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Glee star Jane Lynch reflects on ‘gut wrenching and heartbreaking’ death of Naya Rivera

Patrick Kelleher August 13, 2020
Jane Lynch Naya Rivera

Jane Lynch starring opposite Naya Rivera on Glee (Getty)

Jane Lynch has opened up about the tragic death of her Glee co-star Naya Rivera, calling her untimely passing “gut wrenching and heartbreaking”.

The lesbian actress said Rivera, who died last month while swimming in Lake Piru, California,  was “a force” whose talent was never fully appreciated.

“She was a force of nature, and it’s just gut-wrenching and heartbreaking that she’s gone,” Lynch, who played Sue Sylvester on Glee, said during a Wednesday appearance (12 August) on The Today Show

“I think that one of the things that kind of got lost when we were doing the show was what a force she was because there were so many talented people.

“She was one of those people. She wasn’t in every scene, but when she was… she just blew everybody away.”

Glee star Jane Lynch praised the late actress Naya Rivera as a ‘great advocate’ for LGBT+ people.

“I had three-page monologues, so did she. It took me a week to get mine – she would do them right off the bat. She’d be changing them and she had no problem with it.”

Lynch went on to praise Rivera’s powerful portrayal of queer cheerleader Santana Lopez, whose on-screen relationship inspired LGBT+ fans everywhere.

“She was a great advocate and loved the fact that she and Heather Morris had the lesbian relationship on the show and how much that meant to so many young people,” Lynch said.

The actress was confirmed dead last month aged 33 after she went missing while swimming in Lake Piru.

She was a great advocate and loved the fact that she and Heather Morris had the lesbian relationship on the show and how much that meant to so many young people.

She had rented a boat at the lake and spent the afternoon swimming with her four year old son, Josey Hollis.

Hours later, another boater discovered Hollis alone and asleep on the boat, with Rivera nowhere in sight. Her car was later discovered parked near the lake.

Rivera’s body was discovered last month following a days-long search.

A six-days long search kicked off, and Rivera’s body was eventually recovered the following week.

Glee stars delivered touching tributes to the star after the local sheriff’s office confirmed that Rivera’s body had been found.

Writing at the time, Lynch said: “Rest sweet, Naya. What a force you were. Love and peace to your family.”

Other former Glee stars, from Demi Lovato to Amber Riley, delivered powerful tributes to the star.

Acclaimed rock band Fleetwood Mac also shared their sadness upon learning of Rivera’s death, and reflected on the time she performed a powerful version of their classic “Songbird” on the show.


More: Glee, Jane Lynch, naya rivera

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