Gwyneth Paltrow said she is in “utter shock and disbelief” following the death of her Glee co-star Naya Rivera.
Oscar-winning actress Paltrow had a memorable recurring role in the musical comedy series as substitute teacher Holly Holliday.
She performed on the show alongside 33-year-old Rivera, whose body was found at a lake in Southern California on Monday.
Paltrow shared a clip from Glee of her, Rivera and co-star Heather Morris singing Fleetwood Mac’s Landslide, saying it was a “special moment”.
She wrote on Instagram: “Remembering beautiful @nayarivera today. Getting to sing in this trio with her was such a special moment. I am in utter shock and disbelief that someone so full of life and passion and talent is no longer with us. And completely heart broken for her family.”
Dianna Agron starred in Glee as Quinn Fabray, a close friend and fellow cheerleader of Nivera’s Santana Lopez.
She posted an emotional tribute to Instagram, sharing a picture of the pair touching noses.
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Naya and I fell into stride with such ease, she was my first friend and ally on our show. In the pilot, our characters came and went with such swiftness. Our enthusiasm brimmed with all of the unknown. We tried to grasp what the other cast members must be feeling as we were working in such separate manners. We dared to dream. What if this show worked? Wouldn’t that be something? Something was brimming, it was palpable. And thank god it worked. Naya’s magnetic talent was going to be unleashed, we just didn’t know it yet. I’ve been revisiting Naya’s performances on our show and it has brought me great joy. To work with her was a gift. There was a great deal to absorb - her work ethic, her fearlessness, her talent - supreme. Naya had a laugh that would envelop you and hold you captive. She was mesmerizing. That twinkle in her eye, her luminous smile. Naya lead with truth, humor, wit. I loved her for all of these reasons. I loved her sense of curiosity and wanderlust. I was lucky enough to be her travel partner for some of my most favorite adventures. As I write this, I’m grinning with swelling memories of a spontenaous 36 hour excursion - one might even say diversion - to Paris. With Naya, everything was possible and would often simply unfold before us, almost magically. On this particular jaunt, within ten minutes of checking into our hotel, we found ourselves strolling the halls of L'École des Beaux-Arts, sipping wine from paper cups with students showcasing their latest work. It was fantastic. We were united in our commitment to discovery. And there was always a list of cleverly curated ideas in Naya’s back pocket, should we need it. I cannot make sense of this tremendous loss. I will hold onto her and these memories for the rest of time, alongside our Glee family. Please hold space for her, her family, her beautiful boy. In absolute, loving memory.
Agron, 34, said: “I loved her sense of curiosity and wanderlust. I was lucky enough to be her travel partner for some of my most favourite adventures. As I write this, I’m grinning with swelling memories of a spontaneous 36 hour excursion – one might even say diversion – to Paris. With Naya, everything was possible and would often simply unfold before us, almost magically.”
She added: “I cannot make sense of this tremendous loss. I will hold onto her and these memories for the rest of time, alongside our Glee family. Please hold space for her, her family, her beautiful boy.”
Rivera went missing at Lake Piru on July 8 and the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office confirmed her body was found in the water on Monday.
The actress had been at the lake with her four-year-old son, Josey Hollis. He told police she helped him back onto their rented boat before disappearing beneath the water.
RIP Naya Rivera. Iâll forever cherish the opportunity to play your girlfriend on Glee. The character you played was groundbreaking for tons of closeted (at the time) queer girls like me, and your ambition and accomplishments were inspiring to Latina women all over the world. pic.twitter.com/oCML03M9Kw— Demi Lovato (@ddlovato) July 14, 2020
Officers believe she may have become exhausted by strong currents and been unable to save herself.
Other Glee cast members were among those paying tribute.
Darren Criss played Blaine Anderson on the show and paid tribute to a “wild, hilarious, beautiful angel”.
Demi Lovato, who played Rivera’s on-screen girlfriend, said she would “forever cherish” starring alongside her.
And Chris Colfer shared a lengthy tribute on Instagram, celebrating his more than 10-year friendship with Rivera.