Naya Rivera: 5 Things To Know About ‘Glee’ Actress Presumed Dead After Boating Day With Son

Naya Rivera became headline news overnight when she vanished after a day out on a lake with her 4-year-old son. Sadly, she is now presumed dead, and authorities are now searching for her body.

(UPDATE 7/9/2020 AT 6:36 P.M. ET): The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office informed HollywoodLife that roughly 100 personnel aided in the search for Naya Rivera in California’s Lake Piru on Thursday, July 9. However, the recovery operation was a “very slow process,” since divers experienced “less than one foot of visibility in the water in daylight.”

(UPDATE 7/9/20 AT 12:30 P.M. ET): Multiple outlets are reporting that the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office believes Naya Rivera is dead. In light of this, the search has shifted from a rescue mission to that of a recovery mission.

ORIGINAL: Millions of people are praying for Naya Rivera, 33, after the former Glee star went missing on July 8, 2020. She rented a pontoon boat around 1:00pm local time to take out on Lake Piru (north of Los Angeles) with her son Josey. According to reports another person found their boat where Josey was there all by himself and luckily unharmed. Josey, “told investigators that he and his mother were swimming, but his mother never got back into the boat.” The search for Naya will resume at “first light” on Thursday, July 9, according to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department. Many stars, including Heather Morris and Demi Lovato, have shared emotional statements in the hours since news broke about the situation.

Here are five things to know about the actress who rose to international fame on the beloved Emmy-winning series.

1: Early Life. Naya grew up in the Valencia area of Santa Clarita, California, where she was thrust into the spotlight at the tender age of 4. Her first big break was on the short-lived early 90’s sitcom The Royal Family which costarred television legends Della Reese and Jackee Harry. Jackee tweeted a clip from the show of her and Naya acting together after she disappeared while asking for prayers that she will be found. “Please God, don’t cut this life short.”

Naya Rivera
Credit: REX/Shutterstock

2: It’s Showtime. She had a bunch of guest-starring roles in the years to come on programs like Baywatch, The Smart Guy, The Bernie Mac Show and CSI: Miami. Things did a complete 180 for her, career wise, when she joined the cast of Glee during its first season in 2009. Her character of Santana Lopez was more of a background performer towards the beginning of the show before they expanded it to something much bigger as the series progressed.

3: Life During & After Glee. The brunette bombshell has been able to accomplish quite a lot professionally outside of her time on Glee. She released her debut single in 2013 called “Sorry” featuring then fiance Big Sean, played a recurring role on the Lifetime series Devious Maids and penned a memoir titled Sorry Not Sorry: Dreams, Mistakes, and Growing Up in September 2018.

4: Love Life. Naya’s first big public relationship was with Big Sean. She and the award-winning rapper began dating in early 2013 before getting engaged later that year in October. Their relationship eventually went to splitsville when the former duo announced that they had broken up in April 2014.

Naya Rivera Ryan Dorsey
Former couple Naya Rivera & Ryan Dorsey. Credit: REX/Shutterstock

5: Marriage, A Baby & Divorce. She rekindled her romance with fellow actor Ryan Dorsey in 2014 after her split from the “Bounce Back” rapper. They initially dated in 2010. The twosome wed later that year in July in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, before she welcomed their only child in September 2015. Their divorce was finalized three years later following a ton of drama that included a tumultuous November 2016 incident where she was arrested and charged for allegedly hitting him in the head and face during an altercation over their child.

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