Cory Monteith's special tribute at the 2013 Emmy Awards was important closure for Glee fans, according to Jane Lynch. Though not everyone agreed with the decision to highlight five late stars on stage at the Sunday, Sept. 22 show, the 53-year-old actress was grateful for the opportunity to remember her late costar.
"I was really honored just to be able to tell people who Cory was. He was a guy who had such a huge heart and a generous spirit," Lynch told Access Hollywood after the show. "It's so sad that he's gone."
Monteith passed away on July 13 after accidentally overdoing on heroin and alcohol. He was 31. "I know there are a bunch of fans out there mourning his loss," Lynch explained to Access Hollywood, "and I think it was good for us to stand up there with a picture of his beautiful mug and remember who he was."
Monteith was among four other late stars -- James Gandolfini, Gary David Goldberg, Jean Stapleton and Jonathan Winters -- who received an individual eulogy during the Emmys. Other beloved stars who passed away were grouped together in a traditional In Memoriam photo montage, which angered some family members and fans.
Preston Hagman told Entertainment Tonight that he was "disappointed" by the montage. (His father, Dallas star Larry Hagman, died from complications of cancer at age 81 in November.) "I think all of them were short," he said. "If you are going to honor [the In Memoriam recipients], honor them with the respect and dignity that they portrayed. Do it for everyone."
Adam Klugman told The Associated Press that it was "criminal" the Emmys didn't include his father -- The Odd Couple star Jack Klugman, who died from prostate cancer at the age of 90 -- in the special tributes. "It's an insult, and it really seems typical of this youth-centric culture that has an extremely short attention span and panders to only a very narrow demographic," Klugman said. "What about the people who should be introduced to somebody like my father? I don't mean to say anything disparaging about Cory, but he was a kid who had won no Emmys, and it was a self-induced tragedy."
During Lynch's tribute to Monteith on stage, she did reference the actor's struggle with drug abuse. "Cory was a beautiful soul. He was not perfect, which many of us here tonight can relate to. His death is a tragic reminder of the rapacious, senseless destruction that is brought on by addiction," she said. "Tonight, we remember Cory for all he was and mourn the loss for all he could have been. To a generation that loved Cory so, please know, this gifted and wonderful young man was worthy of your love."