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‘Glee’ cast remembers Naya Rivera: ‘What a force you were’

Naya Rivera as Santana Lopez, with other 'Glee' castmates
Naya Rivera, as Santana Lopez, performs the 300th musical performance of “Glee” surrounded by other members of the show’s cast.
(Fox)

After the Ventura County sheriff announced Monday that he was “confident” a body recovered from California’s Lake Piru earlier in the day was that of missing actress Naya Rivera, her “Glee” family remembered their friend warmly in words and pictures on social media.

Rivera, who was 33, went missing Wednesday after renting a boat with her 4-year-old son, Josey Dorsey. Josey, whose father was Rivera’s ex-husband, Ryan Dorsey, was found asleep in the boat late that night.

“Glee” castmate Chris Colfer was effusive in his memories of Rivera, who appeared in 116 episodes over the show’s six-season run.

“How can you convey all your love and respect for someone in one post? How can you summarize a decade of friendship and laughter with words alone? If you were friends with Naya Rivera, you simply can’t. Her brilliance and humor were unmatched. Her beauty and talent were otherworldly. She spoke truth to power with poise and fearlessness,” Colfer wrote on Instagram.

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“She could turn a bad day into a great day with a single remark. She inspired and uplifted people without even trying. Being close to her was both a badge of honor and a suit of armor,” Colfer added. “Naya was truly one of a kind, and she always will be.”

“Thank you for what you gave the world. I love you,” tweeted guest performer Kristin Chenoweth, who posted a photo of the actress cradling her young son.

“She had the sharpest wit, the slyest smile, a compassion for people from all walks of life, and a talent that knew no bounds,” “Glee” writer-director Michael Hitchcock tweeted.

“Rest sweet, Naya. What a force you were. Love and peace to your family,” tweeted costar Jane Lynch.

And costar Kevin McHale, who played Artie Abrams, alluded to Rivera’s body being found on the seventh anniversary of Cory Monteith’s death. Monteith, who played football player Finn Hudson on “Glee” and was the longtime boyfriend of Lea Michele (glee-club diva Rachel Berry), overdosed in 2013.

“I’m not religious by any means, but you’d be hard-pressed to convince me that Cory didn’t help find our girl today,” McHale tweeted Tuesday. “These 2, in many ways, were the male and female versions of one another. So nice, cared deeply, were stupidly talented, the most fun, and really really good people.”

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Michele posted black-and-white photos of Monteith and Rivera in her Instagram story Monday, and Iqbal Theba, who played the principal at “Glee’s” William McKinley High School, tweeted only an emoji of a broken heart.

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Condolences extended beyond the “Glee” crew too, with luminaries like Zoe Saldana, Viola Davis, Lili Reinhardt and others weighing in.

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