Naya Rivera’s Acting Credits Showcased Her Talent — See Her Most Iconic Roles

She was so talented. Naya Rivera died during a boating incident on July 8 in Lake Piru in California, but her legacy will live on in her amazing body of work. The star graced television screens since she was a young child, but her most famous role was on Glee.

The late actress played cheerleader Santana Lopez, whose impressive vocals led her to join the Glee club. Not only was Rivera an amazing singer on the show, but also an incredible actress. As the show progressed, viewers got to see Santana go through life-changing experiences relating to her sexuality and confessing her feelings to best friend Brittany Pierce, who was played by Heather Morris.

While Rivera gave several outstanding performances during the series’ six seasons, there was one, in particular, that showed off her acting chops in a new way. On July 13, 2013, costar Cory Monteith died. To honor his character on Glee, Santana performed The Band Perry’s “If I Die Young” to her fellow choir mates. She sang: “If I die young bury me in satin/ Lay me down on a bed of roses/ Sink me in the river at dawn/ Send me away with the words of a love song.” Santana got so emotional during her performance, she was unable to finish the song and ran off to the auditorium.

Now, more than ever, fans are looking back at Rivera’s touching scene following her disappearance on July 8 after renting a boat on Lake Piru with her 4-year-old son, Josey. When Josey was found alone on a boat hours later, he told officials his mother went swimming but never returned.

Authorities first treated her disappearance as a “rescue” mission. However, as the days went on, it became a “recovery” mission, and she was confirmed dead on July 13.

Several of her former Glee costars used their platform to share messages hoping Rivera would be found. Morris even asked the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department if she could join the search and recovery efforts.

Keep scrolling to remember Rivera through her most iconic roles.