadian actor had succumbed to an addiction that he had previously seemed to have a handle on.

On "Glee," Monteith played Finn Hudson, a popular quarterback who was not lacking in the friend department. But when Monteith died at age 31, he was all alone at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel in Vancouver. According to CNN, hotel staff went to his room when he didn't come to the front desk to check out. He was found unresponsive. The coroner's report notes that his body was on the floor and that Monteith had died hours earlier.

Monteith's cause of death is listed as an alcohol and heroin overdose, with the coroner noting that the heroin was administered intravenously. "An examination of the scene revealed drug paraphernalia including a spoon with drug residue and a used hypodermic needle," the report reads. The amount of alcohol found in Monteith's blood is described as "moderate," but mixing the intoxicant with other depressants is always playing with fire. The coroner also shared a theory about how Monteith might have accidentally overdosed without realizing that he was in danger of doing so.

Cory Monteith possibly misjudged his drug tolerance

Before he died, Cory Monteith had been open about his struggles with addiction. In a 2011 interview with Parade, he revealed that his first attempt to seek treatment at age 19 was unsuccessful. "I did the stint but then went back to doing exactly what I left off doing," he admitted. He tried to get clean again after he stole from a relative, who then offered him a choice between being charged with a crime or seeking help. He decided to turn his life around. "I'm lucky to be alive," the actor told the magazine.

Unfortunately, Monteith had to return to rehab in 2013. Less than four months after People reported this news, he was dead. The coroner who investigated his death suggested that Monteith's final attempt at kicking his habit could have played a role in his fatal overdose. When a regular heroin user stops taking the drug for a while, this alters their tolerance, which is something Monteith was possibly unaware of. "After a period of cessation from opioid drug use, a previously tolerated drug concentration level may become toxic and fatal," the coroner's report reads.

"Glee" director Adam Shankman told CNN that he spoke with Monteith the day before he died. "He said that he was doing amazing. He even said, 'I am feeling fantastic,'" Shankman recalled. "I'm like everybody else, really devastated and confused by what happened." One "Glee" star who took the news particularly hard was Lea Michele.

The heart-wrenching way Cory Monteith's mother learned about his death

Cory Monteith was dating his co-star Lea Michele at the time of death, and she didn't want to believe that he was really gone. In a 2018 interview with People, Monteith's mother, Ann McGregor, said that she received a phone call from Michele the day he was found dead. "She was yelling, 'Is it true, is it true about Cory?'" she recalled. Tragically, McGregor hadn't yet been notified about her son's death, so she didn't understand why Michele was so upset. Police officers showed up at her home soon after she picked up the phone. It was hard for McGregor to accept the loss. "There were times when I could lie to myself and say, 'He's in L.A., he'll call me soon,'" she said.

Meanwhile, Michele took her mourning to the masses in a "Glee" tribute episode titled "The Quarterback." Speaking to Elle about why she decided to keep shooting the show during such a difficult time, the actor said, "Now that I am in this position, you can choose to rise, and that's what I'm going to try to do." She also recorded a song and titled it after Monteith's final words to her: "If You Say So."

On the 10-year anniversary of Monteith's death in 2023, Michele honored his memory with a moving Instagram post. It read in part, "We miss you every day and will never forget the light you to brought to us all."