Naya Rivera Dead at 33: Chris Colfer and More Glee Stars Pay Tribute

Friends and former co-stars of Glee star Naya Rivera are expressing their condolences after authorities recover her remains in a California lake.

By Mike Vulpo, Cydney Contreras Jul 13, 2020 9:54 PMTags
Watch: Naya Rivera Dead at Age 33

Friends of Naya Rivera are expressing their condolences after authorities discovered the remains of the Glee star.

Earlier today, Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub confirmed they had discovered a body, which they are "confident" is that of Rivera's, floating at the surface of the lake by personnel searching by boat early Monday morning.

The 33-year-old went missing on July 8 while swimming in Lake Piru, a reservoir in Ventura, Calif. She was joined by her 4-year-old son Josey Dorsey, who was found sleeping in the pontoon they rented for the afternoon. 

According to the Ventura County Sheriff's Department, the toddler stated that he and his mother went swimming in the water, but he was the only one to get back into the boat. Sheriff Deputy Chris Dyer also confirmed that there were "no signs of foul play" and "no signs of anything that went wrong besides a tragic accident." 

As soon as the news was confirmed by authorities, tributes began to pour in for the Glee star. 

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Take a look at just some of the familiar faces in Hollywood who are honoring Rivera after her passing. 

Chris Colfer: "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." 

Jane Lynch: "Rest sweet, Naya. What a force you were. Love and peace to your family." 

Kristin Chenoweth: "Thank you for what you gave the world. I love you." 

Becca Tobin: "Naya was insanely talented, breathtakingly gorgeous, and one of the wittiest people I've ever met, but the legacy she left behind for me is her kindness. I joined the cast of Glee in the third season and as the newcomer, I was intimidated and terrified. The cast was already such a tight-knit group who had been working incredibly hard together for over three years to make it a hit show and I never expected any of them to have time for me. To my surprise, Naya, one of the most beloved by the rest of the cast (and the entire world), showed me instant warmth and kindness. She invited me to parties and gatherings and was always there to give advice. She was a superstar who had nothing to gain from being kind to the new girl, but she was and that changed this new girl's entire experience on that show. I will forever be grateful to that beautiful human. My heart goes out to her family and her sweet boy."

Darren Criss: "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. She played by her own rules and was in a class of her own. She had a brashness about her that I couldn't help but be enchanted by. I also always loved her voice, and savored every chance I got to hear her sing. I think she had more talent than we would have ever been able to see. I was constantly moved by the degree to which she took care of her family, and how she looked out for her friends. She showed up for me on numerous occasions where she didn't have to, and I was always so grateful for her friendship then, as I certainly am now. And even as I sit here, struggling to comprehend, gutted beyond description- the very thought of her cracks me up and still brings a smile to my face. That was Naya's gift.  And it's a gift that will never go away. Rest in peace you wild, hilarious, beautiful angel."

NeNe Leakes: "I was praying for a miracle! I wanted you to come home to your baby so bad. This hurts! I will hold the memories close to my heart and remember the good times, the laughs and the way we would cut up on set. Those were fun times! Please pray for Naya's family."

Ross Mathews: "I only got to meet #NayaRivera a few times, but each time she looked me right in the eye, was fully present and laughed whole-heartedly. I adored her. I'm heartbroken for her family. Let's all send them love." 

Ricky Martin: "Beautiful memories boricua. RIP." 

Damian McGinty: "I was a newcomer to acting. She was the real deal and every scene we did together she was a mixture of terrifying and hilarious. A brilliant combo. Great, but really sad memories." 

Gwyneth Paltrow: "Remembering beautiful @nayarivera today. Getting to sing in this trio with her was such a special moment. I am in utter shock and disbelief that someone so full of life and passion and talent is no longer with us. And completely heart broken for her family."

Danielle Fishel Karp: "My heart hurts for this beautiful boy and Ms. Rivera's entire family. Seeing her sing this song I sing to my own son really hit me in the gut."

