The sad confirmation of Naya Rivera’s death Monday was met with an outpouring of love for the actress.
The 33-year-old, who memorably played cheerleader Santana on Glee during its six-season run that ended in 2015, had been missing since July 8. That’s when Rivera and her 4-year-old son, Josey Dorsey, were seen renting a pontoon boat to go out on California’s Lake Piru. Josey was found a few hours later asleep in the boat alone. He said his mother had never returned.
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office had been searching the area since then, and Rivera’s former Glee co-star Heather Morris had even offered to put together her own search team. On Monday, officials said they found a body and later confirmed that they believe the body is Rivera.
Former co-stars of the actress, who later appeared in Lifetime’s Devious Maids and the YouTube Red series Step Up: High Water, were heartbroken. In fact, several Glee cast members gathered at the lake just ahead of the official news.
Many honored her on social media, too. Lea Michele shared throwback photos of Rivera and Glee cast member Cory Monteith, who died seven years ago on July 13, 2013.
Chris Colfer said of Rivera, “Her brilliance and humor were unmatched” and Kevin McHale posted several tributes to his “Bee,” while Jane Lynch called her “a force.” Others from the Fox show added their own tributes.
My Naya, my Snixxx, my Bee. I legitimately can not imagine this world without you. pic.twitter.com/qX9t1Uhx01— Kevin McHale (@druidDUDE) July 14, 2020
For having such tiny body, Naya had such a gigantic presence, a void that will now be felt by all of us - those of us who knew her personally and the millions of you who loved her through your TVs. I love you, Bee.— Kevin McHale (@druidDUDE) July 14, 2020
Rest sweet, Naya. What a force you were. Love and peace to your family.— Jane Lynch (@janemarielynch) July 13, 2020
Rivera’s loss was felt by many more famous former colleagues — she’d worked in the entertainment industry since she was a child — and those who were just straight-up fans. Among them were several queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race. Rivera served as a guest judge on an April 2017 episode of the reality show.
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— Kehlani (@Kehlani) July 13, 2020
God cover and hold her loved ones!
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
😪💔 I truly can’t even believe the news. This will always be a special memory for me. They only showed a minute, but we all got to ask her interview questions. She was so charismatic, sweet, funny and easy to talk to. My heart goes out to her friends and family😞this is so sad https://t.co/JKPvSb5owa— 👑 Farrah Moan (@farrahrized) July 13, 2020
RIP sweet naya— Ashley Benson (@AshBenzo) July 13, 2020
I'll never be able to articulate the importance of seeing Naya, a Black Puerto Rican, portraying a queer Afro-Latina on primetime TV. I'm heartbroken over all the stories that will remain untold. #RIPNayaRivera pic.twitter.com/UGq2rDwWay— Steven Canals (@StevenCanals) July 13, 2020
Heartbreaking. Rest in love Naya Rivera. As a mother to a 3 year old boy, I felt your love through the pictures and videos you shared. A bond like no other. My sincere condolences to her entire family and her friends and especially that sweet little boy. #nayariviera— 📎Lesley-Ann Brandt (@LesleyAnnBrandt) July 13, 2020
Nearer and nearer to numb....fighting to feel HOPE everyday. This year has been deeply disruptive and devastating. This news is crushing. My whole being cries out in prayer for her 4 year old child...Have mercy 💔💔💔💔https://t.co/LdomBE8umS— Aisha Hinds (@AishaHinds) July 13, 2020
Thank you for what you gave the world. I love you. pic.twitter.com/CFNmwgtSva— Kristin Chenoweth (@KChenoweth) July 13, 2020
i've only met her once. On camera during a very stressful time but I'm so heartbroken and upset thinking about her child alone on that boat knowing the inevitable news that comes today. Let's celebrate Naya and her life to lift her and her Family up.— Peppermint (@Peppermint247) July 13, 2020
Naya Rivera will be missed so much by so many. She was a friend of GLAAD and even hosted the GLAAD Media Awards twice. She was kind, gracious, and personally used her platforms and voice to tell LGBTQ youth that they are loved. Our hearts are with her loved ones.💔 pic.twitter.com/FBL2wy6PQm— GLAAD (@glaad) July 13, 2020
Sending much love and positive thoughts into the universe for Naya’s family!! RIP❤️🙏— Trinity The Twitch (@TrinityTheTuck) July 13, 2020
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