Pass the tissues. The 2013 Primetime Emmy Awards changed up the standard In Memoriam segment this year at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on Sunday, Sept. 22 in L.A. Close friends and costars of five late stars shared emotional, personal remembrances on stage interspersed throughout the show.
The five stars who received special recognition included: actor Cory Monteith (remembered by Glee costar Jane Lynch), actor James Gandolfini (remembered by Sopranos costar Edie Falco), producer Gary David Goldberg (remembered by Family Ties star Michael J. Fox), actress Jean Stapleton (remembered by All in the Family costar Rob Reiner), and actor Jonathan Winters (remembered by Mork and Mindy costar Robin Williams.)
Glee actor Monteith passed away on July 13 at the age of 31 after accidentally overdosing on heroin and alcohol.
"It is remarkable, and perhaps a little curious, how quickly television shows become like families. This summer on our show Glee we suffered a painful death in our family: Cory Monteith played Finn Hudson, a star quarterback turned wide-eyed, heartfelt glee singer," said Lynch, who plays Coach Sue Sylvester on the Fox musical series. "And from the first time you saw Cory he had a star quality and a general sweetness that made it impossible not to fall in love with him . . . and millions did fall in love with Cory. And I'm here to say that all that warmth and that charm, that open-hearted quality that we loved in Cory was no act."
"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. And, if you were lucky enough to know Cory as we did, and witness firsthand Cory's goofy, breezy sense of humor, his natural instinct for inclusiveness and his unbridled sense of generosity day in and day out, I promise, you'd have loved him even more."
The evening's host Neil Patrick Harris previously explained to Access Hollywood why he decided to change the In Memoriam segment. "I always find the In Memoriam is just really interesting because sometimes it seems weird that they keep the audio on in the house, so some people get applause and some people don't, and it turns it into this weird moment," Harris said. "And you want that moment to be honoring those people, and not a competition."
"We've come up with this idea — five different people that we chose sort of from different areas of television are being spoken about by people who were important to them," he explained. "[They'll speak about them] not in a pitying way, but I think in a respectful, classy way that will make you remember their life in a positive, forward-momentum kind of style."
Tell Us: What did you think of Monteith's special tribute?