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July 15th, 2013
06:03 AM ET

Remembering Cory Monteith – Nick Valencia reports

Hollywood this morning is remembering Cory Monteith, a TV star whose bright career was suddenly cut short when he was found dead in a downtown Vancouver hotel room.

CNN's Nick Valencia has more on that tragic news.

“News of the death of 31-year-old ‘Glee’ actor Corey Monteith stunned his closest friends,” Valencia says. “His cause of death was not immediately clear, but at a press conference late Saturday, police ruled out foul play.”

Skyrocketing to fame in 2009 as the lovable, heartthrob quarterback on the hit FOX TV series, Monteith was just beginning to find success, but his troubles have long followed him.

“Since he was 13-year-old, Monteith openly said he battled with his sobriety,” Valencia reports.

“It was just four months ago when the Canadian actor voluntarily checked himself into a rehab facility. His friends and girlfriend were encouraged by his steps to stay clean.”

His friend Adam Shankman spoke on the phone to Monteith just hours before his death.

Shankman shares that Monteith even said, "I'm feeling fantastic again." Shankman explains, "He was obviously referring to that moment he had this year with going to rehab. So I'm like everybody else really devastated and confused by what happened."

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June 20th, 2013
06:26 AM ET

Remembering James Gandolfini – Nischelle Turner reports

CNN is remembering James Gandolfini this morning. The 51-year-old actor died in Italy of an apparent heart attack yesterday, though the official cause is yet unknown. He was on holiday with his teenage son.

The shock struck many from his HBO family of the creators and co-stars of “The Sopranos” to his fans and the residents of New Jersey. Nischelle Turner has been watching the reaction to the death of the man best known as Tony Soprano, and the tributes continue to flow in.

“He may have enjoyed global fame but he never strayed far from home, New Jersey," Turner says.

"He was a great actor and he definitely put New Jersey in the map, all positive,” one fan said. “He just made Jersey better than it already is."

One of his best-known fans, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie released a statement saying, "It's an awful shock. James Gandolfini was a fine actor, a Rutgers alum and a true Jersey guy. I was a huge fan of his and the character he played so authentically, Tony Soprano."

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Filed under: Celebrity • Hollywood • Obit