Naya Rivera Dead at 33: Look Back at the Glee Star's Sweet Photos With Son Josey

To look back at Naya Rivera's sweet photos with her son Josey, see the gallery below.

By Elyse Dupre Jul 14, 2020 3:30 AMTags
Watch: Naya Rivera Dead at Age 33

Fans are mourning the death of Naya Rivera.

The Glee actress has died at the age of 33. Rivera's body was recovered five days after she went missing while boating with her 4-year-old son on Lake Piru in Southern California. 

Authorities have said they do not suspect foul play as a factor in Rivera's death, instead suggesting that she drowned while swimming with Josey Dorsey. During Monday's press conference, Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub said in an interview with investigators "her son described being helped into the boat by Naya, who boosted him on to the deck from behind. He told investigators that he looked back and saw her disappear under the surface of the water."

"We believe it was mid-afternoon when she disappeared," Ayub explained. "The idea perhaps being that the boat started drifting, it was unanchored, and that she mustered enough energy to get her son back onto the boat, but not enough to save herself."

Celebrity Deaths: 2020's Fallen Stars

As news of Rivera's death spread, her former Glee co-stars and other loved ones within the entertainment industry paid tribute to the legacy she now leaves behind. 

Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Rivera was born in 1987. She played Santana on Glee from 2009 to 2015. In Sept. 2015, Rivera welcomed Josey with her ex Ryan Dorsey. A source recently told E! News Rivera and her son "were incredibly close and had a very tight bond."

"Being a mom is always my first priority so everything else can sort of wait," Rivera told E! News in 2019. "Nothing's more important than that. I just really make sure that I make time and stay organized so that once I pick him up from school, the rest of the day is ours." 

To look back at Rivera's photos with Josey, see the gallery below.

Pre-K Grad

"Fresh outta Pre-K boy!" Naya's ex Ryan Dorsey wrote on Instagram in June 2021. "Next Up Kindergarten! #summertime #proudDad"

Summer 2021 Fun

Naya's ex Ryan Dorsey has a fun pool day with their son in June 2021.

Mother's Day 2021

"We can't say the word happy but we'll say thank you for being a mother & giving me this sweet amazing boy," Naya's ex Ryan Dorsey wrote on Mother's Day 2021, the first since the actress' July 2020 death, alongside this never-before-seen mother-son photo.

Josey & Grammy

"Happy Mother's Day Grammy..." Naya's ex Ryan Dorsey wrote on Instagram on Mother's Day 2021. "Thanks for all the support, unconditional love, all the help, your patience, thoughtfulness, and everything you do. We [red heart emoji] you."

Woof Woof

Naya's ex Ryan Dorsey shared this adorable throwback pic of Josey with their two dogs in March 2021.

Naya's 34th Birthday

In January 2021, Ryan Dorsey paid tribute to his ex on what would have been her 34th birthday with this throwback family photo.

"Just as surreal as it is real that you're gone," he wrote. "If that makes sense, but none of this still makes any sense...34..I could just hear you saying "Ah, I'm old AF now!" Ha...Rest easy old lady..."

Christmas 2020

The two celebrate their first Christmas since Naya's death five months prior.

Tribute to Naya

Naya's ex Ryan Dorsey shared this photo of the late actress and their son, their only child, two weeks after she drowned during a boating trip with the boy.

"This is so unfair...there's not enough words to express the hole left in everyone's hearts," Ryan wrote on Instagram. "I can't believe this is life now. I don't know if I'll ever believe it. You were just here... We were just in the back swimming with Josey the day before. Life just isn't fair."

He continued, "I don't know what to say...I'm thankful for our times and our journey that brought us together and gave us the sweetest and kindest smart little boy we could ever hope for. I remember sometimes you used to get annoyed at me: 'Ryan can you stop snap chatting!' Haha. I'm glad I didn't listen to you because I have hundreds and probably thousands of snaps and videos that Josey will have forever and know his momma loved him more than life, and how much fun we had together as he was growing up. Life is all about good times and bad times but with Josey it makes the bad a little less so because a part of you will always be with us. He'll never forget where he came from. We miss you. We will always love you. Love you Meep."

Father's Day 2020

Naya's ex Ryan Dorsey shared this pic of himself with Josey and one of their dogs, less than three weeks before the actress' death.

New Year's 2020

Naya's ex Ryan Dorsey shared this family pic on New Year's Day 2020, seven months before the actress' death.

Batter Up

"Practice in WalMart makes perfect," Josey's dad Ryan Dorsey wrote on Instagram in November 2019.

Happy Halloween 2019

Josey and dad Ryan Dorsey celebrate Halloween with matching Toy Story costumes.

Happy Halloween 2019 Part 2

Why so ssssserious? The two also dressed up as the Joker and Batman from The Dark Knight.

Cute Cuddles

Just last week, Rivera shared this photo of her cuddling with her little one. "Just the two of us," she captioned the image.


Fashionable Family

The mother-son duo made a stylish pair in this March 2020 photo.

"Perfect Duo"

"Batman and Batgirl," Rivera wrote in November 2019. "Perfect duo."


Birthday Bliss

"I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be," the Glee star wrote in September 2019. "Happy birthday Josey! Love Mommy."

Movie Night

The two attended the Los Angeles premiere of The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part in February 2019.

Cherished Memories

"Camel ridin with my main man!" Rivera wrote in November 2018.


A Winning Team

"We win!" the celeb, who played Santana on Glee, wrote alongside a photo of their 2018 costumes. "#HappyHalloween."


Lots of Smiles

The two rocked out to "Can't Stop the Feeling" in this adorable March 2018 video.

Sweet Snoozes

"Nap buddies," the proud parent wrote alongside this March 2018 photo.

Tons of Love

"[Love] you to the moon and back," Rivera wrote in February 2017. "#Vday."

Happy Times

"[Every day] with him is the most special. #joseysmommy #happymothersday," she wrote in 2016.


A Picture-Perfect Moment

Rivera shared a behind-the-scenes photo from their Fit Pregnancy and Baby shoot in April 2016.

No. 1 Fan

"Coolin' at Petco Park," Rivera wrote in March 2016.

Plans for Rivera's memorial have not been announced. Her cause of death is still under investigation.