Naya Rivera

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Naya Rivera
Naya with a fan (cropped).jpg
Rivera in 2016
Naya Marie Rivera

(1987-01-12)January 12, 1987
DiedJuly 8, 2020(2020-07-08) (aged 33)
  • Actress
  • singer
  • model
Years active1991–2020
Ryan Dorsey
(m. 2014; div. 2018)
Partner(s)Big Sean (2013–14)
RelativesMychal Rivera (brother)
Musical career

Naya Marie Rivera (January 12, 1987 – July 8, 2020)[1] was an American actress, model and singer. She was known for her role as Santana Lopez on the Fox television series Glee (2009–15).

She died on July 8, 2020 at the age of 33 in Lake Piru in Fillmore, California. Her body was not found until July 13. Police said that she had probably drowned in the lake.

Career[change | change source]

As a baby, she appeared in Kmart commercials before she began acting.

Her career began with her debut role as Hillary Winston on the short-lived CBS sitcom The Royal Family at the age of 4 (1991–1992). She appeared in minor roles as a teenager in 2000s television programs. She later became well known for his role as Santana Lopez on the Fox television series Glee (2009–2015).

Rivera was signed to Columbia Records as a solo artist in 2011 and released a single in 2013, "Sorry", featuring rapper Big Sean.[2]

Rivera made her feature movie debut as Vera in the horror movie At the Devil's Door (2014), and recurred as Blanca on the third season of the Lifetime television series Devious Maids in 2015.

In 2016, she published a memoir with TarcherPerigee, Sorry Not Sorry: Dreams, Mistakes, and Growing Up.

In 2018, it was announced that she would be taking the role of school administrator Collette Jones in the YouTube Red series Step Up: High Water.[3]

Personal life[change | change source]

Rivera was born in Santa Clarita, California. She was raised in Los Angeles.

From 2014 to 2018, she was married to Ryan Dorsey. The two divorced. She was also in a relationship with Big Sean from 2013 to 2014. They were briefly engaged.[4]

Rivera dedicated her time to many charitable organizations including GLAAD, Stand Up to Cancer, The Trevor Project, The Elephant Project, and The Sunshine Foundation.[5][6]

She was bisexual.[7]

Legal troubles[change | change source]

In late November 2017, Rivera was arrested and charged in Kanawha County, West Virginia with domestic battery against her future ex-husband Dorsey after she allegedly hit him in the head and face.[8] In January 2018, the domestic battery charge was dismissed at the request of Dorsey.[9]

Filmography[change | change source]

Year Title Role Notes
1991–1992 The Royal Family Hillary Wilson Main role; 15 episodes
1992–1993 Family Matters Gwendolyn Recurring role (season 4); 3 episodes
1993 The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Cindy Episode: "Bundle of Joy" (Season 3, episode 16)
1995 Live Shot Ann Episode: "Another Day, Another Story" (Season 1, episode 2)
1996 Baywatch Willa Episode: "Scorcher" (Season 7, episode 5)
1997–1999 Smart Guy Tanya Episodes: "Baby, It's You and You and You" (Season 1, episode 7); "Never Too Young" (Season 3, episode 22)
2002 Even Stevens Charlene Episode: "Short Story" (Season 3, episode 9)
2002–2006 The Bernie Mac Show Donna Recurring role; 11 episodes
2003 Soul Food Lauryn Episodes: "Truth Consequences" (Season 4, episode 4); "Nobody's Child" (Season 4, episode 9)
2004 8 Simple Rules Nice girl Episode: "Halloween" (Season 3, episode 6)
2008 Girlfriends Karin Episode: "Stand and Deliver" (Season 8, episode 13)
CSI: Miami Rachel Calvado Episode: "Power Trip" (Season 7, episode 9)
2009–2015 Glee Santana Lopez Main role (seasons 2–5); recurring role (seasons 1, 6); 99 episodes - also performer
2015 Devious Maids Blanca Alvarez Recurring role (season 3); 5 episodes
2016 American Dad! Lolo Fuentes (voice) Episode: "The Unincludeds" (Season 11, episode 11)
2018–2019 Step Up: High Water Collette Jones Main role (seasons 1–2); 20 episodes
Year Title Role Notes
2002 The Master of Disguise Captain America Kid Cameo appearance
2009 Frankenhood Hottie Cameo appearance
2011 Glee: The 3D Concert Movie Santana Lopez Concert film
2013 The Naughty List Sparkle (voice) English dub
2014 At the Devil's Door Vera Feature film debut
2017 Mad Families Felipa Jonas

Disappearance and death[change | change source]

On July 8, 2020, Rivera became a missing person after her four-year-old son was found alone in Rivera's rented boat at Lake Piru in Fillmore, California.[10][11] The following day, Ventura County sheriff's department said that Rivera most likely drowned and died.[12]

On July 13, 2020, a body was found. The sheriff of Ventura County said in a press conference that the body found was most likely Rivera.[13] Rivera was 33 years old.[14]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Naya Rivera Bio". Us Weekly. Archived from the original on April 19, 2016. Retrieved October 7, 2013.
  2. "Naya Rivera Dishes On Recording "Sorry" Single With Big Sean". Billboard. Retrieved January 22, 2014.
  3. Quinn, Dave (31 January 2018). "Glee's Naya Rivera Returns to the Classroom for a Sexy Dance with Ne-Yo in Step Up: High Water". People. Retrieved 7 March 2018.
  4. Lee, Esther (April 9, 2014). "Naya Rivera, Big Sean's Engagement Is Off; Rapper Releases Statement". Us Weekly. Retrieved May 5, 2014.
  5. Hinojosa, Stacy (December 3, 2009). "Naya Rivera From 'Glee' Talks Santana, Singing and Spencer Pratt". Archived from the original on October 9, 2011. Retrieved August 15, 2010.
  6. "Glee star in T.O. to help kids". Toronto Sun. July 30, 2012. Retrieved July 31, 2012.
  7. Vultaggio, Maria (January 14, 2015). "Naya Rivera Coming Out? Watch Actress Respond To Bisexual Comment On 'The View'". International Business Times. Retrieved January 15, 2015.
  8. "Naya Rivera Arrested for Domestic Battery in West Virginia". E! Online. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  9. "Naya Rivera's Domestic Battery Charge Has Been Dismissed". Retrieved 2018-01-18.
  10. "Actress Naya Rivera Missing After Swimming in Lake Piru With 4-Year-Old Son". CBS Los Angeles. July 9, 2020. Archived from the original on November 20, 2020. Retrieved July 9, 2020.
  11. "Actress Naya Rivera, known for 'Glee', a possible drowning victim after going boating on Lake Piru". ABC7 Los Angeles. July 9, 2020.
  12. Gossip.Pk (2020-07-10). "Naya Rivera Missing in Lake". Gossip.Pk. Archived from the original on 2020-07-10. Retrieved 2020-07-10.
  13. "Naya Rivera disappearance: Officials update on body found in Lake Piru, Calif. | LIVE". YouTube. 2020-07-13.
  14. "'Glee' Star Naya Rivera Dead at 33". Rolling Stone. 2020-07-13. Retrieved 2020-07-13.

Other websites[change | change source]