Two months after the death of Glee star Cory Monteith, Jane Lynch delivered a stirring, emotional tribute to her co-star at Sunday night's Emmy awards.
Speaking in front of a picture of the duo, Lynch told the crowd that Monteith's overdose was a "painful death in the family" and that the actor "had a star quality and a genuine sweetness that made it impossible not to fall in love with him."
Last month, Monteith's girlfriend and co-star Lea Michele honored the actor at the Teen Choice Awards, telling the crowd, "We were very lucky to witness his incredible talent, his handsome smile, and his beautiful, beautiful heart."
Lynch's full remarks:
"It is remarkable and perhaps a little curious how quickly televison 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. And from the first time you saw Cory, he had a star quality and a genuine 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. Tonight we remember Cory for all he was, and mourn the loss of 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."
Glee is scheduled to return Sept. 26, with a special Monteith tribute episode planned for Oct. 10.