'Glee' 's Heather Morris, Amber Riley and More Remember Naya Rivera on Her 34th Birthday

Naya Rivera would have turned 34 on Tuesday

Heather Morris, Naya Rivera
Naya Rivera and Heather Morris.

Naya Rivera may be gone, but she will never be forgotten.

To celebrate what would have been the Glee star's 34th birthday on Tuesday, some of Rivera's costars paid tribute to the late actress, who tragically died during a boating trip in July.

"Happy Birthday my angel. I can't write a sappy monologue because it's just too hard…but I love you and I can't describe how much I miss you," Heather Morris, who played Rivera's love interest on the musical comedy series, wrote alongside a black-and-white Instagram photo of the pair.

Amber Riley (Mercedes Jones) also shared a snap of herself from her August appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, when she performed a breathtaking tribute for Rivera.

"A little update Naya, earth is REALLY ghetto now!!! Still, I miss you so very much and I wish you were here," Riley began.

"There hasn't been a day where you don't cross my mind, and when you do, I take a moment of silence to remember all the beautiful moments we got to spend together," she continued. "I'm listening to Amy Winehouse, sippin wine, and eating a very fancy charcuterie in your honor today (don't worry, I'm checking on mom). HAPPY HEAVENLY BIRTHDAY ANGEL 🥳🥰."

Sharing a cast photo of himself and Rivera to Instagram, Chris Colfer (Kurt Hummel) wrote: "Happy birthday, babe. Miss you. ❤️."

Rivera was confirmed dead at age 33 on July 13 — five days after she disappeared during a trip to Ventura County's Lake Piru. She was reported missing after renting a pontoon boat with her son Josey Dorsey, who was 4 at the time.

Just hours before Rivera's body was found, Morris and other Glee cast members were seen gathered together at Lake Piru.

"Some of her cast members from Glee came to the lake and they were allowed to come down to the water's edge, and they, as a group, they prayed for her," Ventura County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Kevin Donoghue told PEOPLE at the time.

In footage captured by ABC 7, Morris and several others were spotted holding hands as they looked out on to the body of water.

"And it was shortly after that, that her body was located," Donoghue said.

Nearly two weeks later, Rivera was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles on July 24, according to her death certificate, which was obtained by PEOPLE. The document, filed in Ventura County, California, confirmed that Rivera's cause of death was "drowning" and states that she died within a matter of "[minutes]."

In early December, Rivera's Glee costars rallied together to raise money in honor of the late actress.

Morris, Dianna Agron, Chord Overstreet, Jenna Ushkowitz, Kevin McHale, Matthew Morrison and more of the show's former stars all took part in launching a GoFundMe for Alexandria House — an organization Rivera passionately supported — and raised $117,900.

"Naya had a Christmas party every year called Snixxmas, and she would raise money. She would take Josey, her son, and she would go down to Alexandria House — this was the transitional house for women and children," Riley, 34, recently told PEOPLE. "She would volunteer her time. She wasn't just giving money, but she had a heart for people."

Riley added of the fundraiser: "During a pandemic, being able to do that in her name, I know we are making her proud. And we vow to make her son proud too, and remember her legacy. That's our goal."

Related Articles