Jane Lynch Says 'Glee' Co-Star Naya Rivera Always 'Had Your Back'

Jane Lynch Naya Rivera Heather Morris
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'She was a force of nature,' the actress says of her late co-star.

Jane Lynch says that hearing about the death of Naya Rivera was "gut-wrenching." On July 8, Rivera was found dead in Lake Piru in Ventura County, California, following a boating trip with her young son, Josey. She was 33.

Over a month later, Lynch opened up about the loss of her Glee co-star, calling the news "heartbreaking."

"She was a force of nature," she told Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager on Wednesday's Today. "With Naya, you felt like somebody had your back."

Lynch, who played Sue Sylvester on Glee, further praised Rivera's portrayal of Santana Lopez on the hit Fox show. "I think that one of the things that kind of got lost when we were doing the show is what a force she was because there were so many talented people," the 60-year-old actress said. "She blew everybody away."

After initially hearing of Rivera's death last month, Lynch tweeted her condolences. "Rest sweet, Naya. What a force you were," she wrote. "Love and peace to your family."

Since her death, Rivera's friends and co-stars have been showering social media with heartfelt tributes. Here's a look at some of their posts.