Following the news of actress Naya Rivera’s death, celebrities, her co-stars, and fans of the show around the world shared both their grief and admiration for the Glee star.
In the Disney Channel show, which ran from 2009-2015, Rivera played the role of Santana Lopez, who first distinguished herself as the cheerleading queen of scathing takedowns and unapologetic confidence. While Santana was originally a minor role, Rivera’s fierce and nuanced portrayal of one of primetime TV's few Afro-Latina LGBTQ+ characters cemented Santana into one the of most iconic and beloved mainstays of the New Directions glee club. Santana dimensionality only grew throughout the years, as she found her voice among the group, grappled with her lesbian identity and love for her best friend Brittany, and later on moved to New York to pursue her dreams.
Ahead are some of Santana's most empowering and vulnerable moments from Glee, beloved by critics and fans alike.