"Glee" star Jane Lynch struggled to hold back tears during a "Tonight Show" appearance on Wednesday, telling Jay Leno that her co-star Cory Monteith, whose death over the weekend rattled fans of the Fox show, was a "real bright light in our family."
PHOTOS: Remembering Cory Monteith
"Cory's one of the biggest hearts, was a real bright light," she told Leno. "He was one of those guys that, you know, he knew he was breathing rarefied air… the gifts that this show, this wonderful show gave us."
Lynch choked up while talking about her "generous" and "adventurous" friend, who was found dead in a Vancouver hotel room on Saturday of a mixed drug toxicity involving heroin and alcohol, according to a coroner's report.
"I always admired how he would get up ... you know, he'd fly to Mexico, he'd throw parties for his friends," she said. "And I don't think he left one day unlived. He was a real bright light in our family and we've lost a really great guy."
Asked by Leno how she hoped Monteith would be remembered, Lynch recalled one of his selfless acts.
"He once flew across the country on his own nickel to meet with a sick kid who his last wish was to meet him. That's just the kind of guy he was. He was just a real giver."
According to a TMZ report, Monteith was cremated on Tuesday following a private viewing with the actor's family and girlfriend, "Glee" co-star Lea Michele. Plans for a funeral or memorial service have not been announced.