Jane Lynch, Chris Colfer & More ‘Glee’ Cast Members Mourn Death Of Naya Rivera: See Tributes

It’s incredibly shocking to say that yet another young star of ‘Glee’ is no longer with us, and no one is feeling the pain of losing Naya Rivera quite like her co-stars from the hit FOX series.

In news that shook the Glee-loving world, Naya Rivera, who played the fiery yet lovable Santana for the entire six-season run of the show, was found dead on July 13, five days after she went missing, following a day of boating with her young son, Josey, 4, in Lake Piru on July 8. After days of searching for her body, a law enforcement source confirmed to HollywoodLife, on Monday afternoon, that the actress died.

The Ventura County Sheriff, the office that has been conducting the search, also confirmed that they are “confident” that the body found was Naya’s “based on the location, physical characteristics, clothing and the physical condition of the body, as well the absence of any other missing persons,” at a press conference later in the day.They said the body was found at the NE portion of the lake, on the surface of the water, and confirmed that the area is 35-60 ft deep with heavy brush and trees on the lake bed. They believe the area was the same area she was swimming in before she went missing.

They went on to confirm that the body will be taken to the Ventura Medical Examiner, where an autopsy and a positive identification will be made through dental records.

During the press conference, 20th Century FOX Television & FOX Entertainment, the network that Glee was on, released a statement about Naya’s death.

Within minutes of the news that her body was found, Naya’s Glee co-stars sent sorrowful messages out to fans and shared their immense grief over her tragic passing.

Jane Lynch

The first to share their sorrow was Jane Lynch, who played Sue Sylvester, Santana’s cheerleading coach on the show. “Rest sweet, Naya. What a force you were. Love and peace to your family,” her heartbreaking tweet read.

Josh Sussman

Following Jane’s tweet, Josh Sussman took to Twitter to share his feelings. Josh, who played Santana’s classmate Jacob on the hit series, wrote, “Naya, you will be missed so much.”

Max Adler

Max Adler, who played Blaine’s (Darren Criss) short-lived love interest Dave Karofsky, also took to Twitter to respond to Naya’s death and said, “Hey, July 13th….,” followed by the middle finger emoji.

Chris Colfer

Chris Colfer shared an Instagram photo with Naya and a long touching message about the actress. “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?” it began. “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,” he continued. “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.”

NeNe Leakes

NeNe Leakes, who played Roz Washington on Glee took to Instagram to share a series of pics with Naya and a heartfelt message. “I was praying for a miracle! I wanted you to come home to your baby so bad,” she wrote. “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🙏🏾ripnayarivera #lifeisshort #bigsis”

Becca Tobin

Becca Tobin also shared a touching post that included a smiling photo of her and Naya on the Glee set along with a caption expressing her sorrow. “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,” she wrote. “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,” she continued. “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. ❤️”

Adam Lambert

Adam Lambert who appeared as a long-term guest star on Glee, also shared tribute posts. “RIP Naya,” Adam wrote alongside a pic of him and her singing.

Demi Lovato 

Demi Lovato, who played the love interest to Naya’s Glee character Santana, shared her tribute on Instagram. “RIP Naya Rivera. I’ll forever cherish the opportunity to play your girlfriend on Glee, Demi’s post read. “The character you played was groundbreaking for tons of closeted queer girls (like me at the time) and open queer girls, and your ambition and accomplishments were inspiring to Latina women all over the world. My heart goes out to your loved ones at this time.. ❤️🕊”

Kevin McHale

Kevin McHale shared an emotional lengthy post about his friendship with Naya and how devastated he is. “My Naya, my Snixxx, my Bee. I legitimately can not imagine this world without you,” he wrote. “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,” he continued. “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 & would never 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 & I’m furious we won’t get to see more.”

“I’m thankful she became like family. I’m thankful that my dad happened to have met her years before I did and when I got Glee, he told me to ‘look out for a girl named Naya because she seemed nice’,” he further wrote. “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.”

Jenna Ushkowitz posted a black and white smiling pic of her and Naya and her own loving message. “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 ⚡️ 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,” the message read. “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,” she continued. “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.”

Amber Riley

Less than 24 hours before Naya’s body was found, Glee star Amber Riley took to Twitter to clap back at haters who were criticizing her and her co-stars for primarily staying quiet on social media, following Naya’s disappearance. On July 12, she wrote, “Show some respect. All our energy is going toward helping find Naya and praying for her safe return and for her family. No one owes anyone online a performance of grief. This is very real and devastating. Focus on Naya and her family. Not us. We don’t matter right now.”

Meanwhile, Heather Morris joined the search for Naya and was seemingly present when her co-star’s body was found.

Tragedy is no stranger to Glee. Naya is the third cast member to die unexpectedly since the show debuted on Fox in 2009. Naya’s death actually falls just a few days before the anniversary of the death of her co-star, Cory Monteith, who died on July 13, 2013 of an overdose while the show was still on the air. Five years later, Mark Salling, who played Puck, killed himself on January 30, 2018, after pleading guilty to  possession of child pornography.

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