Cory Monteith. Photo by Frazer Harrison, Getty Images.
A controversy had bubbled up when it was announced that five stars would get special tributes at Sunday's Emmys, instead of just being included in one In Memoriam segment.
The grousing was over the inclusion of Glee star Cory Monteith, who died July 13 of an accidental overdose, at the expense of older stars with longer credit lists. Jack Klugman's son went so far as to blast the TV Academy on Saturday over his father's omission, telling the Associated Press it was "criminal" and that including Monteith amounted to "pandering" to a more youthful demographic.
But the grumbling was ignored, and Monteith was remembered in a moving segment by Glee's Jane Lynch, who spoke of TV shows becoming like families. "This summer on our show Glee we suffered a painful death in our family. "
She said, "From the first time you saw Cory, he had a star quality and 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 and 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 have loved him even more."
The tribute got thumbs up from at least one person. Katie Couric weighed in on Twitter, saying, "I think Jane Lynch did a really nice job. After the controversy about whether Cory should be included... it hit just the right notes #Emmys"
By Ann Oldenburg, USA Today
Gannett / USA Today