Naya Rivera, the Grammy-nominated singer and Glee actress, was pronounced dead on Monday at the age of 33. Her body was recovered in Lake Piru in Ventura Country, California on Monday, five days after she first went missing.
As The Daily Mail reports, a few Glee cast members, including Heather Morris, joined Rivera’s family at the lake early Monday morning. Together, they held hands on shore as they waited for confirmation of the identity of the body.
In the wake of her passing, several other colleagues have offered their thoughts and condolences. Jane Lynch, her longtime Glee co-star, tweeted: “Rest Sweet, Naya. What a force you were. Love and peace to your family.”
Darren Criss, who also worked with Rivera on Glee, tweeted: “She was bold. She was outrageous. She was a LOT of fun. Naya made me laugh like no one else on that set. I always said it while we were working together and I’ve maintained it ever since. Her playful, wicked sense of humor never ceased to bring a smile to my face.”
Other former cast members similarly followed suit, including Jenna Ushkowitz, who wrote a very emotional post on Instagram: “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. You shined on stage and screen and radiated with love behind closed doors.”
Chris Colfer echoed those sentiments, writing: “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.”
20th Century Fox TV and Fox Entertainment, who produced Glee, released a statement: “Naya Rivera was a fierce talent with so much more to do and 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. Our hearts are broken and our thoughts go out to Naya’s family, friends and young son.”
A number of other fellow colleagues and celebrities have also paid their respects to the young star and mother, including Viola Davis, Josh Gad, Kehlani, Kathy Griffin, Lea Michelle (via IG Stories), Kevin McHale, Alex Newell, Max Adler, Kitty Wilde, and many, many more. It’s an emotional roundup, which we’ve collected for you below.
Rest sweet, Naya. What a force you were. Love and peace to your family.
— Jane Lynch (@janemarielynch) July 13, 2020
She was bold. She was outrageous. She was a LOT of fun.
Naya made me laugh like no one else on that set. I always said it while we were working together and I’ve maintained it ever since. Her playful, wicked sense of humor never ceased to bring a smile to my face.
— Darren Criss (@DarrenCriss) July 14, 2020
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
“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
Sick to my stomach. RIP #nayarivera https://t.co/OYwWQMgCoh
— Josh Gad (@joshgad) 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
I had the opportunity to work with the one and only #nayarivera. So much talent. Deeply saddened and touched. Please, let her have peace, Lord. 💔💔💔
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) July 13, 2020
— Max Adler (@Mr_Max_Adler) July 13, 2020