July 18, 2013 at 8:07 AM ET
The death of actor Cory Monteith Saturday was sudden and devastating for his friends, loved ones and co-workers. And as his fellow "Glee" star Jane Lynch demonstrated during her "Tonight Show with Jay Leno" appearance Wednesday night, she's still feeling raw about the loss of a true "bright light."
"Cory's one of the biggest hearts, was a real bright light," she told Leno and the audience, holding back tears and choking up while speaking about him. "He was one of those guys that ... you know, he knew he was breathing rarefied air ... the gifts that this wonderful show gave us."
She noted that he was "one of those adventurous types of people. I always admired how he would get up ... you know, he'd fly to Mexico, he'd throw parties for his friends. And I don't think he left one day unlived. And he was a real bright light in our family and we've lost a really great guy."
And speaking of flying around to make people's lives brighter, Lynch noted how Monteith "once flew across the country on his own nickel to meet with a sick kid who his last wish was to meet him. That's just the kind of guy he was. He was just a real giver."
Watch the full clip below.