The entertainment world is reeling after the death of actress Naya Rivera after a five-day search mission since her disappearance, which ended in heartbreak for friends and family.
Rivera and her son went swimming in Lake Piru on July 8. Her four-year-old boy was spotted alone on a rented boat and a witness alerted authorities. After five days of searching, her body was found on July 13. She died at 33.
An outpouring of grief came in from her ‘Glee’ family. Darren Criss wrote he was “gutted beyond description” over the loss of his co-star, who portrayed cheerleader Santana on the hit show.
“She was bold. She was outrageous. She was a LOT of fun. Naya made me laugh like no one else on that set,” wrote Criss.
“She played by her own rules and was in a class of her own. She had a brashness about her that I couldn’t help but be enchanted by. I also always loved her voice, and savored every chance I got to hear her sing. I think she had more talent than we would have ever been able to see,” he added.
Amber Riley posted a video of Rivera and her son on her Instagram page.
“My favorite duet partner. I love you. I miss you. I don’t have words right now, just lots of feelings. Rest in Peace Angel, and know that your family will never have to worry about anything,” she wrote.
Chris Colfer wrote an emotional post about a “decade of friendship” with Rivera.
“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?” he wrote. “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.”
“Rest sweet, Naya,” wrote Jane Lynch, who played a cheerleading coach on the show. “What a force you were.”
Cast mourns Cory Monteith, 7 years later
‘Glee’ actors were also mourning their co-star Cory Monteith on the anniversary of his death. Monteith died seven years to the date of the recovery of Rivera’s body, on July 13, 2013.
“I’m not religious by any means, but you’d be hard-pressed to convince me that Cory didn’t help find our girl today. These 2, in many ways, were the male and female versions of one another. So nice, cared deeply, were stupidly talented, the most fun, and really really good people,” wrote Kevin McHale.
McHale also added: “My Naya, my Snixxx, my Bee. I legitimately can’t 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 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.”
Though actress Lea Michele, who was engaged to the late Monteith, had a tumultuous relationship with Rivera, she paid tribute to both her former co-stars by posting never-before-seen snapshots on her Instagram. In one, Monteith is holding a bouquet of flowers, and in another, Rivera has her eyes downcast and a bow in her hair.
Tahj Mowry: ‘I have never stopped loving you’
Other celebrities also paid tribute, including actress Viola Davis, who offered prayers to Rivera’s family.
“Man, can we have a ‘Do Over’ of 2020. The loss is too much,” wrote Davis.
Bebe Rexha recalled going to the studio with Rivera, who had a passion for making msuic.
“This is an absolute nightmare. I had the pleasure of having dinner with her once after a recording session we did together and she was an absolute sweetheart. My heart goes out to her family and friends. I hope I’m lucky enough to meet you up in heaven. Rest In Peace Naya Rivera,” wrote Rexha.
Ex-boyfriend and actor Tahj Mowry shared his devastation in an emotional Instagram post, days before Rivera was found dead.
“My sweet Naya — to say that I am devastated would be an understatement. This is a nightmare” wrote Mowry.
“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.”