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Naya Rivera
Naya Rivera by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Rivera in June 2010
Naya Marie Rivera

(1987-01-12)January 12, 1987
Died July 8, 2020(2020-07-08) (aged 33)
  • Actress
  • singer
  • model
Years active 1991–2020
Home town Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Ryan Dorsey
(m. 2014; div. 2018)
Partner(s) Big Sean (2013–14)
Children 1
Relatives Mychal Rivera (brother)
Musical career
Instruments Vocals
Labels Columbia

Naya Marie Rivera (January 12, 1987 – July 8, 2020) was an American actress, model and singer. She was known for her role as Santana Lopez on the Fox television series Glee (2009–15).

She died on July 8, 2020 at the age of 33 in Lake Piru in Fillmore, California. Her body was not found until July 13. Police said that she had probably drowned in the lake.


As a baby, she appeared in Kmart commercials before she began acting.

Her career began with her debut role as Hillary Winston on the short-lived CBS sitcom The Royal Family at the age of 4 (1991–1992). She appeared in minor roles as a teenager in 2000s television programs. She later became well known for his role as Santana Lopez on the Fox television series Glee (2009–2015).

Rivera was signed to Columbia Records as a solo artist in 2011 and released a single in 2013, "Sorry", featuring rapper Big Sean.

Rivera made her feature movie debut as Vera in the horror movie At the Devil's Door (2014), and recurred as Blanca on the third season of the Lifetime television series Devious Maids in 2015.

In 2016, she published a memoir with TarcherPerigee, Sorry Not Sorry: Dreams, Mistakes, and Growing Up.

In 2018, it was announced that she would be taking the role of school administrator Collette Jones in the YouTube Red series Step Up: High Water.

Personal life

Rivera was born in Santa Clarita, California. She was raised in Los Angeles.

From 2014 to 2018, she was married to Ryan Dorsey. The two divorced. She was also in a relationship with Big Sean from 2013 to 2014. They were briefly engaged.

Rivera dedicated her time to many charitable organizations including GLAAD, Stand Up to Cancer, The Trevor Project, The Elephant Project, and The Sunshine Foundation.

She was bisexual.

Legal troubles

In late November 2017, Rivera was arrested and charged in Kanawha County, West Virginia with domestic battery against her future ex-husband Dorsey after she allegedly hit him in the head and face. In January 2018, the domestic battery charge was dismissed at the request of Dorsey.

Disappearance and death

On July 8, 2020, Rivera became a missing person after her four-year-old son was found alone in Rivera's rented boat at Lake Piru in Fillmore, California. The following day, Ventura County sheriff's department said that Rivera most likely drowned and died.

On July 13, 2020, the sheriff of Ventura County said in a press conference that a body that looked like Rivera’s was found in Lake Piru. Rivera was 33 years old.

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