The 42-year-old actor — who portrayed Mr. Schue on all six seasons of Glee — detailed how the cast of the former Fox series is coping with the tragedy during an interview with Entertainment Tonight on Friday, December 4.
“It was a really challenging year to lose yet another member of our cast, but we’ve just bonded together so much through this experience,” he explained.
In July, Rivera was declared a missing person after her then 4-year-old son Josey, whom she shared with ex-husband Ryan Dorsey, was discovered alone on their rented boat. The Step Up star’s body was found in the lake five days later. She was 33.
The Glee cast organized a charity fundraiser benefitting Alexandria House, a nonprofit organization in Los Angeles that provides safe housing for women and children, in her memory.
“Naya used to do this thing called Snixxmas, because that was one of her little nicknames, Snixx,” Morrison told Entertainment Tonight. “It’s something that the Glee cast — we’re talking about kind of, like, reviving it this year. Doing some kind of thing for charity, or something to kind of honor her.”
Rivera was best known for her role as Santana Lopez on Glee. Morrison honored the actress via Instagram in an emotional tribute following her death. In the post, the Grinch Musical star explained that he and Rivera bonded over their children. Morrison shares 3-year-old son, Revel James Makai, with his wife, Renee Puente.
“A common passion we both shared recently was that of our roles as parents. Naya was fervent about motherhood and had a steadfast love for Josey,” he wrote at the time. “It is that powerful love that ensures us that her story does not end here. I’m confident that her positive influence will be continuously felt, and that her beautiful spirit will carry on in the lives of so many. I’m devastated by this immense loss. This week has been long and trying with much praying and hope. I find some solace in closure, but the pain I feel for her and her family cannot be measured. Rest in peace, keep shining down on us with your bright light.”
Rivera’s death comes seven years after Monteith, who portrayed Finn Hudson on Glee, died at the age of 31 from a drug overdose in July 2013. Salling — who played Noah “Puck” Puckerman — later died by suicide in January 2018. He was 35.
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