Naya Rivera remembered by 'Glee' cast, Hollywood stars as her tragic death is confirmed: 'Her brilliance and humor were unmatched'


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.

Naya Rivera was 33. (Photo: Instagram)
Naya Rivera was 33. (Photo: Instagram)
Lea Michele shared this photo of the "Glee" cast. (Photo: Instagram)
Lea Michele shared this photo of the "Glee" cast. (Photo: Instagram)

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.

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.

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