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Image / Editorial

‘Her brilliance and humour were unmatched’: Glee stars pay touching tribute to the late Naya Rivera

by Shayna Sappington
14th Jul 2020

Former co-stars showed their support for the late actress on social media, posting touching tributes in remembrance  

Tributes have continually poured in for Naya Rivera as former co-stars mourn her passing. 

Rivera, who was well known for her role as Santana Lopez in Glee, was officially confirmed dead yesterday evening.

The 33-year-old had been on holiday in Lake Piru, California, with her 4-year-old son, Josey, when she first went missing.

Authorities suspect that Rivera was swimming with her young son (who was wearing a life jacket) in the lake when their boat had begun to drift away. She managed to place her son safely on board but was unable to get aboard herself.

Glee stars show support

Rivera’s friends and family were shocked at the news and have shared touching tributes to the late actress.

Former Glee star Chris Golfer posted a photo of him and Rivera together, saying just how special she was and how deeply affected he is by her passing.


“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. 

“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. Sending all my love to her wonderful family and her beautiful son.”

Co-star Becca Tobin recalled the “legacy of kindness” that Rivera had left behind for her.


“Naya, one of the most beloved by the rest of the cast (and the entire world), showed me instant warmth and kindness. She invited me to parties and gatherings and was always there to give advice,” she said.

“She was a superstar who had nothing to gain from being kind to the new girl, but she was and that changed this new girl’s entire experience on that show. I will forever be grateful to that beautiful human. My heart goes out to her family and her sweet boy.”

Actress Jane Lynch also remembered Rivera. “Rest sweet, Naya,” she said. “What a force you were. Love and peace to your family.”

Singer Demi Lovato, who co-starred on the musical series, wrote of Rivera’s inspiration to young girls all over the world. 

“I’ll forever cherish the opportunity to play your girlfriend on Glee,” she wrote. 

“The character you played was groundbreaking for tons of closeted queer girls (like me at the time) and open queer girls, and your ambition and accomplishments were inspiring to Latina women all over the world. My heart goes out to your loved ones at this time.”

A tragic loss

Actors and friends that had known Rivera continue to show their love for the 33-year-old and her family.

They are heartbroken at the actress’s tragic passing and cherish memories of her warmth, kindness and outgoing spirit.

Feature image: Instagram/@nayarivera


Read more: Body found in search confirmed to be Glee actress Naya Rivera

Read more: Committee to meet today to discuss the effects of the pandemic on mental health

Read more: Actress Kelly Preston dies at 57 after two-year fight with breast cancer

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