Former Glee star Mark Salling has died. The 35-year-old actor who was best known for playing the character of Noah “Puck” Puckerman on the show reportedly committed suicide in the wake of his child pornography scandal.
According to a January 30 report by Us Weekly Magazine, Mark Salling’s suicide has shocked fans of the show, as well as those who worked alongside him on Glee. Many members of the cast and crew have taken to social media to speak out about Salling’s sad death, as well as his recent issues and struggles.
Matthew Morrison, who played Mr. Shue on Glee, shared a photo on Instagram of himself with Mark Salling as well as the late Cory Monteith, who played Finn Hudson on the series. Monteith tragically died of a drug overdose in 2013 while the show was still in production. Actress Jenna Ushkowitz, who portrayed the character of Tina on the show, commented on Morrison’s photograph using a heart emoji.
Meanwhile, Glee producer Tim Davis posted a long Twitter tribute to Mark Salling after the news of his shocking suicide hit the internet. Davis called Salling a “broken man” and believed him to be a “victim of abuse himself.” The producer went on to say he loved Mark and that he feels very deeply for the way Salling’s parents and other family members must be taking the devastating loss.
In addition to Tim Davis’ first statement, he made another about why it was okay to feel sympathy for Mark Salling even though he had committed “horrific” crimes against children. Davis asked for online critics to “stop adding to his family’s pain.” The statement was retweeted by Mark’s Glee co-star Jane Lynch, who played Sue Sylvester on the musical comedy series.
“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 skin, feel free to cast stones.”
Glee director Paris Barclay reacted to the news via Twitter as well, calling the loss “painful” and revealing that both Mark Salling and Cory Monteith were gone far “too soon,” while actor Iqbal Theba, who portrayed Principal Figgins on the series simply wrote “Oh Mark” via his social media account.
Mark Salling’s body was reportedly found hanging from a tree near his home. Salling’s lawyer made a statement revealing that the actor was “doing his best to atone” for the “serious mistakes” of his past. Before his death, Mark pleaded guilty to the child pornography charges against him, taking a plea deal that would have likely reduced his sentence from 20 years in prison to four to seven years.