Mark Salling
US actor Mark Salling pictured at the Entertainment Tonight Emmy Party in Los Angeles, California, in September 2011. Reuters

A former star of the hit musical TV show Glee has been found dead as he awaited sentencing on child pornography charges.

Mark Salling, who played the bad-boy Noah "Puck" Puckerman in the series was 35 years old. Salling had been scheduled for sentencing on 7 March after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography.

Salling's computer was found to contain over 50,000 images of child porn, prosecutors said.

Salling's lawyer has not confirmed the cause of Salling's death although TMZ reports that law enforcement believe it was suicide and that the actor's body was found near a baseball field in Sunland, where he lived - though an anonymous law enforcement official told the Associated Press that Salling was found hanging at his home and the death is being investigated as a suicide.

TMZ reported in October that Salling had self-harmed in his home, although his lawyer denied the story.

After a plea deal, he was expected to get a sentence of between four and seven years in prison.

Numerous people on social media came out to mourn Salling's death while many made comments that his actions did not warrant sympathy.

"What Mark Salling was guilty of was disgusting...but suicide is never something to be celebrated, under any circumstance," Twitter user Mandy Hale wrote. "I feel sick about his crimes against children but I also feel sick to see ppl gleefully touting his death."

Another user wrote that though they thought Salling deserved jail "perhaps even for the rest of his life... as a fan of Glee, it's still a shock to even see his name and the words 'suicide' and 'dead' in the same sentence."