The actress has been praised for her courageous final act.
Glee fans were devastated this morning to learn of Naya Rivera’s death, but none felt the loss more keenly than her fellow actors who co-starred with her during the show’s six-season run.
Kevin McHale who played Artie on the show, wrote a devastatingly beautiful tribute to Naya, praising the actress for her courageous final act of saving her four-year-old son before drowning in Lake Piru in California.
“This doesn’t make sense,” Kevin posted on Instagram.
“The way that she loved her boy, it was truly Naya at her most peaceful. I’m thankful that Naya got that beautiful little boy back on that boat… I’m thankful he will have a strong family around him to protect him and tell him about his incredible mum,” the heartbroken actor wrote.
“I love you, Bee.” Photo: Instagram
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“She was more talented than the rest of us”
Kevin praised her talent as an actress, saying that she was the most skilled of their co-stars.
“She was the single most quick-witted person I’ve ever met, with a steel-trap memory that could recall the most forgettable conversations from a decade ago verbatim.
“The amount of times she would memorise all of those crazy monologues on Glee the morning of and would never ever mess up during the scene… I mean she was clearly more talented than the rest of us.
“She was the most talented person I’ve ever known. There is nothing she couldn’t do and I’m furious we won’t get to see more.”
He concluded with a message of love.
“For having such a tiny body, Naya had such a gigantic presence, a void that will now be felt by all of us – those of us who knew her personally and the millions of you who loved her through your TVs. I love you, Bee,” he wrote.
Glee ran for six seasons before it concluded following Cory Monteith’s death. Photo: News Corp Australia
Read about Naya’s troubled past and the actress’ chilling final words before she disappeared.
A courageous final act
Naya’s body was found by police drowned in California’s Lake Piru near where her four-year-old son was found adrift in a boat. She had been missing for five days.
According to police Naya’s final act was to save her son before she drowned in the lake.
“She must have mustered enough energy to get her son back on the boat, but not enough to save herself,” Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub said on Monday.
The 33-year-old actress was found precisely seven years after co-star Cory Monteith was found dead in a Vancouver hotel room having overdosed on a combination of alcohol and heroin. Cory played Finn Hudson on the musical show.
The tributes from co-stars flowed in following the news of Naya’s death. Photo: Instagram
Kevin tweeted about the tragic coincidence.
“I’m not religious by any means, but you’d be hard-pressed to convince me that Cory din’t help find our girl today,” he wrote.
“These two, in many ways, were the male and female versions of one another. So nice, cared deeply, were stupidly talented, the most fun, and really really good people.
Co-star Chris Colfer, who played Kurt Hummel on the show, wrote his own tribute to Naya. “Her brilliance and humour were unmatched. Her beauty and talent were other-worldy. She spoke truth to power with poise and fearlessness. She could turn a bad day into a great day with a single remark.”
Lea Michelle shared a photo tribute, posting a captionless black and white picture of Naya in costume to Instagram Stories.
“He looked back and saw her disappear under the water”
Naya and her son went missing on Wednesday during a boating trip with her son. He was found asleep in a life jacket on their pontoon boat.
“Based on the location where the body was found, physical characteristics of the body, clothing found on the body and the physical condition of the body, as well as the absence of any other persons reported missing in the area, we are confident the body we found is that of Naya Rivera,” the Ventura County Sheriff said at a press conference this morning.
“We know from speaking with her son that he and Naya swam in the lake together at some point during their journey,” the sheriff said.
“It was during that time that her son described being helped into the boat by Naya who boosted him onto the deck from behind. He told investigators that he looked back and saw her disappear under the surface of the water.”
Police believe that Rivera saved her son when the pair got caught in a current while swimming.
“There are a lot of currents on the lake that appear particularly in the afternoon,” the sheriff said.
“We believe it was midafternoon when she disappeared. The idea being perhaps that the boat started drifting, it was unanchored, and that she mustered enough energy to get her son back on to the boat but not enough to save herself.”