Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of Glee star Naya Rivera’s tragic death in a drowning accident and many of the actress’ co-stars in the popular musical hit series have been paying tribute to her to mark the occasion. Stars including Lea Michele, Jacob Artist, Heather Morris, Kevin McHale, Amber Riley, Jenna Ushkowitz, Chris Colfer, and Matthew Morrison all posted on their social media accounts, with memories and thoughts about the star and their time working together before her untimely passing.
Heather Morris posted a series of images including a video of her getting a tattoo which reads “tomorrow is not promised”, a quote from one of the last tweets by Naya Rivera just days before her death. Morris wrote in her post, “It hasn’t gotten easier to write a caption. You are the brightest star in my eyes Naya Rivera. I’m so grateful GOD LAYED A HAND and brought us together as best friends, mom friends, scene partners, and everything in between. Your legacy lives on in kindness and being ‘that sassy queen’ in my eyes. I love you forever bebe girl,”
Kevin McHale and Amber Riley both posted short messages, both saying, “I miss you”, while Jenna Ushkiwitz said, “Always a light, always with us. My heart is with you and your family today. [Heart emoji] love you Nougs.” Chris Colfer and Matthew Morrison both added photos of the actress on their accounts, with heart emojis. Lea Michele shared a photo of Naya from season 5 of the show, in which she performed the classic Funny Girl song “Don’t Rain on My Parade.”
In addition to the tributes by the cast, thousands of the stars fans contributed their own thoughts on Twitter, posting about how her performance in Glee in particular had been important to their lives. The outpouring of love and affection shown for the actress was clearly a sign of how many people her role on the show touched, and it was the perfect opportunity for many of them to share their loss with the world.
“Genuinely can’t believe it’s been a year since we lost naya rivera. her work on glee really changed the game for so many young queers. i hope wherever she is now is beautiful. what a fucking legend” said one. Another wrote, “nobody could’ve played the role of santana lopez like naya rivera because she WAS the role. santana would NOT be the icon that she is if it wasn’t for naya. naya fought like hell to make santana standout and we all won because of that.” Most, the Netflix account for LGBTQ+ storytelling added, “Naya Rivera’s impact on queer culture, specifically queer women, was immeasurable. Santana Lopez helped launch television into a brighter, more inclusive future.”
Another of the stars fans said, “There aren’t enough words to describe how much i miss you.the pain is unbearable knowing that you’re no longer here with us on this earth. it’s hard to believe it’s already been 365 days without you,it never gets easier. i’ll love and miss you forever nay.”
Rivera’s mother, Yolanda Previtire, appeared in a new interview which was released on the anniversary in which she recalled that in the last conversation she had with her daughter she told her she loved her, and asked her to call her when she came back from being out on the lake. It was during that Facetime call that Previtire took some screen shots that would later allow them to pinpoint the location of where the actress went missing.
Along with everyone else who has posted messages of support and sympathy, we add our thoughts to the family and friends of the actress who are still struggling with the loss of such a young talent one year on.
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