After news broke that “Glee” star Naya Rivera‘s body had been recovered at Lake Piru on Monday afternoon, celebrities took to social media to pay their respects to the young actor.
Rivera, who was only 33, went boating in Ventura County, Calif., with her 4-year-old son, Josey, on July 8 and was determined to be missing when her son was found on their rented boat alone. After a five-day search and rescue operation, Rivera’s body was found and it was determined that she had drowned.
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“Our hearts go out to Naya Rivera’s family, especially her young child, in response to the tragic news of her passing,” Starz and Lionsgate, who picked up Rivera’s YouTube dance show “Step Up: High Water,” told Variety. “She was a vibrant and luminous talent who will always remain a very special part of our ‘Step Up’ family. Her remarkable contributions to our industry created a lasting memory that will be carried forward by everyone who had the privilege of knowing her.”
20th Century Fox TV and Fox Entertainment, the studios that produced “Glee,” also released a statement: “Naya Rivera was a fierce talent with so much more to do and this is such a terrible tragedy. We are forever grateful for the indelible contribution she made to ‘Glee,’ from the first episode to the last. Our hearts are broken and our thoughts go out to Naya’s family, friends and young son.”
Lea Michele, who portrayed Rachel Berry, posted three photos to her Instagram story: one of late “Glee” actor and boyfriend Cory Monteith, one of Rivera and another of several cast members on a beach. Monteith died on July 13, 2013, exactly seven years ago to the day that Rivera’s body was recovered.
Chris Colfer, who acted alongside Rivera on “Glee” as Kurt Hummel, shared a heartfelt message on his Instagram.
“How can you convey all your love and respect for someone in one post? How can you summarize a decade of friendship and laughter with words alone? If you were friends with Naya Rivera, you simply can’t,” Hummel wrote. “Her brilliance and humor were unmatched. Her beauty and talent were otherworldly. She spoke truth to power with poise and fearlessness. She could turn a bad day into a great day with a single remark. She inspired and uplifted people without even trying. Being close to her was both a badge of honor and a suit of armor. Naya was truly one of a kind, and she always will be.”
Jenna Ushkowitz, another one of Rivera’s “Glee” co-stars, posted a sweet picture on Instagram with the caption: “You shined on stage and screen and radiated with love behind closed doors. I was lucky enough to share so many laughs, martinis and secrets with you. I can not believe I took for granted that you’d always be here. Our friendship went in waves as life happens and we grow, so I will not look back and regret but know I love you and promise to help the legacy of your talent, humor, light and loyalty live on.”
Jane Lynch, who played cheer coach Sue Sylvester on “Glee,” tweeted: “Rest sweet, Naya. What a force you were. Love and peace to your family.”
Rest sweet, Naya. What a force you were. Love and peace to your family.
— Jane Lynch (@janemarielynch) July 13, 2020
Alex Newell, best known as Unique Adams on “Glee,” encouraged others to lift up Rivera’s family during this time. “My heart is sent to them… Josey you are truly loved by every single person who loves your mommy! I love you Naya!”
Now more than ever we must lift her family and friends up especially Josey! My heart is sent to them… Josey you are truly loved by every single person who loves your mommy! I love you Naya!
— Alex Newell (@thealexnewell) July 13, 2020
Josh Gad quote tweeted a photo of several “Glee” cast members and Rivera’s family, adding that he was “sick to my stomach.”
Pop singers Bebe Rexha and Becky G also shared their condolences, with Rexha reminiscing about a dinner she had with Rivera, saying, “I’m lucky enough to meet you up in heaven.”
This is an absolute nightmare. I had the pleasure of having dinner with her once after a recording session we did together and she was an absolute sweetheart. My heart goes out to her family and friends. I hope I’m lucky enough to meet you up in heaven. Rest In Peace Naya Rivera
— Bebe Rexha (@BebeRexha) July 13, 2020
Beautiful Naya Rivera, Rest In Peace. My thoughts and prayers are with your loved ones. You will be missed & never forgotten. ❤️
— Becky G. (@iambeckyg) July 13, 2020
See more reactions below:
It feels strange to cry and mourn the loss of someone you never knew. But I grew up watching Glee- and Naya Rivera was such a beautiful talent. My heart breaks for her son.
Hold on tight to your people right now, if you’re lucky enough to be near them 💔
— Lili Reinhart (@lilireinhart) July 13, 2020
I am deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Naya Rivera.
The talent and depth Naya brought to her characters inspired millions. As a Latina, it‘s rare to have rich, complex characters reflect us in media. Naya worked hard to give that gift to so many.
Que descanse en paz.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 13, 2020
Prayers for Naya Rivera's family. Man….can we have a "Do Over " of 2020. The loss is too much 💔💔🙏🏿 pic.twitter.com/63iNdRikv5
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) July 13, 2020
Naya Rivera was truly a light and showed us all how to be unapologetically ourselves. We send our most heartfelt condolences to her family, friends, and fans in this difficult time. Rest in peace, #NayaRivera pic.twitter.com/jmkJRFXMKs
— RuPaul's Drag Race (@RuPaulsDragRace) July 13, 2020
the reason songbird by fleetwood mac is one of my favorite songs ever is because of the glee soundtrack version. she transformed it. 🙏🏼 Rest Easy Naya Rivera
God cover and hold her loved ones!
— Kehlani (@Kehlani) July 13, 2020
I had the opportunity to work with the one and only #nayarivera. So much talent. Deeply saddened and touched. Please, let her have peace, Lord. 💔💔💔
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) July 13, 2020
RIP Naya Rivera…tragic story 😞 sending love to her family and to her little boy..so sad 😔
— RUSS (@russdiemon) July 13, 2020
Watching Naya Rivera cover our song on Glee will always be one of our favorite memories from our time as a band. She touched so many lives with her beautiful voice. Our hearts go out to her son & her family. Rest easy. 😔🖤
— Oh Honey (@Ohhoneymusic) July 13, 2020
Absolutely devastating news about Naya Rivera. Beautiful inside and out. You will be missed greatly. RIP Naya. Thoughts with all her friends and family at this awful time.
— Max George (@MaxGeorge) July 13, 2020
💔Rest In Heaven, Naya Rivera. Sending so much prayer, love and courage to her family. 🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/w54tci7pFx
— Holly Robinson Peete (@hollyrpeete) July 13, 2020
naya rivera. didn’t realize the impact u had on my life growing up, being the first poc, lgbtq character i saw on screen. i grew up listening to u sing, being inspired by the girl on glee who looks like me & is unapologetically herself. you changed so many lives. rest easy angel.
— Bryana Salaz (@bryanasalaz) July 13, 2020
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