Glee cast reunite to pay touching tribute to Naya Rivera 1 year ago

Glee cast reunite to pay touching tribute to Naya Rivera

"She made everyone laugh on screen and off, but the real win was if you make her laugh because then you knew you did something really funny."

The cast of the hit TV show Glee came together last night to honour their late cast-mate Naya Rivera.

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The stars reunited virtually during the GLAAD awards. Naya herself twice hosted the awards, which honour LGBT+ excellence in the media industry.

Demi Lovato, Heather Morris, Chris Colfer, Jessalyn Gilsig, Jacob Artist, Jenna Ushkowitz, Amber Riley, Jane Lynch, Dot-Marie Jones, Harry Shum Jr., Alex Newell, Becca Tobin, Kevin McHale and Lauren Potter paid tribute to Naya, who played Santana.

Lovato, who briefly played Santana's girlfriend, said that she will always "cherish" their time together on set.

She spoke about how Naya's portrayal of Santana resonated with many women, including herself:

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"The character Naya played, Santana Lopez, was groundbreaking for closeted queer girls like I was at the time and her ambition and accomplishments inspired Latina women all over the world.”

Jane Lynch said: "I remember when Naya became a regular cast member. She was a dancer and I always thought she was cute and she was a great dancer. And then Ryan started giving her lines and I was like wow, this girl is really something."

Jenna Ushkowitz, who played Tina added: "She made everyone laugh on screen and off, but the real win was if you make her laugh because then you knew you did something really funny."

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Matthew Morrison spoke about how he will "always remember" the energy Naya put into raising her son. He said that her "best role" in life was Mom.

Naya's mother, Yoland Previtire, spoke about how her daughter impacted the lives of LGBT+ youth around the world.

She said: "When Naya was told that Santana would be a lesbian she called me to let me know and I asked her how did she feel about that, and she said, 'I feel great about it!' Little did we know that she would impact so many people in the LGBTQ community."

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Naya passed away in July 2020. The Glee star was renting a pontoon boat with her four year-old son on Lake Piru in California. She was declared missing after Josey was found sleeping alone on the boat. Her body was found five days later.