Glee fans are mourning actress Naya Rivera with tributes from the show, by revisiting some of her greatest performances there. Whether it's a musical number or a dramatic monologue, everyone seems to have a favorite moment with her character, Santana Lopez. Rivera's long tenure on the show makes it hard to choose just one.
Rivera died after going missing in Lake Piru in Ventura County, California on Wednesday, July 8. The actress was out for a leisurely day on the lake with her 4-year-old son, Josey. The two were swimming off the side of a pontoon boat when Rivera drowned, according to the Ventura County Sheriff's Department, likely in the attempt to keep her son above water. The 33-year-old actress' death left fans heartbroken.
Rivera was in the original main cast of Glee, playing the spiteful cheerleader Santana. She brought depth to a character that many were prepared to write off as a sidekick, and she continued to grow over the course of several years. Fans watched Santana come out of the closet as a lesbian, grow into her confidence as a singer and dancer, and even move on past high school.
Since Rivera's passing, many have reflected on how much this representation meant to them when they were younger. They have shared poignant highlights from the show — particularly Rivera's haunting cover of "If I Die Young" by The Band Perry, which was a tribute to cast member Cory Monteith following his untimely death.
Many other moments from Glee are relevant to Rivera and her mourners, however. Fans have gone back to revisit both the good and the bad, encapsulating Rivera's range on-screen. Here is a look at some of the highlights fans are focused on.
If I Die Young
This gave me chills.. RIP Naya Rivera 💔 2020 has been so much pic.twitter.com/yenUpGdFOY— Drebae💎 (@Drebae_) July 13, 2020
Santana Coming Out
THIS was the scene that changed my life. Naya made it feel so real & genuine. I used to watch this on repeat as a young closeted lesbian so that I would feel less alone. I knew that if I came out, I would be disowned/kicked out. Thank you naya rivera. I love you. pic.twitter.com/4yS2udEYpY— nadia ツ (@fineIinelesbian) July 13, 2020
Don't Rain on My Paradeprevnext
Santana & Brittany
No one, NO ONE, did it like Naya Rivera as Santana Lopez.pic.twitter.com/3tj3pmKXOd— Sam Stryker (@sbstryker) July 13, 2020
growing up, glee meant a lot to me because santana and brittany’s relationship was the first time that i had ever viewed LGBT representation in the media.July 13, 2020
Rumor Has It/Someone Like Youprevnext
Standing Up For Finn
Naya Rivera’s performance in this scene is unforgettable. The fact that her character, Santana, fought for Finn Hudson’s (Cory Monteith) memorial and stood up for herself. The emotions came through. The talent Naya had! #RIPNayaRivera ❤️ pic.twitter.com/VCkpJNfGAF— 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐢𝐞. (@sincerelythapie) July 13, 2020