After she went missing last week following a tragic swimming accident, 33-year-old actress Naya Rivera was confirmed to have died yesterday after her body was recovered from California’s Lake Piru. The news has taken those who knew her by shock, and many of her former Glee co-stars and other colleagues from across the industry have shared their grief at Rivera’s loss on social media.
To begin with, Chris Colfer shared a moving eulogy to his co-star on his Instagram page. Along with a photo of the pair from several years ago, Colfer spoke of how much he valued her as a friend, person and performer in his caption. “Her brilliance and humor were unmatched. Her beauty and talent were otherworldly,” he wrote. “Naya was truly one of a kind, and she always will be.”
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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.
Jane Lynch took to Twitter as well to say “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 addressed his message to Naya’s young son Josey, who was on the lake with his mother when the accident that took her life occurred.
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
“I legitimately can not imagine this world without you,” said Kevin McHale.
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
Adam Lambert, who had a recurring role on Glee, also shared his condolences.
RIP Naya. pic.twitter.com/RG0T4NQYO2
— ADAM LAMBERT (@adamlambert) July 14, 2020
Rivera played LGBTQ icon Santana Lopez on all six seasons of the show and, in real life, was also a fierce ally to the community.
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
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
Other actors, musicians and performers who had either worked with Rivera on other projects or who simply admired her talent also took to social media to share their shock and sadness at her premature loss.
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 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
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
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
The Ventura County Sherriff’s office has confirmed that no foul play is suspected in the Glee actress’ death, nor is there any suspicion that it was a suicide. The current was particularly strong the day Rivera went swimming and it’s believed that contributed to her drowning. From conversations with her son, it’s been ascertained that she was able to boost the small child back onto the boat but was unable to return to it herself.
Rest in peace, Naya Rivera.