Naya Rivera is being remembered by celebrities like Mandy Moore, Tamera Mowry, Paula Abdul and more after it was confirmed on July 13 that she had sadly died in a drowning accident.
Hollywood is reeling after the death of 33-year-old Naya Rivera. The Glee actress’ body was found in Lake Piru on July 13, five days after going missing while boating with her four-year-old son Josey on July 8. Stars have taken to social media to mourn Naya. Demi Lovato, who played Naya’s Glee character of Santana Lopez’s love interest on the Fox show shared a series of photos of them together on her Instagram account. Next to them she wrote, “RIP Naya Rivera. I’ll forever cherish the opportunity to play your girlfriend on Glee. The character you played was groundbreaking for tons of closeted queer girls (like me at the time) and open queer girls, and your ambition and accomplishments were inspiring to Latina women all over the world. My heart goes out to your loved ones at this time.”
This is Us star Mandy Moore tweeted, “This is absolutely heartbreaking. Sending love and holding space for her son and loved ones.” The Real host Tamera Mowry wrote a lengthy statement to her Instagram, as the two had known each other since they were teens. She said that she was “so grateful to have been blessed with your presence for over 20 years.”
This is absolutely heartbreaking. Sending love and holding space for her son and loved ones. https://t.co/7RkKnj4xU7
— Mandy Moore (@TheMandyMoore) July 13, 2020
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… https://t.co/sun3WklPUp
— Tamera Mowry-Housley (@TameraMowryTwo) July 13, 2020
The former Sister Sister star wrote, “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.”
Her sister Tia Mowry was broken hearted as well, as the Mowry family was so close to Naya after she starred as a child on sitcom The Smart Guy opposite the twin’s little brother Tahj. In a long Instagram message, the 42-year-old wrote, “My Naya. I became a part 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…I will never forget us waking 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.”
After news that Naya’s body had been recovered, talk show host Wendy Williams tweeted that she was “Praying for her family at this time,” along with prayer hand emojis. Former Pretty Little Liars star Janel Parish took to Twitter as well to mourn the actress, writing, “Rest In Peace and power, Naya.” Paula Abdul was so moved that she tweeted, I didn’t know Naya personally, but I admired her as an artist. I’m so devastated by the news – a true talent lost far too soon. My deepest condolences and prayers go out to her family.”
Naya Rivera was truly a light and showed us all how to be unapologetically ourselves. We send our most heartfelt condolences to her family, friends, and fans in this difficult time. Rest in peace, #NayaRivera pic.twitter.com/jmkJRFXMKs
— RuPaul's Drag Race (@RuPaulsDragRace) July 13, 2020
I didn’t know Naya personally, but I admired her as an artist. I’m so devastated by the news – a true talent lost far too soon. My deepest condolences and prayers go out to her family. 💞 XoP #RipNayaRivera
— Paula Abdul (@PaulaAbdul) July 13, 2020
News broke that Naya had gone missing on the evening of July 8. The actress and her son Josey took a boat out on Lake Piru in Southern California. Hours later, another boater spotted Naya’s boat drifting in the water, with the child asleep onboard. Officials were notified, and dive and air rescue teams immediately began a search for Naya. The child told officials that his mother did not get back on the boat after going for a swim. Unfortunately, the initial search had to be suspended after just a few hours as nightfall hit the area.
Although hopes were high that Naya would be found safe, officials have sadly confirmed that she died after the Lake Piru incident. Of course, fans and fellow celebrities are extremely devastated for Josey, who has lost his mother. Josey’s father is Ryan Dorsey, who Naya was married to from 2015 until 2017 (their divorce was finalized in 2019).
Naya is best known for her role as Santana on the hit series, Glee, which aired from 2009 until 2015. Unfortunately, she is not the show’s only star to suffer a tragic fate. In 2013, Cory Monteith was found dead in a hotel room after an accidental drug overdose. Then, in 2018, Mark Salling was found dead from an apparent suicide by hanging. Our thoughts are with Naya’s son and other loved ones during this incredibly sad time.