Jane Lynch: How Monteith should be remembered

By Breeanna Hare, CNN

(CNN) — One by one, the cast members of “Glee” are coming to terms with the loss of their colleague and friend, Cory Monteith.

Naya Rivera and Dianna Agron have opened up publicly about how they considered Monteith not only a friend but a family member, and it sounds like Jane Lynch would say the same.

The newly single actress told “The Tonight Show’s” Jay Leno on Wednesday that her late co-star had “the biggest heart,” and that she always admired his spirit of adventure.

“[He] was a real bright light. He’s one of those guys that, he knew he was breathing rarefied air,” Lynch said. “He was one of those guys, he was always aware that it was a gift. He was quite generous, and one of those adventurous types of people.”

Lynch remembered how Monteith would fly to Mexico on a whim, and throw a party for a pal in a heartbeat.

“I don’t think he left one day unlived. He was a real bright light in our family,” Lynch said. “We’ve lost a really great guy.”

Monteith was found dead in a hotel room in Vancouver, Canada, on July 13. A coroner later found that the 31-year-old, who had struggled with substance abuse issues, died of a mixed drug toxicity involving heroin and alcohol.

The star’s battled with substance abuse was channeled into his last role in a crime drama called “McCanick,” but his last known video, taped on the plane to Vancouver for a fan, showed Monteith encouraging the “Gleek” to “stay out of trouble and stay in school.”

According to the Global News, Monteith recorded the impromptu clip at the request of a flight attendant, whose boyfriend’s daughter enjoys “Glee.”

That sort of affable openness was common, Lynch said Wednesday.

“He once flew across the country on his own nickel to meet with a sick kid whose last wish was to meet him,” she said of Monteith. “That’s the kind of guy he was. Just a real giver.”