Naya Rivera: A Lifetime Of Moments Captured

Naya Rivera: A Lifetime Of Moments Captured

In a lifetime too short, Naya Rivera went from daughter, child actress to model, singer, songwriter, wife and mother. She was an incredible woman who left a mark on thousands of lives around the world. As a result of this, she left much devastated and heartbroken when news broke that she had drowned. When considering her life, influence, heart and soul it is only fitting to pay tribute to a life well spent. Naya Rivera: A Lifetime Of Moments Captured

Small & Spirited:

On 12 January 1987 among the city lights of Santa Clarita, Naya Rivera was born. She stayed in and around LA for most of her life and loved the area dearly. In addition to her location, the spotlight would also follow her as a result of her mother, Yolanda Rivera being a former model. No surprise that Naya would be signed at the same modelling agency as her mother at only 8 months old.

Naya Rivera: A Lifetime Of Moments Captured

It is clear that Naya jumped right into her career with both feet, even before she could properly stand. By the age of 4, she had already appeared in national television commercials and landed a role in tv series, The Royal Family. Rivera went on to appear in several tv series between 1991 and 2002.

 

Naya Rivera: A Lifetime Of Moments Captured
Naya as Hillary Winston in The Royal Family.

 

Naya Rivera: A Lifetime Of Moments Captured
Child star, Naya Rivera in Family Matters.

Naya Rivera: A Lifetime Of Moments Captured

 

Growing up & Growing towards success:

Even though Naya grew up with the idea of a career in the entertainment industry, success did not fall in her lap. Above all the hopes and dreams she carried in her heart, she kept fighting – no matter how small or insignificant the role seemed at the time. Naya even auditioned for American idol in the hopes of a singing career. But all her hard work would pay off in 2009 when she landed the role of Santana Lopez in Glee. The critically acclaimed tv series was an international hit and shot Rivera right to the top. Glee aired between 2009 and 2011. This show was more than just a breakthrough role for Rivera, it was a safe space where artists could learn, stumble, dream and love as a cast.

 

Naya Rivera: A Lifetime Of Moments Captured
Naya Rivera as Santana Lopez, the mean girl cheerleader.

Heather Morris & Naya Rivera

 

a Behind the scenes image members of Glee cast

Naya Rivera: A Lifetime Of Moments Captured

A Mother’s force:

Motherhood was her biggest succes and  her greatest joy, in an interview Naya exclaimed that waking up with her son felt like Christmas every morning. Above all she would do anything and everything to protect him and she did. Even when she was at her very lowest at Lake Piru, she gave her very last strength to save her son’s life. A few days after her death her family went to the lake to say goodbye to Naya.

 

Naya Rivera: A Lifetime Of Moments Captured

 

 

GLEE CAST EGNTES NAYA’S LEGACY:

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The messages are going to trickle out. But you’re still here with me. And I’m not done remembering your legacy. You would tell me “you look so skinny” EVERY TIME you saw me and it made me giggle slash I loved it and when I told you how it made me feel…you said “well I’d always like to hear that I look skinny so I make sure to make others feel good like that.” We had a play date in the works for this week and I can’t wait for it to be over so I can stop thinking about how I missed our chance to be together. I fucking loved how you drank martini’s and no one would know you smoked cuz you were a mastermind at hiding it. I’m doing something everyday to honor your strength and it helps me to feel close to you. I love you Nay

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Naya was a such a powerful force, in both her personal life and in her work. While so many of us were trying to find our voice, Naya’s was clear and resolute.  When she spoke, you would embrace every last word. And when she sang, she would let you into her soul. Glee acted as only a snippet of her life that we all, thankfully, had the honor of witnessing.  But Naya would shine brightest when surrounded by her wonderful family.  A common passion we both shared recently was that of our roles as parents. Naya was fervent about motherhood and had a steadfast love for Josey.  It is that powerful love that ensures us that her story does not end here. I’m confident that her positive influence will be continuously felt, and that her beautiful spirit will carry on in the lives of so many. I’m devastated by this immense loss.  This week has been long and trying with much praying and hope. I find some solace in closure, but the pain I feel for her and her family cannot be measured.  Rest in peace, keep shining down on us with your bright light.

