Ryan Dorsey and Glee Stars Honor Naya Rivera on Her Birthday

Mona Thomas
·2 min read

Ryan Dorsey and more mourn Naya Rivera on what would have been the Glee star's 34th birthday.

On Tuesday, Jan. 12, Dorsey and co-stars of the actress—who portrayed Santana on the award-winning series—took to their respective social media accounts to honor her memory.

The actress' ex-husband reflected on the bittersweet milestone, writing on his Instagram, "Just as surreal as it is real that you're gone. If that makes sense, but none of this still makes any sense...34..I could just hear you saying 'Ah, I'm old AF now!' Ha...Rest easy old lady."

Heather Morris, who portrayed Santana's girlfriend Brittany on the show, shared a black and white photo of herself with Naya on Instagram. In the caption, she wrote, "Happy Birthday my angel. I can't write a sappy monologue because it's just too hard...but I love you and I can't describe how much I miss you."

Chris Colfer also took to Instagram to share a photo of the singer on the set of Glee, in her classic Cheerios outfits. He wrote in the caption, "Happy birthday, babe. Miss you." Michelle Trachtenberg also commented, "Beautiful soul" along with the prayer hands emoji.

Naya Rivera: Life in Pictures

Kevin McHale paid tribute to Naya's wit and charm with his post, captioning a photo of the Glee cast, "No one else could get us to be this messy in public."

In his post, Harry Shum Jr. touched on Naya's love for acting, writing that he imagined she was "shinin' brighter than a star." He added, "We miss you."

As fans surely remember, on July 13, 2020, Naya's body was found at Lake Piru in California after a week-long search following her disappearance. On July 8, she rented a boat with her then 4-year-old son Josey Dorsey. The child was found unharmed and alone in the boat wearing a life jacket.

The Ventura County Sheriff's Department ruled her death a "tragic accident."

"We are confident, based on the circumstances, she was not a victim of foul play. There is no indication of this being an abduction or a homicide," Capt. Eric Buschow said to E! News at the time. "There is also nothing to indicate it was a suicide either."

The day after the confirmation, Naya's manager released a public statement to Deadline on behalf of the Rivera family. In it, they wrote, "We are so grateful for the outpouring of love and prayers for Naya, Josey and our family over the past week. While we grieve the loss of our beautiful legend, we are blessed to honor her everlasting legacy and magnetic spirit. Naya was an amazing talent, but was an even greater person, mother, daughter and sister."