The “Glee” cast is paying their respects to Naya Rivera one year after her tragic passing, remembering the mulitalented actress as a both “a light” and “sassy queen.”
Although Rivera’s death was not confirmed until July 13 last year, tributes came pouring in on Thursday marking the one-year anniversary of the announcement that she’d been reported missing following a boating accident at Lake Piru in California.
Costars are choosing to remember Rivera, who played Santana Lopez on the beloved Fox musical-comedy, in life rather than death. Check out the heartfelt tributes here.
Matthew Morrison, aka glee club teacher Mr. Scheuster, took to Instagram to post a lovely picture of Rivera with a simple “❤️,” as his caption.
Rachel Berry herself, Lea Michele, paid tribute to Rivera via Instagram stories, posting a photo of her singing on the show with a dove emoji in the lower right corner.
Kevin McHale, who played wheelchair-bound Glee-clubber Artie, tweeted, “I miss you,” along with a glamorous shot of Rivera on a beach. He also shared a more candid picture from the set of the show on his Instagram, writing “I miss you. Every single day.”
Jane Lynch, who memorably portrayed Sue Sylvester, McKinley High’s dictatorial cheerleading coach, honored Rivera on Twitter. She posted a photo of the star in full “Cheerios” regalia with the caption, “Remembering. ❤️.”
Jenna Ushkowitz, Tina on the show, posted another pic from a “Glee” shoot on her Instagram with Rivera doing her thing onstage as a packed auditorium watches in awe. Ushkowitz wrote, “Always a light, always with us. My heart is with you and your family today. ♥️ love you Nougs.”
Chris Colfer, who played Kurt, captioned a beautiful black and white photo of Rivera with a heart on Instagram.
Heather Morris, who played Santana’s bestie and sometime-love interest, Brittany, on the show, contributed a very sweet Instagram post to the love fest. Morris revealed that she even got a tattoo in Rivera’s honor recently.
“It hasn’t gotten easier to write a caption,” she wrote, “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.”
Last July, Rivera disappeared while boating with her son Josey at Lake Piru. An extensive search ensued after the 4-year-old was found alone on the boat, and Rivera’s body had been discovered floating in the lake five days later. Authorities told the media they did not suspect foul play and her official cause of death was ruled as an accidental drowning. She was 33.
In a recent interview commemorating Rivera’s passing, the star’s mother, Yolanda Previtire, told ABC News’ Juju Chang and “Good Morning America,” that, although the sorrow is indescribable, she knows her daughter’s legacy as both an entertainer and a milestone of LGBT media representation lives on.
“I would like my daughter Naya’s legacy to be one that teaches people to love, to care. If something is not right, try to fix it or speak up,” she said. “And to just live life. God has given you one life. You are your own person. Love who you are, ’cause you don’t get another life.”