Nick Bolton: "Naya and I were acquaintances at best, but I am heartbroken. My favorite memory will always be dancing with her at @HeatherMorrisTV's wedding while she was pregnant with Josey. She was so happy. I know he was her world. Please pray for her family and friends. #RIPNayaRivera."

Aly & AJ: "Praying for Naya Rivera, Kelly Preston & Benjamin Keough's families right now. Please take a moment to think of them today." 

Josh Sussman: "Naya, you will be missed so much." 

Mandy Moore: "This is absolutely heartbreaking. Sending love and holding space for her son and loved ones." 

Tamera Mowry-Housley: "Can't believe I'm writing this. My heart. So many emotions. So many memories. My mind did not want to accept this. My sweet Naya. I love you. Will always love you. I'll never forget your sweet smile, your amazing voice, and your warmth and love that has always welcomed me. I knew as early as 9 years old you were going to grace us with so much talent and so much beauty. I'm so grateful to have been blessed with your presence for over 20 years. You took my breath away and always will. Another angel has gained her wings. My heart goes out to the Rivera family." 

Josh Gad: "Sick to my stomach. RIP #nayarivera." 

Becky G: "Beautiful Naya Rivera, Rest In Peace. My thoughts and prayers are with your loved ones. You will be missed & never forgotten."

Janel Parrish: "Rest In Peace and power, Naya." 

Tia Mowry: "My Naya! I became apart of your world through my brother @tahj_mowry. You guys used to hit the pavement auditioning together and booking jobs together. I've known your beautiful spirit since the age of 6. You quickly became family. Just some of my favorite memories- you helping my sister and myself look for a place to live when my parents kicked Tamera and I out of the house at 25. Us hitting L.A. night life together with @tahj_mowry and going to parities introducing me to the most wild drink I've ever had and you laughing at me because I couldn't handle it. I will never forget asking you to shoot an episode of my cooking show Tia Mowry at Home and you saying yes without hesitation. Or us walking together to our cars on the paramount lot after a long hard day of work. We were both so stoked that we had television shows on the same lot. I love you. Your smile will always be the most beautiful smile. Rest my love. You are now a beautiful angel." 

Matthew Morrison: "Naya was a such a powerful force, in both her personal life and in her work. While so many of us were trying to find our voice, Naya's was clear and resolute. When she spoke, you would embrace every last word. And when she sang, she would let you into her soul. Glee acted as only a snippet of her life that we all, thankfully, had the honor of witnessing. But Naya would shine brightest when surrounded by her wonderful family. A common passion we both shared recently was that of our roles as parents. Naya was fervent about motherhood and had a steadfast love for Josey. It is that powerful love that ensures us that her story does not end here. I'm confident that her positive influence will be continuously felt, and that her beautiful spirit will carry on in the lives of so many. I'm devastated by this immense loss. This week has been long and trying with much praying and hope. I find some solace in closure, but the pain I feel for her and her family cannot be measured. Rest in peace, keep shining down on us with your bright light."

Grant Gustin: "This loss is truly unimaginable. As many people have stated, Naya was a force. I was intimidated by her talent and presence on set, but she was always so kind and welcoming to me. So many of my Glee memories on and off set have Naya in them. She was one of a kind. My heart breaks for her family and friends. I'll always keep Naya in my heart and remember her for the strong, talented and compassionate person she was to me in the brief time I got to spend with her. Sending so much strength and love to her family and everyone who's heart is breaking over this tragic loss."

Ashley Benson: "RIP sweet Naya." 

Bebe Rexha: "This is an absolute nightmare. I had the pleasure of having dinner with her once after a recording session we did together and she was an absolute sweetheart. My heart goes out to her family and friends. I hope I'm lucky enough to meet you up in heaven. Rest In Peace Naya Rivera." 

Viola Davis: "Prayers for Naya Rivera's family. Man....can we have a "Do Over " of 2020. The loss is too much." 

Lili Reinhart: "It feels strange to cry and mourn the loss of someone you never knew. But I grew up watching Glee- and Naya Rivera was such a beautiful talent. My heart breaks for her son. Hold on tight to your people right now, if you're lucky enough to be near them." 

Kehlani: "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!"