Glee Alum Darren Criss Remembers Naya Rivera as ‘Bold’ and ‘Outrageous’

Actress, Naya Rivera, passed away at the age of 33. She was a bright star best known for her role as Santana Lopez on FOX’s Glee. Since her passing, friends and colleagues have used social media to honor Rivera.

'Glee' stars Darren Criss and Naya Rivera
‘Glee’ stars Darren Criss and Naya Rivera | FOX Image Collection via Getty Images

Former ‘Glee’ co-star, Darren Criss, shared a heartfelt post in memory of Naya Rivera

Bold, outrageous, and fun are a few words that Darren Criss used to describe Rivera. In memory of his former co-star, he posted a photo of her to Instagram with a lengthy caption that reads as follows:

⁣She was bold. She was outrageous. She was a LOT of fun. Naya made me laugh like no one else on that set. I always said it while we were working together and I’ve maintained it ever since. Her playful, wicked sense of humor never ceased to bring a smile to my face.⁣

She played by her own rules and was in a class of her own. She had a brashness about her that I couldn’t help but be enchanted by. I also always loved her voice, and savored every chance I got to hear her sing. I think she had more talent than we would have ever been able to see.⁣

I was constantly moved by the degree to which she took care of her family, and how she looked out for her friends. She showed up for me on numerous occasions where she didn’t have to, and I was always so grateful for her friendship then, as I certainly am now.⁣

And 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. ⁣

Rest in peace you wild, hilarious, beautiful angel.

Darren Criss via Instagram

Criss played Blaine Anderson on Glee and worked alongside Rivera for several seasons. The actor’s post gives followers insight into Rivera’s work ethic, sense of humor, singing talent, and caring nature — qualities of Rivera that other actors have also praised.


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Like Criss, many other Glee cast mates have taken to social media to pay their respects to Rivera. Even stars who worked with her for a considerably shorter period of time commented on the impression she left, as an artist and as a professional actor.

‘Glee’ grads, Melissa Benoist and Grant Gustin, celebrated Rivera’s legacy on social media

Glee alums, Melissa Benoist and Grant Gustin, did shorter stints on Glee than Criss. But it appears that Rivera left a lasting impression on the two stars, who both moved to The CW’s Arrowverse.

Benoist, now the title character of Supergirl, shared an image of Rivera on Instagram with a caption praising her former Glee co-star’s kindness, beauty, authenticity, and talent.

“There was an undeniable beauty that she radiated inside and out, and I consider myself incredibly lucky that I got to witness that up close even for the short period of time that I did,” wrote Benoist in part of her post.

The Flash headliner, Gustin, also reflected on his experience of working with Rivera on Glee. The actor posted a snapshot of Rivera with her son. His caption read, in part:

“I’ll always keep Naya in my heart and remember her for the strong, talented and compassionate person she was to me in the brief time I got to spend with her. Sending so much strength and love to her family and everyone whose heart is breaking over this tragic loss.”