Actor Salling dies weeks after child porn guilty plea
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Mark Salling, who played bad-boy Noah “Puck” Puckerman in the hit musical-comedy “Glee,” died of an apparent suicide Tuesday, weeks after pleading guilty to possessing child pornography. He was 35.
Salling pleaded guilty in December after authorities said a search of his computer and a thumb drive found more than 50,000 images of child porn. He was scheduled to be sentenced March 7, and prosecutors planned to ask a judge to send him to prison for four to seven years.
A law enforcement official not authorized to speak publicly said Salling was found hanging in a riverbed area in the Tujunga neighborhood of Los Angeles. Ed Winter, assistant chief investigator for the Los Angeles County coroner’s office, said the death is being investigated as a suicide.
Winter said Salling was pronounced dead at 9 a.m. Tuesday, six hours after police received a report that he was missing.
“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,” Salling’s attorney, Michael J. Proctor, said in an email to The Associated Press.
Proctor didn’t discuss the cause of death, but said the actor’s family appreciated the support it is receiving and asked that a request for privacy be respected.
The darkly handsome actor had appeared in only a handful of projects before his breakout role in “Glee,” the popular Fox TV series about students in a high school glee club and their circle of family and friends. It aired from 2009-15.
Earlier credits included 1996’s “Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering,” a 1999 guest role on the Chuck Norris series “Walker, Texas Ranger” and a part in the 2014 TV movie “Rocky Road.”
A singer-songwriter as well as actor, he released two albums: “Smoke Signals” in 2008 and “Pipe Dreams” in 2010.
Following “Pipe Dreams’,” release, Salling told The Associated Press he had been a singer-songwriter long before he became an actor.