Jane Lynch Pays Tribute to Naya Rivera on The Today Show

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Jane Lynch remembered her Glee co-star Naya Rivera on the Today Show this week. 

“She was a force of nature, and it’s just gut-wrenching and heartbreaking that she’s gone,” Lynch said of Rivera. 

Rivera Santana Lopez on all six seasons on the Fox series, while Lynch played William McKinley High School cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester.

Sue Shot

“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.

naya rivera

“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 went on to speak about Rivera's impact on young LGBTQ people through her character's relationship with Brittany S. Pierce, 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.

Rivera went missing in July after renting a pontoon boat on Lake Piru with her young son Josey. 

Jane Lynch at the Globes

The youngster was later found alone on the boat, but Rivera was nowhere to be found. 

A search of the lake and its surrounding areas got underway shortly thereafter, but there were challenges with the visibility of the lake. 

However, it was noted that there was no evidence Rivera had left the water, and her body was found days later. 

Earlier this week, Morris paid a special tribute to her and Rivera's on-screen relationship via Instagram. 

"I have been feeling really heavy lately, I've felt this kind of aching in my heart to connect with my fans," Heather said.

A Gleeful Wedding Season 6 Episode 8

"To connect with everybody who's being feeling a little lost and a little confused during this time. I don't need to explain what the importance of Santana and Brittany's relationship was to all you of who are watching because most of you felt like it was your gateway into your current life," she continued.

"Most of you felt it was an inspiration to become your best self and I want you to know that was never lost on me. It was never lost on Naya."

"We both knew how special that was. I think she knew a little bit more than I did. I really felt it a lot later with all the messages and all the people reaching out, and I knew the writers also knew that as well."

Heather added: "I felt a really deep need to connect to all of you right now because I just know how important our relationship was to you all and I know a lot of you feel very lost and very far away from what happened – maybe a little bit confused and that's completely normal – but I feel like I owed it to you guys because I think the fans were such a huge impact on our storyline."

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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