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Naya Rivera: We take a look at The Glee star’s career highlights

Glee actor Naya Rivera is missing and presumed dead after her four-year-old son was found alone on a boat in a lake in Southern California, officials say.

The Ventura County Sheriff’s office has said the effort to find Ms Rivera at Lake Piru, which is situated about 40 miles north west of central Los Angeles, is now a “search and recovery operation”.

The actress, 33, is best known for playing cheerleader Santana Lopez in the hit TV series Glee.

Here, we take a look back at the actor, model and singer’s career highlights.

Santana Lopez ()

Early career

Naya Rivera got her first big acting job in 1991, at only four years old, playing Hillary Winston in The Royal Family sitcom. For her performance, she was nominated for a Young Artist Award.

Over the next ten years, she had small parts in a number of TV shows, including The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Family Matters, and Baywatch.

She appeared in 2002 in the music video for B2K’s Why I Love You.

Rivera featured in ten episodes of The Bernie Mac Show, and then acted in 8 Simple Rules and CSI: Miami.

While auditioning and performing in these roles, she worked other jobs, including as a telemarketer, a nanny, and a greeter at an Abercrombie & Fitch store.

In 2006 and 2007 she performed in the play U Don’t Know Me: The Musical in Los Angeles and on the production’s national tour.

She also auditioned for American Idol, but did not make it past the first round.


Rivera played Santana Lopez in the hit series Glee ()

Ms Rivera’s fame shot up after she was cast as high school cheerleader Santana Lopez on Glee, a TV series about a high school glee club.

Her character Santana was initially cold-hearted, but warmed up throughout the show. She began as a smaller part, but by season two she became a regular character and began singing solo songs.

It was also revealed in season two that Santana was a lesbian. Ms Rivera was praised for her portrayal of Santana struggling with her feelings for her best friend and her sexuality. She won an ALMA award for her performance in the role.

Musical career


Ms Rivera signed a deal in 2011 with Columbia Records to produce a solo album. She released debut single Sorry featuring rapper Big Sean in 2013.

However, after the single, production on the album was halted, and in 2014 Columbia records and Ms Rivera parted ways.

Later acting

Rivera acted in her debut feature film At the Devil’s Door, which premiered in 2014. She was praised for her acting, although the film received mixed reviews.

She played Blanca Alvarez in Lifetime’s drama series Devious Minds in 2015. In 2018, it was announced that she would play the school administrator Collette Jones in the YouTube Red series Step Up: High Water.

Ms Rivera released a memoir titled Sorry Not Sorry: Dreams, Mistakes, and Growing Up in 2016.


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