On Monday, news broke that Glee alum Naya Rivera, who had gone missing last week, was confirmed dead following a multi-day search. It appears to have been a tragic accident. Rivera had gone boating with her four-year-old son on Lake Piru in Ventura County, California, but by late afternoon her son was discovered without his mother. She was 33 years old.
Though she was best-known for playing the singing cheerleader Santana Lopez on the beloved musical comedy show, from its pilot on, Rivera had a long and diverse career, starting when when she was a baby who appeared in Kmart commercials. The younger Rivera made appearances on everything from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air to Family Matters to Baywatch to CSI: Miami. After her Glee breatkthrough, she moved into music while acting on shows like Lifetime’s Devious Maids and YouTube Red’s Step Up: High Water.
In other words, she amassed a lot of friends and fans, many of whom took to Twitter after the news of her passing broke to memorialize the newly departed performer. That included fellow Glee colleagues:
Rest sweet, Naya. What a force you were. Love and peace to your family.
— Jane Lynch (@janemarielynch) July 13, 2020
💔 Naya, you will be missed so much. 😞
— Josh Sussman (@JoshSussman) July 13, 2020
Now more than ever we must lift her family and friends up especially Josey! My heart is sent to them… Josey you are truly loved by every single person who loves your mommy! I love you Naya!
— Alex Newell (@thealexnewell) July 13, 2020
It included bands whose songs Rivera covered on Glee.
Watching Naya Rivera cover our song on Glee will always be one of our favorite memories from our time as a band. She touched so many lives with her beautiful voice. Our hearts go out to her son & her family. Rest easy. 😔🖤
— Oh Honey (@Ohhoneymusic) July 13, 2020
It included people who worked with her, even if briefly.
I had the opportunity to work with the one and only #nayarivera. So much talent. Deeply saddened and touched. Please, let her have peace, Lord. 💔💔💔
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) July 13, 2020
And people who met her.
I spent one night out with Naya Rivera and the way her face lit up talking about her son. Can’t stop thinking about it. Fuck this fucking year.
— sam greisman (@SAMGREIS) July 13, 2020
Or knew her.
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
— Bebe Rexha (@BebeRexha) July 13, 2020
It included fellow performers.
Prayers for Naya Rivera's family. Man….can we have a "Do Over " of 2020. The loss is too much 💔💔🙏🏿 pic.twitter.com/63iNdRikv5
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) July 13, 2020
one of my fav childhood memories was coming home from school to watch glee. naya rivera’s version of “songbird” was my favourite cover ever, i taught myself the words by watching the lyric videos of her version because her soulful voice was always so beautiful to me..
— Rachel Leary (@rach_leary) July 13, 2020
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!
— Kehlani (@Kehlani) July 13, 2020
And people who were just fans.
I am deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Naya Rivera.
The talent and depth Naya brought to her characters inspired millions. As a Latina, it‘s rare to have rich, complex characters reflect us in media. Naya worked hard to give that gift to so many.
Que descanse en paz.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 13, 2020
The news of Naya Rivera’s passing is absolutely heartbreaking and tragic. My family and I are sending love and prayers to her family and to her little boy 💔 pic.twitter.com/NoAm4iFoI1
— Martin Luther King III (@OfficialMLK3) July 13, 2020
And it included people she inspired.
naya rivera. didn’t realize the impact u had on my life growing up, being the first poc, lgbtq character i saw on screen. i grew up listening to u sing, being inspired by the girl on glee who looks like me & is unapologetically herself. you changed so many lives. rest easy angel.
— Bryana Salaz (@bryanasalaz) July 13, 2020
Heartbreaking. Rest in love Naya Rivera. As a mother to a 3 year old boy, I felt your love through the pictures and videos you shared. A bond like no other. My sincere condolences to her entire family and her friends and especially that sweet little boy. #nayariviera
— 📎Lesley-Ann Brandt (@LesleyAnnBrandt) July 13, 2020
Some people posted a short film she directed for Immigrant Heritage Month — a fitting way to say farewell to someone who should still be with us.
In 2014, Naya Rivera directed this beautiful short film for Immigrant Heritage Month + The @IAmAnImmigrant campaign.
It was her directorial debut + she put so much love into it.
This is just a small part of her legacy, but one that she was so proud of.
Please share. pic.twitter.com/IRzV77v8MR
— Michael Skolnik (@MichaelSkolnik) July 13, 2020