Saturday, May 28, 2022

‘Glee’ Stars Pay Tribute to Naya Rivera: ‘What A Force You Were’

Naya Rivera (Getty)
Naya Rivera (Getty)

*Friends and former co-stars of “Glee” star Naya Rivera have taken to social media to express their condolences after authorities recovered her body in a California lake on Monday.

The actress was confirmed dead five days after she disappeared during a boat outing with her young son. The discovery of her body came seven years to the day that her former “Glee” co-star Cory Monteith died from an alleged drug overdose. 

Rivera, 33, went missing on July 8 while swimming in Lake Piru in Ventura, Calif. Her son reportedly told investigators that she jumped into the water, but did not come out. 

Sheriff Deputy Chris Dyer also confirmed that there were “no signs of foul play” and “no signs of anything that went wrong besides a tragic accident.” 

Below are some of the tributes that began pouring in as soon as authorities confirmed the discovery of her body. 

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Chris Colfer: “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: “Rest sweet, Naya. What a force you were. Love and peace to your family.” 

Kristin Chenoweth: “Thank you for what you gave the world. I love you.”

NeNe Leakes: “I was praying for a miracle! I wanted you to come home to your baby so bad. This hurts! I will hold the memories close to my heart and remember the good times, the laughs and the way we would cut up on set. Those were fun times! Please pray for Naya’s family.”

Tamera Mowry-Housley: “Can’t believe I’m writing this. My heart. So many emotions. So many memories. My mind did not want to accept this. My sweet Naya. I love you. Will always love you. I’ll never forget your sweet smile, your amazing voice, and your warmth and love that has always welcomed me. I knew as early as 9 years old you were going to grace us with so much talent and so much beauty. I’m so grateful to have been blessed with your presence for over 20 years. You took my breath away and always will. Another angel has gained her wings. My heart goes out to the Rivera family.”

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.” 

Ross Mathews: “I only got to meet #NayaRivera a few times, but each time she looked me right in the eye, was fully present and laughed whole-heartedly. I adored her. I’m heartbroken for her family. Let’s all send them love.” 

Authorities “utilized dozens of personnel: watercraft, helicopters, with unmanned aerial systems, and on the shore, conducting a methodical and comprehensive search,” for Rivera’s body, said Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub during a press conference on Monday. 

“Naya’s son was later found asleep on the boat, which was adrift in a northern portion of the lake known as ‘The Narrows’ … when a leasing agent searched for the watercraft, which was overdue with return. The young boy was wearing a life vest when he was found, and he was wrapped in a towel,” Ayub said.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

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