Lea Michele wrote a heartfelt message Thursday to honor her late partner and “Glee” co-star Cory Monteith on the 10th anniversary of his death.
The Funny Girl actor posted a black and white photo on her Instagram shows the couple hugging cheek to cheek and smiling. Monteith died of a heroin overdose in 2013 at the age of 31.
“It feels like you were here yesterday and a million years ago at the same time,” Michele, 36, wrote alongside the photo. “I carry all of our memories in my heart where they will stay safe and never be forgotten. We miss you every day and will never forget the light you brought to us all. I miss you big guy.”
“I hope you found Taylor up there playing drums together,” added Michele, referring to Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins, who died in March 2022 at the age of 50. Monteith, himself a drummer, auditioned for his role on “Glee” by submitting a video of him playing “drums.” on a set of Tupperware and crockery.
Since Monteith’s death, Michele has regularly paid tribute to her late partner, posting photos and memories of the two on social media. In July 2019, she posted a photo of herself poses to reveal a small tattoo “Finn” was written on her thigh, a reference to Monteith’s character in the Fox musical comedy. A few years earlier, she wore an inked “5” — Finn’s jersey number on the show — under her arm.
Michele and Monteith met on the set of their hit series, which premiered in 2009. (Michele was known for her difficult behavior on set and apologized to her former cast members in 2020.) Her character Rachel Berry and Monteith’s Finn had an on-and-off dating relationship that led to some of the shows most unforgettable duets. Off the set, the couple confirmed they have been together since 2012, appearing on red carpets together and posting about each other on social media.
Monteith struggled with his substance addiction that developed before he landed Glee and has spoken out about it publicly. The intense filming schedule and lengthy rehearsals for complicated dance numbers took a toll on Monteith, according to a recent docu-series about the show, The Price of Glee. Due to the demands of the series, he had to turn down several film projects. The fame that came with the show — lack of fan privacy and constant headlines about his relationship with Michele — drained him even further.
During the filming of the show’s fourth season, Monteith was cut from numerous episodes so he could go to rehab for his substance abuse, the documentary states. Four months later he was found lifeless in a hotel room in Vancouver, Canada and pronounced dead.
Nearly a year after his death, Michele began speaking publicly about her late partner, telling Seventeen, “I only I have fond memories of Cory.
“He wasn’t his addiction — sadly, it won out,” she said, “but that wasn’t who he was.”
“Cory made me feel like a queen every day,” she continued. “From the moment he said, ‘I’m your friend,’ I’ve loved every day and I thank him for being the best friend and making me feel so beautiful.”
In 2019, Michele married apparel entrepreneur Zandy Reich; In August 2020, they welcomed a son, Ever Leo. Their two-year-old suffered health problems earlier this year and was briefly hospitalized.
Times staffers Amy Kauffman, Christie D’Zurilla, Nardine Saad and Ashley Lee contributed to this report.