Hollywood is mourning the loss of Glee star Naya Rivera, whose body was found on the morning of Monday, July 13 after the actress went missing in Lake Piru, in California, last week. The actress was first reported missing after her 4-year-old son was discovered alone on a boat on the evening of Wednesday, July 8.
Rivera is the third Glee cast member to die under tragic circumstances. Cory Monteith, who played Finn, died of a drug overdose in 2013 after a battle with addiction, and Mark Salling, who played Puck, died by suicide in 2018. Some of Rivera's former Glee cast members posted on Twitter and Instagram when the actress first went missing, hoping for her safe return. Now, many have made mournful posts about her unexpected passing.
Heather Morris, who played Rivera's on-screen love interest on Glee, posted a sweet picture of her and Naya's children playing together to commemorate her friend. "You are and always will be the strongest and most resilient human being I know, and I vowed to carry that with me as I continue to live my life," Morris wrote. "I have countless pictures of our babies playing, because we shared that kind of pride and joy. So I'm showing the world a photo of our little goof balls for you, because I know that meant more than anything and they remind me of you and I."
Chris Colfer wrote an incredibly touching note on Instagram accompanying a picture of himself and Rivera, with the caption, "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."
Jenna Ushkowitz also shared on Instagram, "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... 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."
Darren Criss tweeted a beautiful thread on Twitter about Naya's wonderful sense of humor, writing, "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... Rest in peace you wild, hilarious, beautiful angel."
Kevin McHale posted a similar thread in tribute to his friend, writing, "My Naya, my Snixxx, my Bee. I legitimately can not imagine this world without you. 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."
Dianna Agron, Harry Shum Jr., Amber Riley, Melissa Benoist, Jane Lynch, Demi Lovato, Josh Sussman, and Becca Tobin, among others also posted touching tributes to their friend and former castmate on social media.
Other cast members tweeted earlier in the week, before Rivera's body was found, speaking out against expectations of "performative" grief. "Show some respect. All our energy is going toward helping find Naya and praying for her safe return and for her family," Amber Riley wrote. "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."
"I cannot begin to understand what Naya's family must be feeling. I know the rest of us are completely shattered, but not without hope. Please respect her family & their privacy in this moment. Please refrain from judging those who don't show their pain on social media," Kevin McHale added.