Glee became an instant sensation as soon as it hit TV screens. But what happened to the cast off-screen became even more sensational (and some would argue sensationalized). Many of the cast members had personal demons, some of which contributed to their untimely death. Three cast members sang songs that potentially forecasted their death. Even crew members were affected by the tragedies of the Glee cast. So who has the “Glee Curse” affected…so far?
Corey Monteith played Finn, the jock who everyone loved on and off screen. Unfortunately, Corey had been struggling with addiction as young as 13. When his family gave him an ultimatum — get clean or go to jail — Corey moved to LA with a family friend who was also in recovery. Once there, he auditioned for Glee and got the part. On July 13, 2013, Corey was found dead of an overdose. In season 1, he sang the song Good Vibrations by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch and raps about being “drug-free” and being against drugs. Sadly ironic lyrics pertaining to his tragic end.
Assistant director Jim Fuller passed away in his sleep at the age of 41. The cause of death has never been released. In season 4, when Emma and Schue are planning their wedding, Jim Fuller’s name is on the guest list as a tribute to his legacy working on the show.
Nancy Motes was a production assistant on Glee. She was also the half-sister of Julia Roberts, which brought on some extreme self-destructive behavior. Allegedly, Nancy felt an unbelievable amount of pressure due to being half-sisters with one of the most beautiful and famous women in Hollywood. Nancy struggled with weight loss and addiction and was found dead on her bathroom floor with a suicide note to her mom and husband that blamed Julia for her depression.
Becca Tobin, who played Kitty Wilde, suffered a heartbreaking loss when her boyfriend Matt Bendik passed away “suddenly” at the age of 35. The cause of death was never released, but his family is concerned that it was a stress-induced heart attack
Mark Salling, who played Puck, was cursed with being a disgusting pedophile. He had over 50,000 images of child pornography in a “highly organized” system on his computer as well as a guide on how to rape little girls. He had a history of sexual assault allegations in addition to these findings. Salling plead guilty to the child pornography charges and hung himself at a little league field near his house before sentencing. In season 1, Puck sings Loser by Beck, and one of the lyrics is “he hung himself with a guitar string.” This death may not have as much to do with the curse as it does Mark’s pathological sexual deviance.
Naya played Santana Lopez, the bitchy cheerleader who fell in love with Brittany and changed the game for queer women everywhere. Her death was the most recent of the Glee cast tragedies. On July 13, 2020, on the 7th anniversary of Corey’s death, Naya’s body was found in a lake after going missing days prior. She and her son went out on a boat together, but the boat was later found with only her 4-year-old son on board. Based on his description of the event, Naya saved her son by getting him back on the boat after swimming in rough waters but couldn’t get herself back up. In season 5, on the episode that was a tribute to Corey, Naya sang If I Die Young, with the lyrics “sink me in the river at dawn.” An eerie foreshadowing of her cause of death and the connection to Corey’s death.