Earlier this week, news broke out that Naya Riviera was reported missing in Lake Piru, while she was out on a boating trip with her four-year-old son, Josey. Authorities continued an exhaustive search of the area, and on July 13, her body was found.
The actress’s death comes on the seven-year-anniversary of the death of fellow Glee cast member Cory Monteith, who passed away from a drug overdose in 2013.
Best known for her role as Santana Lopez on the Fox series “Glee,” which won critical acclaim after its debut in 2009, Riviera appeared in nearly every episode of the musical comedy drama until its end in 2015.
Fellow cast members and people within the entertainment community have stepped up to pay tribute to the 33-year-old Latina actress, whose character's relationship with fellow cheerleader Britanny soon led to her becoming known as an icon for the LGBTQ+ community.
“Had the honor of dressing Naya a few times and she even attended one of my shows. Naya was such a beautiful light, so lovely and chic. She will forever be missed. Sending love to her family."
“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."
"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.
I was lucky enough to share so many laughs, martinis and secrets with you. 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."
Rivera was also on the CBS sitcom "The Royal Family" and comedy film "The Master of Disguise." She also recently starred in the "Step Up" television series.