Glee star Mark Salling found dead at 35 in apparent suicide

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 12: Actor Mark Salling arrives at the premiere of Fox Television's "Glee" at Paramount Studios on September 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Glee star Mark Salling has been found dead near his home in Los Angeles.

His death is being investigated as a suicide.

The 35-year-old actor, best known for playing Noah “Puck” Puckerman on Glee from 2009 to 2015, pleaded guilty last year to possessing child sex abuse images.

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 03:  Mark Salling arrives for a court appearance at United States Courthouse - Central District of California on June 3, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  Salling is turning himself in to federal authorities and is scheduled to be arraigned on two charges of child pornography.  (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)


He was expected to be handed between four and seven years in prison at his sentencing on March 7.

Salling was arrested in 2015 after police received a tip-off.

HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 13:  Actors Mark Salling and Heather Morris on stage at  The Paley Center For Media's 32nd Annual PALEYFEST LA - "Glee" at Dolby Theatre on March 13, 2015 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)


Prosecutors said that investigators ultimately found more than 50,000 child abuse images on his laptop and hard drive.

The actor entered into a plea deal in October, which allowed him to avoid a longer sentence of up to 20 years.

A law enforcement official said Salling’s body was found near a riverbed in Tujunga, Los Angeles, and is being investigated as a suicide, according to The Associated Press.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JUNE1: (L-R) Mark Salling and Dianna Agron of the TV show "Glee" perform during Glee Live! In Concert at Target Center on June 1, 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)


Photos from US media outlets suggest he was discovered near his home.

The late actor’s lawyer, Michael J Proctor, said in a statement: “I can confirm that Mark Salling passed away early this morning.

HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 13: Actress Amber Riley and actor Mark Salling on stage at The Paley Center For Media's 32nd Annual PALEYFEST LA - "Glee" at Dolby Theatre on March 13, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)


“Mark was a gentle and loving person, a person of great creativity, who was doing his best to atone for some serious mistakes and errors of judgement.”

Proctor added: “He is survived by his mother and father, and his brother.

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 07:  (L-R) Actors Mark Salling, Jenna Ushkowitz and Cory Monteith give an interview as the cast of "Glee" signs copies of "Glee: The Music Vol. 1" at Barnes & Noble bookstore at The Grove on November 7, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Getty Images for Columbia Records)


“The Salling family appreciates the support they have been receiving and asks for their privacy to be respected.”

Actor Matthew Morrison has reacted to the death on Instagram, posting a picture of him between Glee co-stars Salling and Cory Monteith, who died aged 31 in 2013 after ingesting heroin and alcohol.

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Morrison, who played teacher Will Schuester on the show, captioned the picture: ” “.

Actor Jane Lynch, who has long been an LGBT icon, told TMZ that Salling’s death was “sad and very tragic”.

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 09:  (L-R) Actress Jane Lynch, actor Mark Salling, and actress Dianna Agron attend the celebration of Glee's Golden Globe nominations with InStyle and 20th Century Fox held at Sunset Tower on January 9, 2010 in West Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for InStyle)


Lynch, who played Sue Sylvester on Glee, added that she would remember him from his time on the show.