Today, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department confirmed the terrible news that so many did not want to hear — Glee alum, actress, and singer Naya Rivera has died at the age of 33.
Last week, the news first broke that Rivera was missing after a boat carrying her son was found on Lake Piru. Since that time, there has been a lengthy search of both the lake and much of the surrounding area. The hope had always been that Rivera had found a way to survive a near-death experience in the water, but tragically that turned out to not be the case. Her body was found earlier today, and at a press conference she was officially identified.
Rivera first began her career as a child actor, appearing on such shows as Family Matters and then also The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Before Glee began in 2009, she also had an arc on The Bernie Mac Show. She played Santana Lopez through all six seasons of the Ryan Murphy musical comedy, and became a role model for young kids trying to find themselves. Santana was valuable for LGBTQ+ representation and her relationship with Brittany (Heather Morris) remains one of the best TV love stories out there.
Since Glee, Rivera has also appeared on Step Up: High Water and then also Devious Maids. She’s also made a number of appearances on daytime talk show The View. Her most important role, though, was that of a mother. This was shown in Rivera’s final post on Instagram, which you can see below.
Naya was loved so much by her family, friends and colleagues, who have spoken out about how much they cared for her over the past several days. Heather Morris had even volunteered to conduct her own search in order to expedite matters. She will absolutely be missed, and the television world has lost a valuable light.
Our thoughts go out to Naya’s family, friends, and all who loved her during this difficult time.
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