Paul Drinkwater/NBC
Erin Strecker
July 18, 2013 AT 02:43 PM EDT

Gleeks: This is a tough one.

Jane Lynch stopped by The Tonight Show with Jay Leno last night, where the visibly upset actress weighed in on the death of Glee co-star Cory Monteith. “Cory’s one of the biggest hearts, was a real bright light,” she shared as her voice broke. “He was one of those guys that … he knew he was breathing rarefied air. The gifts that this wonderful show gave us. He was always aware that it was a gift and he was quite generous. He was one of those adventurous types of people. I always admired how he would get up… you know, he would fly to Mexico, he’d throw parties for his friends. I don’t think he left one day unlived. He was a real bright light in our family. We’ve lost a really great guy.”

When asked by Leno how she would like people to remember him, she replied, “He once flew across the country on his own nickel to meet with a sick kid whose last wish was to meet him. That’s the kind of guy he was. He was just a real giver.”

Watch below:

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