[BREAKING] Glee’s Naya Rivera Has Passed Away At 33
After announcing that they had found a body, the Ventura County Sheriff’s office has confirmed that the body found yesterday at Lake Piru, California, is Naya Rivera’s.
The news conference has concluded. Sheriff Ayub has confirmed the body recovered at Lake Piru today was Naya Rivera. Our hearts go out to her family, friends and fans during this difficult time. An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of her death.
— Ventura Co. Sheriff (@VENTURASHERIFF) July 13, 2020
Rivera had been missing for almost six days before her body was discovered. Rivera, 33, had rented a boat with her son, Josey, before heading out onto the water for a swim. However, just hours later, Josey was found alone on the boat. In the midst of the search, Robert Inglis of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Search & Rescue Team told Us Weekly that they had been going on clues from Rivera’s pictures sent to friends and family. Inglis said, “There was a picture sent to a family member that showed the boy on the boat by a cove. We found where that cove was.” He speculated that the boat had been pushed away from Rivera when strong winds blew, forcing her to swim after it. According to Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub during a news conference on Monday afternoon, Josey confirmed that the two of them had been swimming. When asked by a reporter why Rivera was able to get her son back on the boat but not herself, the sheriff said,
There are a lot of currents on the lake that appear particularly in the afternoon. We believe it was mid-afternoon when she disappeared, the idea being that perhaps the boat started drifting. It was unanchored. And she mustered enough energy to get her son back on the boat but not enough to save herself.”
Following the news, fans, celebrities and former costars alike have taken to social media to pay tribute to the actress.
“Naya Rivera was a fierce talent with so much more to do this is such a terrible tragedy. We are forever grateful for the indelible contribution she made to GLEE, from the first episode to the last." (1/2) pic.twitter.com/Enq77UmNly
— FOX (@FOXTV) July 13, 2020
Rest sweet, Naya. What a force you were. Love and peace to your family.
— Jane Lynch (@janemarielynch) July 13, 2020
Prayers for Naya Rivera's family. Man….can we have a "Do Over " of 2020. The loss is too much 💔💔🙏🏿 pic.twitter.com/63iNdRikv5
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) July 13, 2020
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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.
Now more than ever we must lift her family and friends up especially Josey! My heart is sent to them… Josey you are truly loved by every single person who loves your mommy! I love you Naya!
— Alex Newell (@thealexnewell) July 13, 2020
I'll never be able to articulate the importance of seeing Naya, a Black Puerto Rican, portraying a queer Afro-Latina on primetime TV. I'm heartbroken over all the stories that will remain untold. #RIPNayaRivera pic.twitter.com/UGq2rDwWay
— Steven Canals (@StevenCanals) July 13, 2020
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
— Bebe Rexha (@BebeRexha) July 13, 2020
the reason songbird by fleetwood mac is one of my favorite songs ever is because of the glee soundtrack version. she transformed it. 🙏🏼 Rest Easy Naya Rivera
God cover and hold her loved ones!
— Kehlani (@Kehlani) July 13, 2020
Fans and friends alike have taken note of the timing of when Rivera’s body was found as it’s the exact same day as when Cory Monteith, former ‘Glee’ main, overdosed back in 2013.
This photo of the cast of #Glee gathering together at Lake Piru today where #NayaRivera’s body was found is incredibly powerful — especially when you consider today is the 7 year anniversary of Cory Monteith’s death. I’m a mess. pic.twitter.com/RhY9hUb78E
— Dave Quinn (@NineDaves) July 13, 2020
Rivera began acting at the age of 4, appearing in series such as ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’, ‘Family Matters’, ‘The Bernie Mac Show’ and ‘CSI: Miami’. She rose to fame after becoming one of the main characters in ‘Glee’ and continued to appear in a total of 113 episodes. ‘Glee’ ran from 2009 to 2015 and celebrated it’s 10th-anniversary last year.
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I can't believe it's been 10 years! I'm so blessed to have been a part of such an amazing show. I've made lifelong friends, grew in my craft, and made some of the most beautiful memories because of Glee. I will always be grateful to @20thcenturyfox, @mrrpmurphy, @bradfalchuk, Dana Walden, and Gary Newman for believing in my talents and giving me the opportunity to share them with the world. I love all of our fans who are beyond amazing and saw a little piece of themselves in each one of the characters. Being a part of something special makes you special and Glee will always have a special place in my heart. #glee10thanniversary #santanalopez #glee
After ‘Glee’, Rivera made an appearance on ‘Devious Maids’ and Step Up: High Water. Rivera was born in Santa Clarita, California, on January 12, 1987, and is survived by her parents, Yolanda and George; a younger brother, a sister and her 4-year-old son, Josey. Rivera and actor Ryan Dorsey were married in 2014 and their son, Josey, was born in 2015. The pair have joint physical custody of Josey, with both being hands-on, doting parents to the young boy.
To Rivera, her son was her “greatest success, and I will never do any better than him.”
In her autobiography, “Sorry Not Sorry: Dreams, Mistakes, and Growing Up” Rivera talked about how motherhood changed her. She said,
Your life doesn’t have to be perfect for you to be proud. In fact, I think it’s the opposite: the more imperfect your life has been, the prouder you should be, because it means you’ve come that much further, and also probably had a lot more fun along the way.“
Our hearts and love go out to her family and friends during this difficult time.