Life wasn't always a soaring musical number for Glee's Cory Monteith.
Now 29, the Victoria, British Columbia native was a child of divorce who began cutting school to get drunk and smoke pot at the age of 13. He finally dropped out of school at the age of 16, and hit the drugs harder than ever, he tells Parade.
Monteith said he reached rock bottom -- and a turning point -- when he "stole a significant amount of money from a family member," he explains. "I knew I was going to get caught, but I was so desperate I didn't care. It was a cry for help. I was confronted and I said, 'Yeah, it was me.' It was the first honorable, truthful thing that had come out of my mouth in years."
The future star was given an ultimatum: Get clean and sober or be turned over to the police.
"I don't want kids to think it's okay to drop out of school and get high, and they'll be famous actors, too," cautions Monteith, who finally received his high school diploma from an alternative school in Victoria this past spring. "But for those people who might give up: Get real about what you want and go after it. If I can, anyone can."