The creators of Glee have set up a college fund for Naya Rivera's son, after the former star’s death was confirmed yesterday at the age of 33.
Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan issued a poignant statement, following the actress' untimely passing, where they shared their fondest memories of Naya and revealed they were creating a fund to support her four-year-old son Josey.
"We are heartbroken over the loss of our friend Naya Rivera ... Our hearts go out to her family, especially her mom, Yolanda, who was a big part of the Glee family and her son Josey. The three of us are currently in the process of creating a college fund for the beautiful son Naya loved most of all,” the statement read.
The television trio went on to praise Naya for being a "real pro".
"Naya wasn't a series regular when we cast her on 'Glee'. She didn't have more than a few lines in the pilot. But it didn't take more than an episode or two for us to realise that we had lucked into finding one of the most talented, special stars we would ever have the pleasure of working with.
“Naya could act, she could dance, and she could sing (could she ever sing!) She could nail a joke as well as she could crush you with an emotional scene. She could move between being scary tough and deeply vulnerable with ease. She was a joy to write for, a joy to direct and a joy to be around ...
"Naya was a real pro. Always on time, always knew her lines (which wasn't easy considering the giant mouthfuls of dialogue we often gave her), always kept everyone laughing on the set. She was warm and caring and fiercely protective of the rest of the cast. She was tough and demanding.
"She was fun. She was kind. She was generous. There were ups and downs during the wonderful and stressful years we spent making 'Glee'. We disagreed, we fought, we made up, then we fought some more, than we made up again. The kinds of things that happen in a family. Naya was more than just an actor on our show - she was our friend."
Tributes have flown in for Naya from her former co-stars, after the star, who was best known for playing high school cheerleader Santana Lopez on Glee, died at Lake Piru in California.
Last night, Dianna Agron, who played Quinn Fabray on the musical series, took to her Instagram to write a sweet tribute to the late star.
“Naya and I fell into stride with such ease, she was my first friend and ally on our show. In the pilot, our characters came and went with such swiftness. Our enthusiasm brimmed with all of the unknown. We tried to grasp what the other cast members must be feeling as we were working in such separate manners. We dared to dream. What if this show worked? Wouldn’t that be something? Something was brimming, it was palpable. And thank god it worked. Naya’s magnetic talent was going to be unleashed, we just didn’t know it yet. ,” she wrote.
“I cannot make sense of this tremendous loss. I will hold onto her and these memories for the rest of time, alongside our Glee family. Please hold space for her, her family, her beautiful boy.”
Lea Michele played Rachel Berry and posted a black and white picture of Naya to her Instagram Story, as well as an image of Glee cast members at a beach.
Demi Lovato, who played Naya’s on-screen girlfriend on the show, said she would “forever cherish” starring alongside her.
Darren Criss played Blaine Anderson on Glee and paid tribute to a “wild, hilarious, beautiful angel” and Jane Lynch, who played ruthless cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester, tweeted: “Rest sweet, Naya. What a force you were. Love and peace to your family.”
Meanwhile Chord Overstreet, who played Sam Evans on the show, said: The world is at such a loss and I am truly heartbroken.”