The late actress portrayed the cheerleader who was openly queer on the show, which ran for six season from 2009 to 2015. Aside from cheering, Santana also sang in the Glee club. Rivera blew viewers away with her performances on the show. Her talent as an actress impressed fans as well. Rivera played Santana perfectly. Her timing was impeccable and the energy she brought to her character was unique.
Of course, Santana’s story line on Glee made her that much more memorable. For the first three seasons of the show, she struggled with her sexuality. On season 4, she was outed. Since then, Santana became an LGBTQ+ icon on television. For the first few seasons, she was in a relationship with Brittany Pierce, played by Heather Morris. Then, in season 5, she dated Dani, who was portrayed by Demi Lovato.
Rivera died on July 8 after an accidental drowning in Lake Piru, California. Her death was confirmed by authorities five days later when they discovered her body in the water. Several celebrities have paid tribute to the late star, including Lovato, who praised her for making a difference.
“RIP Naya Rivera,” the “I Love Me” singer wrote on Instagram. “I’ll forever cherish the opportunity to play your girlfriend on Glee. 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.”
Other Glee stars also honored Rivera online. Kevin McHale, who played Artie Abrams, tweeted, “I’m not religious by any means, but you’d be hard-pressed to convince me that Cory [Monteith] didn’t help find our girl today. 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.”
Keep scrolling to see Santana Lopez’s most memorable lines on Glee.
1 of 10
2 of 10
3 of 10
4 of 10
5 of 10
6 of 10
7 of 10
8 of 10
9 of 10