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'Glee' stars mourn Naya Rivera: 'You gave life your all'

Naya Rivera attends The 40th Annual People's Choice Awards on January 2014. A number of Glee stars, including Kevin McHale and Jenna Ushkowitz, paid homage to Rivera following her death. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
Naya Rivera attends The 40th Annual People's Choice Awards on January 2014. A number of "Glee" stars, including Kevin McHale and Jenna Ushkowitz, paid homage to Rivera following her death. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

July 14 (UPI) -- Former Glee stars, such as Kevin McHale, Jenna Ushkowitz, Demi Lovato and more, paid tribute to Naya Rivera on social media following her death.

Rivera's body was discovered Monday after the 33-year-old actress went missing Wednesday while on a lake in Southern California and was presumed drowned.

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Family members, co-stars from Glee-- including Heather Morris who portrayed Brittany on the series -- and other friends helped search the lake for Rivera.

Authorities found Rivera's 4-year-old son alone wearing a life jacket and sleeping inside a rented pontoon boat. Authorities called the death an accident and did not suspect foul play.

Rivera starred on Glee as Santana. The actress was also known for appearing in Devious Maids and Step Up: High Water.

"I just hope more than anything that her family is given the space and time to come to terms with this. For having such a tiny body, Naya had such a gigantic presence, a void that will now be felt by all of us - those of us who knew her personally and the millions of you who loved her through your TVs. I love you, Bee," McHale, who portrayed Artie on Glee, said on Instagram alongside a black and white photo of himself with Rivera.

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"I was lucky enough to share so many laughs, martinis and secrets with you. I can not believe I took for granted that you'd always be here. Our friendship went in waves as life happens and we grow, so I will not look back and regret but now I love you and promise to help the legacy of your talent, humor, light and loyalty live on," Ushkowitz, who portrayed Tina on Glee, said on Instagram alongside a black and white photo of herself with Rivera.

Ushkowitz, on her Instagram Story, posted a number of photos of herself with Rivera during their time on the musical series.

"I''ll forever cherish the opportunity to play your girlfriend on Glee. The character you played was groundbreaking for tons of closeted queer girls (like me at the time) and open queer girls, and your ambition and accomplishments were inspiring to Latina women all over the world. My heart goes out to your loved ones at this time," Lovato, who portrayed Dani on Glee, said on Instagram next to a photo of Rivera.

"You deserved more. I'm so sorry but you deserved more. You gave life your all and I hope all the good that you have given to the world will be returned in abundance when you reunite with our brother in the heavenly skies. I'm so grateful for our memories," Harry Shum Jr., who portrayed Mike on Glee, said on Instagram.

"Her brilliance and humor were unmatched. Her beauty and talent were otherworldly She spoke truth to power with poise and fearlessness. 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 bade of honor and a suit of armor," Chris Colfer, who portrayed Kurt on Glee, said on Instagram alongside a black and white photo of himself with Rivera.

"Even as I sit here, struggling to comprehend, gutted beyond description- the very thought of her cracks me up and still brings a smile to my face. That was Naya's gift. And it's a gift that will never go away," Darren Criss, who portrayed Blaine on Glee, said on Instagram alongside a photo of Rivera.

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