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Glee star's death remains a mystery

The cause of Glee actor Cory Monteith's death remains unclear and authorities in Canada say it could take several days before toxicology test results are complete.

Sgt Randy Fincham of Vancouver police said there was nothing to indicate the actor's death was due to illicit drug use.

Monteith, 31, was found dead in his Vancouver, British Columbia, hotel room on Saturday, said police, who have ruled out foul play.

Police said Monteith had been out with people earlier, but video and electronic records from the hotel indicated he returned to his room by himself early on Saturday. He was believed to be alone when he died.

Monteith's passing recalls the lives of Heath Ledger, Corey Haim and River Phoenix - actors who battled substance abuse and died in their 20s and 30s. Monteith talked bluntly about struggling with addiction since he was a teenager, calling it a serious problem and telling Parade magazine in 2011 he was "lucky to be alive". Monteith admitted himself to a treatment centre in April for substance addiction and asked for privacy as he took steps towards recovery, a representative said at the time.

Lea Michele, Monteith's Glee co-star and real-life girlfriend, told People magazine that she loved and supported him and was proud he was seeking help. It was not Monteith's first time in rehab. He also received treatment when he was 19. Michele was asking that everyone respect her privacy "during this devastating time", said her representative, Molly Kawachi of ID-PR.

The Fox network and the producers of Glee, including 20th Century Fox Television, called Monteith an exceptional performer "and an even more exceptional person".

Glee, with its catchy song-and-dance numbers and high-profile guest stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Britney Spears, became an instant hit when it debuted in 2009 and made celebrities of Montieth and the rest of the relatively unknown cast. Monteith was the show's resident hunk with a heart of gold. He played Finn Hudson, a football quarterback with two left feet who found more camaraderie in the choir room than on the football field. After his character graduated from high school, Hudson sought out to find himself before settling on what he wanted to do with his life - become a teacher and mentor.

In real life, Monteith was an avid supporter of an arts mentoring programme, Project Limelight, which worked with young people in Vancouver's poverty-stricken Downtown Eastside district. In May 2012, Monteith and Sir Richard Branson, the Virgin Group founder and chairman, travelled to Vancouver to support the charity.

"Cory Monteith was a beautiful soul," Sir Richard said in a blog post on Virgin's website. "His awareness of his own struggles led him to reach out to young people all over the world with deep compassion and empathy to help them through their struggles. We'll never forget watching him on the streets in Canada. Cory wanted other youth to have the chance to discover their strengths and potential through the arts."

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