Glee star Mark Salling died at age 35 in an apparent suicide Tuesday morning, just weeks before he was being sentenced for possession of child pornography.
His attorney, Michael Proctor, confirmed the news to People. “I can confirm that Mark Salling passed away early this morning. Mark was a gentle and loving person, a person of great creativity, who was doing his best to atone for some serious mistakes and errors of judgment,” Proctor said in a statement. “He is survived by his mother and father, and his brother. The Salling family appreciates the support they have been receiving and asks for their privacy to be respected.”
Salling, who portrayed Puck on Glee, pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography in October 2017 and was to be sentenced this March.
Shortly after news of his death broke, his former Glee peers took to social media to react.
Matthew Morrison shared a touching photo of himself with Salling and late Glee actor Cory Monteith, who died at age 31 in 2013 from "mixed drug toxicity" of heroin and alcohol. He captioned the with two angle-face emojis and a sad face emoji between them, which could be reflective of his center position in the photo. Glee actress Jenna Ushkowitz commented with a heart emoji.
Jane Lynch, also a Glee castmate, shared her reaction by retweeting the second statement made by producer Tim Davis: “Let me be clear. Having compassion for #MarkSalling in no way minimizes his crimes, nor does it minimize the pain and devastation of the victims of those crimes. I’m just saying stop adding to his family’s pain. This was their son. If you’re without sin, feel free to cast stones.”
He first wrote, “Today we lost another #Glee cast member.” And added, “Yes, he committed crimes against children. Yes, it’s horrific. But #MarkSalling was a broken man, no doubt an abuse victim himself. I loved Mark, and am sad when I consider the devastation of his parents. Please withhold your cruel comments."
Glee director Paris Barclay also reacted. “It’s a painful loss, again,” he wrote, alongside an image of Salling and Monteith. “Two young actors, lost too soon. #RIP #marksalling.”
Iqbal Theba, also a Glee castmate, tweeted, “Oh Mark," and later shared a photo of him with the cast at the 2010 SAG Awards.