American actressDied when: 33 years 178 days (401 months)
Star Sign: Capricorn
Naya Marie Rivera (;January 12, 1987 – July 8, 2020) was an American actress, singer and model.She began her career as a child actress and model, first appearing in national television commercials.
At the age of four she landed the role of Hillary Winston on the short-lived CBS sitcom The Royal Family (1991–1992), earning a nomination for a Young Artist Award at five.
After a series of recurring television roles and then guest spots as a teenager, Rivera got her breakthrough role in 2009 as lesbian cheerleader Santana Lopez on the Fox television series Glee (2009–2015).
For the role, she received critical acclaim and various awards, including a SAG Award and ALMA Award, as well as earning two Grammy Award and one Brit Award nominations.
Rivera was signed to Columbia Records as a solo musical artist in 2011 and – despite never releasing a studio album – released a single, "Sorry", in 2013.
She won two ALMA Awards as a music artist.On the big screen, Rivera made her debut in the horror film At the Devil's Door (2014) before playing a supporting role in the comedy Mad Families (2017).
Besides performing, Rivera championed various charitable causes, particularly for LGBT rights, immigrants' rights, and women's rights.She also spoke out against racism, especially in entertainment.
Her personal life garnered significant press and media attention throughout her career, and in 2016 she published a memoir titled Sorry Not Sorry: Dreams, Mistakes, and Growing Up.
Because of her varied roles across her three decades as a performer, Rivera is seen as having been a vanguard of Afro-Latino and queer representation on television.
On July 8, 2020, Rivera drowned at Lake Piru, near Santa Clarita, California, while swimming with her four-year-old son Josey, who was found alone on their rented boat.
Her body was recovered from the lake on the morning of July 13, following a five-day search.At the time of her death, she was between seasons of the television series Step Up, in which she played the female lead, Collette Jones.