Shocking news out of Hollywood today, as former Glee star Mark Salling has reportedly been found dead at the age of 35.
Though no official cause of death has been released as of this initial report, it’s believed that Salling took his own life.
According to TMZ, the actor’s body was found at the Los Angeles River near Sunland, the area where Salling lived.
In October 2016, Salling pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography following a shocking arrest the previous year.
His sentencing was scheduled for this March, and he was expected to serve 4-7 years in prison as a result of the plea deal.
Shortly before accepting the plea agreement, officials say Salling attempted suicide by cutting both of his wrists.
It appeared that he had intended to take his own life, though lawyers for the actor insisted that was not the case.
Salling’s fall from grace was a rapid one that led even members of his inner circle to distance themselves from the troubled star.
After being indicted on child porn charges in 2016, Salling was investigated for statutory rape, though that case was eventually thrown out.
Mark became a household name after he joined the ensemble cast of the massively successful Fox musical-comedy.
Prior to that, Salling starred in small-budget films such as The Graveyard and Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering.
On Glee, he quickly emerged as a fan favorite due to both his easy charm and memorable singing voice.
During his time on the show, he performed such classic songs as “Sweet Caroline” and “Only the Good Die Young.”
He also sang “The Lady Is a Tramp,” “Run Joey Run,” “Beth,” “Just Give Me a Reason,” and “Good Vibrations.”
Like many of his Glee co-stars, Salling attempted to capitalize on his TV fame by launching a music career.
In 2010, he released a rock/jazz album entitled Pipe Dreams, which was met with tepid reviews and middling sales.
While the hugely successful series on which he starred only came to an end in 2015, his life took a truly dark turn.
Salling is just one of several Glee stars whose life has been marred by tragedy and scandal in the years since the spotlight faded.
In 2013, actor Cory Monteith died of a drug overdose after struggling with opioid addiction for much of his adult life.
In November of 2017, Salling’s ex-girlfriend, former Glee actress Naya Rivera, was charged with domestic battery after allegedly attacking her husband in public.
Asked about the charges against Salling, Rivera responded that she was “not surprised” by the allegations.
Prosecutors say more than 50,000 explicit images of minors were found in Salling’s possession.
Sadly, many who were familiar with Salling’s history were equally unsurprised.
In 2013, while still at the height of his fame, Salling settled out of court after being accused of committing sexual battery by forcing a woman to have unprotected sex against her will.
His career survived that scandal, but the latest round of charges made Salling a pariah in Hollywood.
The actor, who played the role of Noah “Puck” Puckerman on Glee, refused to speak publicly about the charges.
Some believed that the plea deal would have left Salling with a relatively light sentence considering the gravity of the allegations, though clearly his life as he knew it was over.
He would have been required to register as a sex offender after being released from prison, and was unlikely to ever shed the reputation.
Judging by the reactions on social media, Mark Salling will not find forgiveness or absolution, even in death.
We’ll have further updates on this developing story as more information becomes available.