Tia Mowry Reflects on 'Beautiful Spirit' Naya Rivera's Life and Legacy (Exclusive)

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Tia Mowry will never forget Naya Rivera and her "beautiful spirit." The Family Reunion star praised the late actress, who died in an accidental drowning last month, while recently chatting with ET. The two actresses met each other through Mowry's younger brother, Tahj, and became close friends.

"I think about Naya every single day. Every single day. Naya was a beautiful, beautiful spirit," Mowry, 42, reflected, while promoting her Netflix series. "What I loved about her is she always had this calm demeanor and she was so funny, and she had the most beautiful smile."

"But the memories that I have of her are such wonderful, great memories of family. She would always be at the house, with my family, whether that’s making guacamole, whether that’s coming over for holiday gatherings," the former Sister, Sister star continued. "I also remember her going out with me, [my sister] Tamera, Cory, my husband now -- we were just dating then -- and just having just a really, really great time."

Mowry added that Rivera "was always so dependable, and just a loving, funny, wonderful, giving, always giving, spirit."

Following the Glee star's death, Mowry shared a photo of Rivera and her brother while on the set of his show Smart Guy, adding how the young actress became a part of their world.

"I’ve known your beautiful spirit since the age of 6. You quickly became family," Mowry wrote, before touching on some of her favorite memories of the two together.

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My Naya! I became apart of your world through my brother @tahj_mowry. You guys used to hit the pavement auditioning together and booking jobs together. I’ve known your beautiful spirit since the age of 6. You quickly became family. Just some of my favorite memories- you helping my sister and myself look for a place to live when my parents kicked Tamera and I out of the house at 25. Us hitting L.A. night life together with @tahj_mowry and going to parties introducing me to the most wild drink I’ve ever had and you laughing at me because I couldn’t handle it. I will never forget asking you to shoot an episode of my cooking show Tia Mowry at Home and you saying yes without hesitation. Or us walking together to our cars on the paramount lot after a long hard day of work. We were both so stoked that we had television shows on the same lot. I love you. Your smile will always be the most beautiful smile. Rest my love. You are now a beautiful angel. 🙏🏽

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Tahj was also vocal about his relationship with the late star. Following confirmation of her death, the former Baby Daddy star professed his love for her and wrote on his Instagram that he never stopped loving her.

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My sweet Naya - to say that I am devastated would be an understatement. This is a nightmare. Everyday gets harder. However, I am holding onto hope that you will be found. ⁣ ⁣ We grew up together. We became adults together. We experienced so many firsts together. You were my first experience with everything; love, intimacy, heartbreak. We broke each others hearts and then mended them back together...more than once. I will never not think of you. No woman has ever measured up what you gave me or how you made me feel. I’ve never liked to admit it but I have never stopped loving you. A part of me always wished for the day where God would bring us back together to be what we dreamt we could have been. ⁣ ⁣ I pray deeply for the Rivera family and that God blankets them with strength, peace, and love right now. Mychal and Nickayla - you will always be like younger siblings to me and I love you dearly. I watched you two grow up into beautiful adults. George and Yolanda - whatever you need I am here for you. We are forever family and I love you. ⁣ ⁣ I ask everyone reading this to please lift up, along with the entire Rivera family, Ryan and Josey in prayer and to respect what they are going through during this time. I pray that God showers the entire family with strength and peace that only He can give. ⁣ ⁣ I still have faith. I still have hope. Let’s please all pray that she is found and brought home safely. ⁣ ⁣ Naya, I miss you deeply. I wish I got the chance to tell you that once more but I’m believing I will get that chance. I know deep down you’ve always known how I felt. I look forward to the day where I can see your beautiful face once more and tell you everything I’ve wanted to say that I didn’t get the chance to say. I love you forever. I always have and I always will. ⁣ ⁣ ♥️

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On July 13, Rivera's body was found in Lake Piru in Ventura County, California, following a boating trip with her young son, Josey, days earlier. She was 33. A month after her death, a source told ET that while "this has been an unbelievably difficult time for her family and loved ones," Rivera's son was "doing better every day."

Josey is with his father, Ryan Dorsey, full time, the source said, adding that, all things considered, the young boy was coping well and understood that his mother is gone.

"Ryan’s whole world is Josey right now,” the source shared. "Ryan is still grieving and is very much struggling with the loss of Naya, but he stays strong and keeps going for the sake of his son."

"Ryan would do anything for Josey,” noted the source. “Right now, he’s really laying low and staying out of the public eye so he can completely focus on Josey and try to figure out how to navigate this new normal."

Hear more in the video below.


Gloria Estefan's ‘Heart Ripped to Shreds’ After Naya Rivera’s Death

How Naya Rivera’s Son Josey Is Coping One Month After His Mom's Death

Heather Morris Shares How She’s Coping With Naya Rivera's Death

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