Naya Rivera Remembered By ‘Glee’ Costar Jane Lynch On The ‘Today’ Show

Jane Lynch fondly remembered her former Glee co-star Naya Rivera today as “a force” whose talent was under-recognized.

Lynch spoke about Rivera during the 4th hour of the Today show on Wednesday, speaking with Jenna Bush Hager. The 33-year-old Rivera died last month from drowning in a California lake.

“She was a force of nature, and it’s just gut-wrenching and heartbreaking that she’s gone,” Lynch said of Rivera, who played high school cheerleader Santana Lopez for six seasons on the Fox series. Lynch played William McKinley High School cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester.

“I think that one of the things that kind of got lost when we were doing the show was what a force she was because there were so many talented people,” Lynch said. “She was one of those people. She wasn’t in every scene, but when she was … she just blew everybody away.

“I had three-page monologues, so did she. It took me a week to get mine – she would do them right off the bat. She’d be changing them and she had no problem with it.”

Lynch also noted Rivera’s influence on young LGBTQ people through her work on the show. Rivera portrayed Lopez’s relationship with Brittany S. Pierce, a character played by Heather Morris.

“She was a great advocate and loved the fact that she and Heather Morris had the lesbian relationship on the show and how much that meant to so many young people,” Lynch said.

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