After a 5-day search for Naya Rivera, authorities were able to locate her body in the Ventura County Lake. While the details around her death are unknown, there is no doubt that her life has been taken way too soon.
Naya Rivera was widely known for her 6 year run on the hit TV show Glee. She was an inspiration to the LGTBQ+ community because she was one of the first Latinx actresses to portray a lesbian in a major reoccurring role on a major network. Representation matters. But Naya was more than just an actress. At one point in her career she was signed to Columbia Records as a solo artist and released a single in 2013, “Sorry”, featuring rapper Big Sean.
Leading up to Naya’s body being found in the lake, her friends and family took to social media begging for a safe return. Ex boyfriend Tahj Mowry posted a lengthy message via Instagram praying for her safe return.
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My sweet Naya – to say that I am devastated would be an understatement. This is a nightmare. Everyday gets harder. However, I am holding onto hope that you will be found. We grew up together. We became adults together. We experienced so many firsts together. You were my first experience with everything; love, intimacy, heartbreak. We broke each others hearts and then mended them back together…more than once. I will never not think of you. No woman has ever measured up what you gave me or how you made me feel. I’ve never liked to admit it but I have never stopped loving you. A part of me always wished for the day where God would bring us back together to be what we dreamt we could have been. I pray deeply for the Rivera family and that God blankets them with strength, peace, and love right now. Mychal and Nickayla – you will always be like younger siblings to me and I love you dearly. I watched you two grow up into beautiful adults. George and Yolanda – whatever you need I am here for you. We are forever family and I love you. I ask everyone reading this to please lift up, along with the entire Rivera family, Ryan and Josey in prayer and to respect what they are going through during this time. I pray that God showers the entire family with strength and peace that only He can give. I still have faith. I still have hope. Let’s please all pray that she is found and brought home safely. Naya, I miss you deeply. I wish I got the chance to tell you that once more but I’m believing I will get that chance. I know deep down you’ve always known how I felt. I look forward to the day where I can see your beautiful face once more and tell you everything I’ve wanted to say that I didn’t get the chance to say. I love you forever. I always have and I always will. ♥️
Glee co-star Amber Riley implored her followers to have some respect during the search for Naya. In a tweet she wrote, “Show some respect. All our energy is going toward helping find Naya and praying for her safe return and for her family. 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.”
Naya was also known for her high-profile relationship with Big Sean. The two quickly dated, got engaged, and broke up in the span of a year. She later married actor Ryan Dorsey, with whom she had her first child. At 33-years-young, Naya Rivera leaves behind a 4 year old son. She was a beautiful, young, talented woman with an extraordinary flare for fashion. She always hit the red carpet in pieces that draped her body perfectly.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Rivera and Dorsey family. In honor of her memory, we’re taking a look at her career over the years.
1. NAYA RIVERA AT THE LA PREMIERE OF BANDSLAM, 2009Source:Getty
A younger Naya Rivera arrived to the Los Angeles premiere of “Bandslam” in a cute, white, bardot dress.
2. NAYA RIVERA AT THE JHRTS 7TH ANNUAL “YOUNG HOLLYWOOD” HOLIDAY PARTY, 2009Source:Getty
Naya Rivera arrived to the Junior Hollywood Radio & Television Society’s 7th annual ‘Young Hollywood’ holiday party dressed is a little black dress with a feathered hem.
3. NAYA RIVERA AT FOX’S 300TH MUSICAL PERFORMANCE OF “GLEE”, 2011Source:Getty
Naya Rivera stood alongside her co-stars Amber Riley and Heather Morris, during the 300th musical performance of GLEE.
4. NAYA RIVERA AT FOX’S GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS AFTER PARTY, 2011Source:Getty
Naya Rivera arrived to the FOX Golden Globes after party in a soft peach, strapless gown.
5. NAYA RIVERA AT THE YOUNF STORYTELLER ‘S ANNUAL THE BIGGEST SHOW, 2012Source:Getty
Chic in pink! Naya Rivera arrived to the Young Storyteller’s Annual The Biggest Show event in a pink suit partnered with a white blouse and teal shoes.
6. NAYA RIVERA AT THE MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS, 2013Source:Getty
Naya Rivera attended the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards in a black gown with cut-outs on her waistline.
7. NAYA RIVERA AT THE CHRISTIAN SIRIANO FASHION SHOW, 2016Source:Getty
Naya Rivera attended the Fall 2016 Christian Siriano Fashion Show in a simple yet flawless black, two-piece suit.
8. NAYA RIVERA AT THE VANITY FAIR AND FIAT ‘TOAST TO YOUNG HOLLYWOOD’ EVENT, 2016Source:Youtube.com/ComedyCentral
Naya Rivera attended the Vanity Fair And FIAT Toast To ‘Young Hollywood’ event in a form-fitting white gown with a deep V-neckline.
9. NAYA RIVERA AT THE 23RD ANNUAL RACE TO ERASE MS GALA, 2016Source:Getty
Naya Rivera arrived to the 23rd Annual Race To Erase MS Gala in a bright orange, floor-length gown.
10. NAYA RIVERA AT THE VANITY FAIR AND L’OREAL PARIS ‘TOAST TO YOUNG HOLLYWOOD’ EVENT, 2017Source:Getty
Naya Rivera attended Vanity Fair and L’Oreal Paris Toast to Young Hollywood in a sexy little black dress.
11. NAYA RIVERA AT THE MARCH OF DIMES: IMAGINE A WORLD PREMIERE EVENTSource:Getty
Naya Rivera arrived for the March Of Dimes: Imagine A World Premiere Event in a cute, printed skirt, partnered with a black top.
12. NAYA RIVERA AT THE WINTER TCA TOUR, 2018Source:Getty
Naya Rivera attended the YouTube portion of the 2018 Winter Television Critics Association Press Tour in a trendy graphic tee, mini skirt, and knee high boots.
13. NAYA RIVERA AT THE WOMEN’S GUILD CEDARS-SINAI ANNUAL GALA, 2019Source:Getty
Naya Rivera attended the Women’s Guild Cedars-Sinai Annual Gala in a gorgeous, black silk gown.
14. NAYA RIVERA AT THE LA PREMIERE OF ROADSIDE ATTRACTION’S “JUDY”, 2019Source:Getty
Naya Rivera gave animal instincts at the LA Premiere of Roadside Attraction’s “Judy”. The actress looked beautiful in an off-the-shoulder bodycon dress.
15. NAYA RIVERA AT THE WOMEN’S GUILD CEDARS-SINAI ANNUAL LUNCHEON, 2019Source:Getty
Naya Rivera attended the Women’s Guild Cedars-Sinai Annual Luncheon looking chic as ever! The Starlett wore black trousers, a white crop top and an oversized blazer.