A fashion icon. Naya Rivera wowed on many red carpets throughout her life. From the Golden Globes, Grammys, SAG Awards and more, the Glee star loved showing off her cool and funky style. The longtime actress left a major mark on Hollywood before her tragic death at just 33.
Considering Rivera won a slew of awards during her lifetime — including honors for her vocals and acting skills — it’s not surprising she’s appeared at some big shows. The Devious Maids star had an extremely impressive resume since she began acting at just 4, but Rivera blasted to superstardom with her role as Santana Lopez on Glee.
“It’s just been the biggest blessing because I’ve been juggling acting and singing and dancing all of my life, and to finally be on something where I can do all three in one show, it’s crazy,” Rivera gushed during her first interview with E! News in 2009. “It’s not overwhelming. I think it makes it more fun. When we’re in dance rehearsals it’s like eight hours of lockdown with 12 of your best friends.”
Rivera’s life was sadly cut short after she died by accidental drowning while boating with her 4-year-old son, Josey, in California’s Lake Piru, Ventura County officials confirmed on July 13. The toddler was found alone on a rented pontoon boat by a boat shop employee three hours after security footage spotted the mother and son take off from the dock on July 8.
“[Josey] and Naya swam in the lake together at some point during their journey. It was during that time that her son described being helped into the boat by Naya,” Sheriff Ayub said during the press conference after finding a body in the lake. “He told investigators that he looked back and saw her disappear under the surface of the water.” The officer added, “She mustered enough energy to get her son onto the boat but wasn’t able to get herself.”
Following the confirmation of Rivera’s death, her family released a lengthy statement. “We are so grateful for the outpouring of love and prayers for Naya, Josey and our family over the past week,” her loved ones wrote in a message to Deadline by Rivera’s manager Gladys Gonzalez on July 14. “While we grieve the loss of our beautiful legend, we are blessed to honor her everlasting legacy and magnetic spirit. Naya was an amazing talent, but was an even greater person, mother, daughter and sister.”
After thanking county officials for their “unwavering effort” to find Rivera, their statement concluded, “We extend endless gratitude and ovation to the heroine who found her. Thank you to her friends, colleagues and fans for your continuous support. Heaven gained our sassy angel. We kindly request that our privacy be respected during this very difficult time.”
Rivera’s legacy will live on forever, Keep scrolling to see her best red carpet appearances through the years.
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