Naya Rivera's journey from child star to Glee favourite as actress dies at 33

Glee star Naya Rivera has died at the age of 33 after going missing during a boating trip with her son Josey.

The actress was reported missing and presumed to have drowned on Lake Piru, California on Wednesday.

Authorities confirmed on Monday that her body had been found in their search and rescue mission.

Ventura County Sheriff’s Office announced they were ‘confident’ the body they had found was that of Naya’s.

Naya’s last social media post before going missing told followers that ‘tomorrow is not promised’.

She wrote: ‘no matter the year, circumstance, or strifes everyday you’re alive is a blessing.

‘make the most of today and every day you are given. tomorrow is not promised.’

The star had been active on Instagram throughout the week before she went missing, posting a picture of herself sunbathing in the garden.

Fans and her co-stars have been paying tribute to the actress as the news of her death spread.

Naya began her showbiz career as a child actor and model, appearing in TV adverts before joining The Royal Family at the age of four.

That role was followed by various guest spots throughout her teenage years, including Baywatch, Smart Guy, The Bernie Mac Show, CSI: Miami and Even Stevens.

In 2009 she landed the role of Santana Lopez in musical TV series Glee, which would propel her to stardom.

In the last series of the Fox show, Santana married fellow McKinley cheerleader Brittany (Heather Morris).

When the show ended in 2015 she had recurring roles in Devious Maids as Blanca and appeared in the Charlie Sheen film Mad Families.

Her most recent – and now final – role was Collette in the TV series Step Up: High Water which began in 2018 and is set to run until 2021.

In 2016, she confessed she had considered giving up acting before being cast in Glee.

‘I reached a point where I was like, “I have to go to college and get a real job, because money matters, and this doesn’t seem to be working out”,’ she told Entertainment Tonight.

‘My mom was the one that was like, “Just give it 6 months and go on everything and don’t be picky and just see what happens.”‘

Santana, she explained, had a ‘love-hate’ relationship with the character Rachel (played by Lea Michele) which sometimes carried over off screen.

Naya said: ‘Santana and Rachel hated each other, but they also had this love-hate sort of relationship, and I feel like Lea and I had that while we were on the show.’

In 2013 she was engaged to the rapper Big Sean but the wedding was called off the following year, which she said she learned about in a press release.

She was married to Ryan Dorsey from 2014 to 2018, and the former couple had Josey together.

In November 2017, the actress was charged with misdemeanour domestic battery after allegedly hitting Dorsey in the head and face, but the charge was dismissed two months later at the request of the Shameless actor.

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just the two of us

A post shared by Naya Rivera (@nayarivera) on

She has spoken in the past about co-parenting Josy admitting it is ‘challenging logistically’ but ‘doing what’s best for Josey is all it boils down to’.

Asked what has surprised her most about being a mother, she added to Momtastic: ‘The unconditional love. You hear about it and you think, “Well, obviously I’m going to love my child.” But it’s so deep.

‘Even after Josey goes to bed, I find myself thinking of him and looking at pictures of him and it almost brings me to tears half the time, because the love that I have for him is so amazing.’

Members of the Glee cast were pictured together with Naya’s family at the lake where she disappeared.

Stars Amber Riley, Heather Morris, Chris Colfer and Kevin McHale held hands with family members at the site where she was last seen.

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