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⁣⁣ Naya and I fell into stride with such ease, she was my first friend and ally on our show. In the pilot, our characters came and went with such swiftness. Our enthusiasm brimmed with all of the unknown. We tried to grasp what the other cast members must be feeling as we were working in such separate manners. We dared to dream. What if this show worked? Wouldn’t that be something? Something was brimming, it was palpable. And thank god it worked. Naya’s magnetic talent was going to be unleashed, we just didn’t know it yet. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ I’ve been revisiting Naya’s performances on our show and it has brought me great joy. To work with her was a gift. There was a great deal to absorb – her work ethic, her fearlessness, her talent – supreme. Naya had a laugh that would envelop you and hold you captive. She was mesmerizing. That twinkle in her eye, her luminous smile. Naya lead with truth, humor, wit. I loved her for all of these reasons. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ I loved her sense of curiosity and wanderlust. I was lucky enough to be her travel partner for some of my most favorite adventures. As I write this, I’m grinning with swelling memories of a spontenaous 36 hour excursion – one might even say diversion – to Paris. With Naya, everything was possible and would often simply unfold before us, almost magically.⁣⁣ On this particular jaunt, within ten minutes of checking into our hotel, we found ourselves strolling the halls of L'École des Beaux-Arts, sipping wine from paper cups with students showcasing their latest work. It was fantastic. We were united in our commitment to discovery. And there was always a list of cleverly curated ideas in Naya’s back pocket, should we need it. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ I cannot make sense of this tremendous loss. I will hold onto her and these memories for the rest of time, alongside our Glee family. Please hold space for her, her family, her beautiful boy. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ In absolute, loving memory.

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My Naya, my Snixxx, my Bee. I legitimately can not imagine this world without you. • 7 years ago today, she and I were together in London when we found out about Cory. We were so far away, but I was so thankful that we had each other. A week ago today we were talking about running away to Hawaii. This doesn’t make sense. And I know it probably never will. • She was so independent and strong and the idea of her not being here is something I cannot comprehend. 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 memorize 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. • I’m thankful for all the ways in which she made me a better person. She taught me how to advocate for myself and to speak up for the things and people that were important to me, always. I’m thankful for the times I grew an ab muscle from laughing so hard at something she said. I’m thankful she became like family. I’m thankful that my dad happened to have met her weeks before I did and when I got Glee, he told me to “look out for a girl named Naya because she seemed nice.” Well dad, she was nice and she became one of my favorite people ever. • If you were fortunate enough to have known her, you’ll know that her most natural talent of all was being a mother. 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 mom. I just hope more than anything that her family is given the space and time to come to terms with this. For having such 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.

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Naya was insanely talented, breathtakingly gorgeous, and one of the wittiest people I’ve ever met, but the legacy she left behind for me is her kindness. I joined the cast of Glee in the third season and as the newcomer, I was intimidated and terrified. The cast was already such a tight-knit group who had been working incredibly hard together for over three years to make it a hit show and I never expected any of them to have time for me. To my surprise, Naya, one of the most beloved by the rest of the cast (and the entire world), showed me instant warmth and kindness. She invited me to parties and gatherings and was always there to give advice. She was a superstar who had nothing to gain from being kind to the new girl, but she was and that changed this new girl’s entire experience on that show. I will forever be grateful to that beautiful human. My heart goes out to her family and her sweet boy. ❤️

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There are no words and yet so many things I want to say, I don't believe I'll ever be able to articulate exactly what I feel but… Naya, you were a ⚡️ force and everyone who got to be around you knew it and felt the light and joy you exuded when you walked into a room. You shined on stage and screen and radiated with love behind closed doors. I was lucky enough to share so many laughs, martinis and secrets with you. I can not believe I took for granted that you'd always be here. Our friendship went in waves as life happens and we grow, so I will not look back and regret but know I love you and promise to help the legacy of your talent, humor, light and loyalty live on. You are so loved. You deserved the world and we will make sure Josey and your family feel that everyday. I miss you already.

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Anjoné de Jager
Anjoné de Jager

Social Editor

Anjoné de Jager is a young and upcoming actress with a love for the arts and everything that comes with it. For her, there is nothing as exciting as analyzing and exploring a new text and character. She’s a passionate and dynamic writer, poet & director, who loves working with people. Sharing good food and expensive wine with loved ones is her favourite way to wind down after a long day.

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