Naya Rivera death: Demi Lovato shares adorable photo with onscreen girlfriend, says 'you're an inspiration'
'The character you played was groundbreaking for tons of closeted queer girls (like me at the time)'
Demi Lovato has taken to social media to pay tribute to 'Glee' actress Naya Rivera, who was found dead on July 13, and voice her support for the family.
After several days that the beloved 'Glee' star had been missing, it was reported that her body has been found in a lake in California. She was last seen on a boat ride with her four-year-old son on the lake.
Along with a photo of Rivera, Demi Lovato shared a touching tribute to her on Instagram. "RIP Naya Rivera. I’ll forever cherish the opportunity to play your girlfriend on Glee," she began. "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... ❤️"
Fans also shared a similar sentiment saying, "Rest In Peace Naya 🤍 You'll be always in our heart and memories" and "🕊 ♥️ my heart cannot take it. I hope she is looking down, seeing how much she is loved and missed." One fan said, "May she rest in peace. Sending out lots of love and hugs to you, her family and friends and especially her little son who was there with her. I can't imagine the pain and the trauma he has to go through now knowing his mom won't come back. I send him as much strength as possible. It really breaks my heart. I'm just glad they found her and that her family can bury her and say their proper goodbyes cause without the body it would have been worse. 😭💔"
Rivera's major success came in 2009 when she took up the role of Santana Lopez on 'Glee'. Although Santana was initially a supporting character in the first season of the show, the character quickly became a fan-favorite and was added to the main cast in Season 2. Rivera's character remained an integral part of the show till its last season aired in 2015.
Rivera spoke with the Los Angeles Times in 2011 about her role as a teen lesbian. “Honestly, I never thought I’d actually be playing a teen lesbian,” she said. “I didn’t think it was going to go this far. But I’m glad that it did because there have been a lot of fans who have expressed that they’ve been going through similar situations in their lives. I’ve heard from girls that are in high school, they’re 16, 17, and they’re like, ‘I came out to my mom,’ or ‘I came out to my friends, and thank you for helping me do that.’”
Lovato was a recurring guest star during the fifth season of the musical comedy-drama series. Lovato played as Dani, who has a short-lived romantic relationship with Rivera's Santana Lopez.
Rivera began her acting career as a child actress, with her first job at age four on Eddie Murphy’s short-lived sitcom, 'The Royal Family.' The following years would see her in guest roles on shows like 'Family Matters', 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air', 'Baywatch', and 'Smart Guy'.