To most of the world, Cory Monteith was Finn Hudson, his character on the hit TV show Glee. To Justin Neill, though, he was a roommate and a friend -- and a good one, at that.
Neill, who lived with Monteith in L.A. until the actor's death on July 13 at the age of 31, spoke to Us Weekly about his beloved pal just a couple of days after Vancouver Police announced the tragedy in a press conference. "Cory was a wonderful person and a truly great friend," Neill told Us of the star, who was found dead of "mixed drug toxicity" involving heroin and alcohol. "He was incredibly generous and always wanted his friends to share and experience his passions and interests."
Those passions and interests included winter sports and exotic vacations. "Snowboarding trips to Mammoth or Big Bear, traveling around Australia...these are experiences that I shared with Cory and will never forget," Neill said. "He loved his friends unconditionally and will forever be in our hearts."
Monteith's Glee costar Dianna Agron expressed a similar sentiment on Wednesday, July 17. "I have never lost a friend. In this difficult time, I am leaning on all of the wonderful memories we shared with Cory, how many ways he was able to make us smile," she said in a statement to Us Weekly. "Glee was a gift to all of us. It gave us a family in this industry."
"We really cut our teeth and grew up on this show. In playing underdogs, we learned that we had dug into the hearts of our viewers and that we could stay there," she continued. "Cory is so deserving of that place in everyone's hearts. He was one of the most generous and kind people that I have ever met. He had a smart, curious mind, he was an enormous talent."
"We will miss you, Cory," she concluded. "We will always carry a piece of you with us."