Former ‘Glee’ actor Mark Salling found dead of apparent suicide, weeks before child porn case sentencing


The body of former “Glee” star Mark Salling was found in a Los Angeles riverbed Tuesday morning, an apparent suicide according to a law enforcement source and his attorney.

The source, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the case, said investigators found identification on the body that indicated it was Salling. However, the coroner has yet to make an official identification.

A relative had made a call about Salling’s welfare, according to the law enforcement source.


Salling’s lawyer, Michael J. Proctor, confirmed that the 35-year-old performer died early Tuesday morning.

The death investigation began around 8:50 a.m. Tuesday, said LAPD Officer Mike Lopez, in the 11900 block of Big Tujunga Canyon Road.

No foul play was indicated, Lopez said.

The coroner’s office said identification of the body is pending the notification of next of kin. There were no further details provided.

In a plea agreement with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Salling agreed to plead guilty in October to one federal count of possession of child pornography stemming from an indictment filed last year.

The plea deal carried a sentence of four to seven years in prison and 20 years of supervised release.

Salling is best known for playing Noah “Puck” Puckerman on the show, which ended in 2015.

Salling’s attorney issued the following statement: “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 judgment. He is survived by his mother and father, and his brother. The Salling family appreciates the support they have been receiving and asks for their privacy to be respected.”


In his plea agreement, the actor admitted to downloading more than 50,000 images of child pornography and erotica — sexualized images of children — on his laptop and 4,000 other photos and 160 videos of child pornography on a thumb drive. The content was downloaded from at least April through December 2015, according to the indictment.

The trove was discovered after a woman Salling was involved with reported him to law enforcement. Salling had shown her his child pornography in the context of their sexual relationship, authorities said.

Salling also was to register permanently as a sex offender and agreed to a lifetime of supervision if released from federal custody. He was scheduled to be sentenced March 7.

Times staff writer Joseph Serna contributed to this report.

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11:35 a.m.: This article was updated with the fact that a relative had made a call about Salling’s welfare.

This article was originally published at 11 a.m.