Heather Morris, Kevin McHale and Jenna Ushkowitz marked another year since the passing of their “angel,” who played Santana Lopez on the hit musical series
Naya Rivera’s loved ones are paying tribute to the late actress two years after her unexpected death at age 33.
On Friday, Rivera’s old Glee costars including Kevin McHale, Heather Morris and Jenna Ushkowitz all honored their friend on the second anniversary of her passing.
The actress, who was beloved for portraying Santana Lopez on Glee, drowned in July 2020 while on a boat ride with her son Josey (whom she shared with ex-husband Ryan Dorsey).
“Everyday my angel,” Morris, who played Brittany Pierce, the love interest to Rivera’s Santana Lopez on Glee, posted on Instagram. “I miss you every damn day.”
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“The best there ever was forever & ever ♥️,” McHale, who portrayed Artie Abrams in the Fox comedy-drama series, wrote on Instagram — alongside a photo of Rivera posing on a boat.
Ushkowitz, who played Tina Cohen-Chang on the Ryan Murphy-created series, shared a black-and-white throwback photo of Rivera on Instagram, captioning it with a simple heart emoji.
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Rivera was last seen renting a boat at Lake Piru in Southern California. When the boat was not returned on time, staff found it on the north side of the lake with Josey sleeping in his life jacket on board.
Rivera was missing for five days before she was found on July 13. An autopsy later determined her cause of death to be an accidental drowning, and authorities determined that she likely saved Josey by putting him back on board the boat before she died. Rivera was laid to rest on July 24, 2020.
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In May, Dorsey remembered the late actress in a touching Mother’s Day post on Instagram.
The carousel began with a snap of Josey and his paternal grandmother, followed by a series of sweet throwbacks of Rivera and their son, and pictures of flowers at her grave.
“I woke up thinking about so much,” the Big Sky actor, 38, began the caption. “Josey with his grandma & me by myself. I don’t text Happy Mothers Day b/c that seems like an insane thing to do considering. My mind full of so many thoughts. So many things. So many things to do this Sunday but first thing on the list was to get on with it & head to my least favorite place in the world.”
He continued, “Flashes of memories of me as a little boy at his age w/ my mom turned into some gratitude for the years I’ve had & still have, turns into the times my son & I had with his and how they were stopped… I know how this day is going to go. Plenty of time for water works, but not now. I fight it & up I get.”
“Turning onto Forest Lawn Drive will alway bring the memory of two summers ago,” he wrote of pulling into the cemetery in Hollywood Hills. “But the memories prior to that I have to be grateful for & our son.”
Later in the post, he concluded, “Hug your mommas and grandmas, and love ’em while you can. Forgive & forget, if you can. You don’t wanna maybe wish what if you did one day.❤️🖤”