Hollywood will never forget Naya Rivera. The Glee cast honored their late costar at the GLAAD Media Awards in April 2021 and celebrated the 10-year anniversary of her character, Santana, coming out on television.
“There hasn’t been a day where you don’t cross my mind, and when you do, I take a moment of silence to remember all the beautiful moments we got to spend together,” Amber Riley said.
This came months after the stars also honored the loss of their costar with a fundraiser to benefit Alexandria House, a nonprofit organization that helps and provides safe housing options for women and children. The GoFundMe page is called the SNIXXMAS Charity Drive after, what the website reads, Naya’s “annual Christmas party.”
“Snixxmas was like Naya herself … sparkling, fabulous and one hell of a good time!” the fundraiser’s description says. “But it wasn’t only glitz, glamour and gay apparel. Every holiday season, Naya found ways to give back.”
Naya’s costars have all shared links to the fundraiser via social media and urged their followers to give back this holiday season. In July 2020, Naya died at the age of 33 from an accidental drowning on July 8 after renting a motorized pontoon boat with her son, Josey, on Lake Piru in California. She was reported missing, and after a five-day search, police confirmed that they found her body in the lake on July 13.
Jenna Ushkowitz and Kevin McHale chatted with Entertainment Tonight in December 2020 about losing their costar.
“It definitely took a toll on us all and, you know, shocked us to our cores. And so it’s been hard and not a day goes by that I don’t think of her and that we don’t think of her,” Jenna said. Kevin added, “We have been through this a couple times … Shockingly, that doesn’t make it any easier, especially I think with the type of loss or the tragic unexpectedness of it all and again … all you want to do in these times because we are so close is just be around one another and hug one another.”
Former costar Matthew Morrison — who played Will Schuester on the FOX series — also spoke out about this year’s fundraiser and losing his former costar.
“It was a really challenging year to lose yet another member of our cast, but we’ve just bonded together so much through this experience,” the actor told Entertainment Tonight in December 2020. “Naya used to do this thing called Snixxmas, because that was one of her little nicknames, Snixx. It’s something that the Glee cast — we’re talking about kind of like reviving it this year. Doing some kind of thing for charity, or something to kind of honor her.”
Previously, he opened up about working alongside Naya on the show.
“Naya was a huge bright light,” he told Entertainment Tonight in October 2020 “I mean, she’s someone who kind of kept us in stitches on set, like, she was always the one who is just so witty and just, like, always joking. On that show, it was difficult. We pulled long, long hours — like 16 to 18 hour days — and we needed that, that team morale, and she was always there to give us a good laugh.”
He continued, “It’s crazy saying ‘was.’ But she was a special person and my heart just goes out to that family who is grieving. I can’t imagine, you know, having a son myself, the upbringing that that child is going to be exposed to because his mother is not there, you know? It’s gotta be so tough, so my heart goes out to that family.”
Since her death, the late actress was listed as one of Google’s top trending searches in 2020. A lot of celebrities have also spoken out about her death. Scroll through our gallery to see all the celebrities who have spoken out following Naya’s death.
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