Fellow Glee cast members took to social media to honor Naya, who brought to life the character of Santana Lopez on the hit musical series.
Actress and singer Heather Morris, who played the role of Santana’s best friend-turned-love interest Britanny Pierce in Glee, said that even after a year since her passing, “it hasn’t gotten easier to write a caption.”
“You are the brightest star in my eyes Naya Rivera. I’m so grateful GOD [LAID] A HAND and brought us together as best friends, mom friends, scene partners, and everything in between,” she wrote on Instagram.
“Your legacy lives on in kindness and being ‘that sassy queen’ in my eyes. I love you forever, bebe girl,” she added.
Kevin McHale, who portrayed Artie Abrams, posted a photo of Naya with a caption that read: “I miss you. Every single day.”
Korean-American actress Jenna Ushkowitz, who played Tina Cohen-Chang in Glee, shared a photo of Naya performing on stage. “Always a light, always with us. My heart is with you and your family today. love you Nougs,” she wrote in the caption.
Actress and comedian Jane Lynch, who is behind cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester in the show, also honored Naya.
Matthew Morrison, who portrayed Will Schuester, posted a photo of Naya with a heart emoji.
Chris Colfer, who played Kurt Hummel, shared a black and white portrait of the 33-year-old actress.
Glee lead star Lea Michele, who played Rachel Berry, also shared a black-and-white photo of Naya performing in her Instagram stories.
On July 9, 2020, Naya Rivera was reported missing during a boat trip with her son Josey Hollis Dorsey on Lake Piru in Ventura County, California. Her son was found alone in the boat without his mother.
After a five-day search, state rescuers found Naya’s lifeless body.
According to a report by the Venture County Medical Examiner, Naya had attempted to call for help. No evidence suggested foul play or suicide.
Through the openly-lesbian character of Santana, Naya represented the LGBTQIA+ and the Latino community in the hit 2009 comedy musical Glee, which ran for six seasons and aired its final episode in 2015.
In July 2013, Canadian actor Cory Monteith, 31, who played Finn Hudson on the show, died of an overdose of alcohol and drugs.
Actor Mark Salling, who played Noah “Puck” Puckerman, 35, died of suicide in January 2018, shortly after he was sentenced to prison on child pornography charges. – with reports from Paolo Alejandrino/Rappler.com
Paolo Alejandrino is a Rappler intern.