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The World Remembers Naya Rivera

07-13-2020 by Brooke Sharland

  ( © Fox Image Collection via Getty Images)  


On July 13, 2020, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department recovered and identified the body of actress and performer Naya Rivera after six days of searching Lake Piru, in Fillmore, California, where she had rented a boat with her 4-year-old son on July 8. The announcement of her death falls 7 years to the day of the passing of close friend and fellow “Glee” co-star, Cory Monteith.




It’s not enough to just say that Naya Rivera was incredibly talented. She was all that and more. Best known for her role as Santana Lopez on “Glee”, Naya had an amazing voice, unmatchable ability to dance, and incredible comedic timing, wit, and charm. Along with being an actress, known not only for “Glee” but also “The Royal Family”, “Family Matters”, “The Bernie Mac Show”,Step Up: High Water, and more, Naya was also an author, singer, mother, sister, daughter, and friend.




With all that, she was also an incredible champion for the LGBTQ+ community, working with organizations such as GLAAD andThe Trevor Project through the years. Additionally, she often used her voice and platform to speak on many key topics and issues, such as Black Lives Matter, the significance of exercising your right to vote, the importance of having more diverse characters in television, and more.


Since the confirmation of Naya’s tragic passing, fellow “Glee” castmates, along with many other friends and fans of Naya, have taken to social media to share their thoughts, condolences, and memories.


Jane Lynch




Jenna Ushkowitz


There are no words and yet so many things I want to say, I don't believe I'll ever be able to articulate exactly what I feel but... Naya, you were a âš¡ï¸ force and everyone who got to be around you knew it and felt the light and joy you exuded when you walked into a room. 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. You are so loved. You deserved the world and we will make sure Josey and your family feel that everyday. I miss you already.

A post shared by Jenna Ushkowitz (@jennaushkowitz) on

Jul 13, 2020 at 3:40pm PDT


Kevin McHale


My Naya, my Snixxx, my Bee. I legitimately can not imagine this world without you. • 7 years ago today, she and I were together in London when we found out about Cory. We were so far away, but I was so thankful that we had each other. A week ago today we were talking about running away to Hawaii. This doesn’t make sense. And I know it probably never will. • She was so independent and strong and the idea of her not being here is something I cannot comprehend. She was the single most quick-witted person I’ve ever met, with a steel-trap memory that could recall the most forgettable conversations from a decade ago verbatim. The amount of times she would memorize all of those crazy monologues on Glee the morning of and would never ever mess up during the scene… I mean, she was clearly more talented than the rest of us. She was the most talented person I’ve ever known. There is nothing she couldn’t do and I’m furious we won’t get to see more. • I’m thankful for all the ways in which she made me a better person. She taught me how to advocate for myself and to speak up for the things and people that were important to me, always. I’m thankful for the times I grew an ab muscle from laughing so hard at something she said. I’m thankful she became like family. I’m thankful that my dad happened to have met her weeks before I did and when I got Glee, he told me to “look out for a girl named Naya because she seemed nice.” Well dad, she was nice and she became one of my favorite people ever. • If you were fortunate enough to have known her, you’ll know that her most natural talent of all was being a mother. The way that she loved her boy, it was truly Naya at her most peaceful. I’m thankful that Naya got that beautiful little boy got back on that boat. I’m thankful he will have a strong family around him to protect him and tell him about his incredible mom. I just hope more than anything that her family is given the space and time to come to terms with this. 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.

A post shared by Kevin McHale (@kevinmchale) on

Jul 13, 2020 at 4:52pm PDT


Chris Colfer


Becca Tobin


Naya was insanely talented, breathtakingly gorgeous, and one of the wittiest people I’ve ever met, but the legacy she left behind for me is her kindness. I joined the cast of Glee in the third season and as the newcomer, I was intimidated and terrified. The cast was already such a tight-knit group who had been working incredibly hard together for over three years to make it a hit show and I never expected any of them to have time for me. To my surprise, 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 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. â¤ï¸

A post shared by Becca Tobin (@becca) on

Jul 13, 2020 at 3:32pm PDT


Alex Newell


My heart is broken.. I truly had soo much fun filming this little segment... we both clearly didn’t wanna be there but made the most of it! Naya was truly a star.. one day as I was coming out of hair and make up I saw her sitting at base camp and she said “Alex... when you go on tour can you please say ‘everybody say heeeyy Ms. Newell’’ just for me!” I said absolutely we laughed and had a short little convo about life and music.. I’ll cherish that moment for ever!! I watched her preform with such power, brilliance, and honesty.. While being a light as a person! The love she had for her family and friends was always clear! She will truly be missed! Josey you are loved by all the people who love your mother! My thoughts and prayers are with her family! Rest Sweet Angel..

