The Glee Curse

January 14, 2021

It has been six months since the death of Naya Rivera. Rivera, 33, was an actress well-known for her role in the 2009 hit TV show Glee. Rivera was the third untimely death of Glee’s main cast members, causing some to believe in a “curse” around the show. Glee was a six season-long musical drama show on FOX from 2009-2015, where it followed the lives of students in William McKinley High School’s show choir. In an interview with Dianna Agron, who played the role of Quinn, she revealed, Glee was a gift to all of us. It gave us a family in this industry.” Other names some may recognize are Lea Michelle, Matthew Morrison, Darren Criss and Chris Colfer. So, take a look at the curse surrounding the show and the cast members that were before their time. 

Cory Monteith, who played the character of Finn, was the first death of the show’s members. He died by an accidental suicide of a drug overdose on July 13, 2013, at the age of 31. The cast and crew made a special episode for Monteith in season 5 titled “The Quarterback”. In an interview with Darren Criss, who played Blaine in the series, he commented, “… it’s only right that we start to try to smile again, try to laugh again, that’s something he would’ve wanted.” Mark Salling, known as the character Puck on the show, was the second to go. Salling died by suicide after he had a run-in with the law, resulting in jail time. He died on January 30, 2018, at the age of 35. 

Naya Rivera, who played the character, Santana, is the newest actor to pass away from the main cast. She died while on a trip to Lake Piru, California with her son. Her son, Josey, is reported to have survived thanks to Rivera by putting him back on the boat before she drowned. Rivera, at the age of 33, died on July 8, 2020. Her body was found, coincidentally on July 13, or the seventh anniversary of Cory Monteith’s death. Recently, her ex-husband, Ryan Dorsey, filed a wrongful death lawsuit. The suit blames local authorities and the managers of Lake Piru, saying that visitors were not warned of how dangerous it was to swim there. The lawsuit also says that the boats at the lake are not equipped with the needed supplies like an anchor, radio, life jackets and rope. Authorities have yet to comment on the lawsuit.


All these deaths that have plagued the show have given it grim conspiracies that there is a curse surrounding the show’s actors with three of them dying in their 30s. However, the show still has many people that love it. In an interview with junior Ava McEntaffer, she expressed, “People love Glee because it stays (mostly) relatable for high school students.” The show’s been viewed by over 25 million people and had a record-breaking 75 Billboard Hot 100 songs throughout the six-season run. Even though the show has been plagued with tragedy, the cast’s community always comes back stronger than ever. There is something to learn from that point of view.

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