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Glee's Lauren Potter on Monteith, Hollywood
Lauren Potter’s bubbly and optimistic personality was hidden behind a wall of solemnity as she spoke about Cory Monteith’s death at a conference on July 19th.
Potter, who has Down syndrome, plays Becky Jackson on “Glee,” her first major acting job and one that brought her close to her co-star, who died of a heroin and alcohol overdose.
Potter said Monteith was always there for her and never failed to make her day. She enjoyed spending time on set with him, accompanying him to parties and watching videos at his house.
“Right now I want to pray for my best friend and my co-worker, who played as Finn Hudson on “Glee,” Potter said after giving a speech at the 24th Annual Best Buddies Leadership Conference.
“[We] had a lot of fun together,” Potter said, nervously rubbing her arms. “He was nice and charming. He’s my inspiration.”
Potter was so distraught when she first learned about her friend’s passing that she couldn’t eat or sleep.
She posted a picture to Twitter on July 14th, just one day after Monteith was found dead in a Vancouver hotel, of the two hanging out on set.
“Cory was always so nice to me,” The accompanying text read. “I have so many good memories.”
Potter has been passionate about acting since she was a mere toddler. She completed drama classes at Poly High School and starred in the 2007 film “Mr. Blue Sky.”
Potter auditioned for the role of Becky in 2009 after Hearts and Hands, a talent agency linked to the Down Syndrome Association told her about the position.
Becky was the perfect character for Potter to play. Potter wanted to be a cheerleader in high school but didn’t make the team. Becky allows Potter to be a part of William McKinley High’s Cheerio squad, “Glee’s” fictional cheerleading team.
Potter hopes her presence in Hollywood will help society become more accepting of those with disabilities.
She’s created public service announcements with Jane Lynch, who plays Sue Slyvester on “Glee,” to help end the use of the “R” word. She also works with Best Buddies, a non-profit organization creating friends between people with and without disabilities.
“I have tons of fans that watch “Glee,” Potter said proudly. “I hope they watch the show and think I want to be like Lauren. She never kills or hurts dreams.”