A post shared by Alex Newell (@thealexnewell) on

Jul 13, 2020 at 2:21pm PDT




Vanessa Lengies


Grieving together.

A post shared by VANESSA LENGIES (@littlelengies) on

Jul 13, 2020 at 1:05pm PDT


Michael Hitchcock




NeNe Leakes


Damian McGinty




Curt Mega



Dominic Tracy


Kristin Chenoweth




Tamera Mowry-Housley


Tia Mowry


My Naya! I became apart of your world through my brother @tahj_mowry. You guys used to hit the pavement auditioning together and booking jobs together. I’ve known your beautiful spirit since the age of 6. You quickly became family. Just some of my favorite memories- you helping my sister and myself look for a place to live when my parents kicked Tamera and I out of the house at 25. Us hitting L.A. night life together with @tahj_mowry and going to parities introducing me to the most wild drink I’ve ever had and you laughing at me because I couldn’t handle it. I will never forget asking you to shoot an episode of my cooking show Tia Mowry at Home and you saying yes without hesitation. Or us walking together to our cars on the paramount lot after a long hard day of work. We were both so stoked that we had television shows on the same lot. I love you. Your smile will always be the most beautiful smile. Rest my love. You are now a beautiful angel. ??

A post shared by TiaMowry (@tiamowry) on

Jul 13, 2020 at 2:33pm PDT


Tahj Mowry


My sweet Naya - to say that I am devastated would be an understatement. This is a nightmare. Everyday gets harder. However, I am holding onto hope that you will be found. ⣠⣠We grew up together. We became adults together. We experienced so many firsts together. You were my first experience with everything; love, intimacy, heartbreak. We broke each others hearts and then mended them back together...more than once. I will never not think of you. No woman has ever measured up what you gave me or how you made me feel. I’ve never liked to admit it but I have never stopped loving you. A part of me always wished for the day where God would bring us back together to be what we dreamt we could have been. ⣠⣠I pray deeply for the Rivera family and that God blankets them with strength, peace, and love right now. Mychal and Nickayla - you will always be like younger siblings to me and I love you dearly. I watched you two grow up into beautiful adults. George and Yolanda - whatever you need I am here for you. We are forever family and I love you. ⣠⣠I ask everyone reading this to please lift up, along with the entire Rivera family, Ryan and Josey in prayer and to respect what they are going through during this time. I pray that God showers the entire family with strength and peace that only He can give. ⣠⣠I still have faith. I still have hope. Let’s please all pray that she is found and brought home safely. ⣠⣠Naya, I miss you deeply. I wish I got the chance to tell you that once more but I’m believing I will get that chance. I know deep down you’ve always known how I felt. I look forward to the day where I can see your beautiful face once more and tell you everything I’ve wanted to say that I didn’t get the chance to say. I love you forever. I always have and I always will. ⣠⣠♥ï¸

A post shared by Tahj Mowry (@tahj_mowry) on

Jul 10, 2020 at 9:38pm PDT


Josh Sussman




Robert Ulrich




Viola Davis








Bebe Rexha




Yvette Nicole Brown




Josh Gad




Ashley Benson





Before Naya’s passing was confirmed by officials, many of her friends shared their hope of finding her on social media.


Heather Morris



A post shared by Heather Morris (@heatherrelizabethh) on

Jul 10, 2020 at 8:01am PDT


Amber Riley






Kevin McHale





Max Adler


Demi Lovato




As you can see, Naya was incredibly loved and cherished by so many. Her legacy will live on through her incredible work, and she will be honored by her friends, family, and fans forever. She was truly an incredible tour de force in all aspects of her life and career.


As Naya had said in the caption of her Instagram post just days before her passing, tomorrow isn’t promised. Please take this insane tragedy and use it as a reminder to treat each and every day as a blessing, and to hold those you love close to you always.


Our deepest thoughts and condolences to all of Naya’s friends, family, fans, and loved ones. Our heart goes out to you. To Naya, you will be so missed and you are so loved. Thank you for everything you’ve given to us throughout your years. Rest in paradise, and say hi to that Frankenteen Cory Monteith for us. I’m sure you’re sharing the biggest hug right now.