Is the Cast of 'Glee' Cursed? Many Calamities Have Befallen the Actors

Amber Garrett - Author

Jul. 13 2023, Updated 12:51 p.m. ET

(l-r): 'Glee' stars Corey Monteith and Naya Rivera
Source: getty images

The FOX show Glee, which ran from 2009 to 2015, jumpstarted the careers of actors like Lea Michele, Emmy-winner Darren Criss, and Supergirl star Melissa Benoist.

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But the Ryan Murphy show's cast has befallen a number of tragedies and scandals during the end of its run and since it went off the air. Here is every event that has fans seriously wondering if Glee is cursed.

The death of Cory Monteith.

Corey Monteith at the 'Glee 3D' premiere
Source: Getty Images

The "curse" upon the Glee cast began with the death of Cory Monteith, who played Finn Hudson. On July 13, 2013, he was found dead of an apparent drug overdose in Vancouver's Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel. He was 31. Toxicology reports found a lethal mixture of alcohol, heroin, codeine, and morphine in his blood.

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After years of sobriety following substance abuse issues in his teens, Corey relapsed and sought treatment in March of 2013 after an on-set intervention. He was written out of the last two episodes of Season 4 to allow him to complete treatment.

The 'Glee' cast filming "The Quarterback" in 2013.
Source: FOX

The fifth season was delayed to allow the cast, including then-girlfriend Lea Michele, to process the loss, and the third episode of that season, "The Quarterback" dealt with the death of his character, Finn, and was dedicated to Cory's memory.

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Since his passing, Corey's former co-stars have kept his memory alive on social media. On July 13, 2023, on the 10th anniversary of the actor’s death, Lea Michele posted a touching tribute on Instagram, reflecting on how his loss affected her and everyone who knew him.

“Hey you,” Lea captioned beside a black and white photo of her and Corey. “10 years. It feels like only yesterday that you were here and yet a million years ago, all at the same time. I hold all of our memories in my heart where they will stay safe and never forgotten.”

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The Funny Girl star continued saying she and Corey’s other loved ones “miss you every day” and said his positive “light” was unforgettable. Lea also said she hoped Corey’s spirit is playing music with one of his favorite drummers, Taylor Hawkins of the Foo Fighters, who passed away in March 2022.

“We miss you every day and will never forget the light you to brought to us all,” Lea added. “Miss you, big guy. I hope you found Taylor up there and are playing the drums together. 🤍”

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The drowning of Naya Rivera on Lake Piru.

Naya and her son in 2019.
Source: Getty Images

On Wednesday, July 8, 2020, authorities in Ventura County, Calif. confirmed Naya Rivera was missing after a pontoon boat she rented was found floating in the middle of Lake Piru. Josey Dorsey, Naya's 4-year-old son with ex-husband Ryan Dorsey, was asleep aboard, unharmed. Josey told authorities his mom had gone for a swim and then found herself unable to re-board the vessel. While her son was wearing a life vest, Naya's vest was on board.

Search efforts continued for several days, with the search and rescue effort re-classified to a recovery mission as it became more apparent Naya had not survived. On July 13, 2020, authorities confirmed they had found and identified Naya's body in Lake Piru. In a sad coincidence, the date officials discovered Naya’s body was also the seventh anniversary of Cory Monteith's death.

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Melissa Benoist's domestic violence claims.

melissa benoist blake jenner
Source: Getty

While Melissa Benoit, who played Marley Rose on Glee, did not name the former partner who physically and emotionally abused her, a timeline of her relationship with ex-husband and Glee co-star Blake Jenner makes it seem likely Blake (Ryder Lynn) was the romantic partner in question. Benoist's emotional Instagram Live video detailed years of abuse, the most severe incident occurring when her assailant threw a phone at her, hitting her in the eye.

"The impact tore my iris, nearly ruptured my eyeball, lacerated my skin and broke my nose. My left eye swelled shut, I had a fat lip, blood was coursing down my face and I can remember immediately screaming at the top of my lungs," she said. 

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In a 2016 appearance on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, Melissa attributed that injury to a clumsy accident, a tactic many abuse survivors use to protect their abusers or out of misguided shame over their situation.

The suicide of Mark Salling amid child pornography charges.

mark salling
Source: getty images

Salling in 2010 (L) and at a 2016 court appearance (R)

On Jan. 30, 2018, Mark Salling, who played Noah "Puck" Puckerman, was found dead from an apparent suicide by hanging at 35. Mark was scheduled for sentencing the following March after pleading guilty in 2017 to charges of possession of child pornography, which would have been punishable with 4-7 years in prison and lifetime requirements to register as a sex offender.

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