Harry Shum Jr. Remembers Naya Rivera as a ‘Life of Party’ and ‘Beast’ on ‘Glee’

The Mike Chang depicter pays tribute to his late co-star, calling her a ‘beast’ who could nail ‘multi page monologues that [she] learned moments before.’

AceShowbizHarry Shum Jr. has penned a heartbreaking tribute to his former “Glee” co-star Naya Rivera, calling the late actress the “life of the party” and admitting he is “failing miserably to process” news of her death.

It was confirmed on Monday (13Jul20) that Naya had drowned in Lake Piru in Ventura County, California, following a boating trip with her four-year-old son Josey. According to local sheriffs, it’s believed she used her last energy to push Josey back into the boat after they swam together and the vessel started drifting away.

Following the tragic news of her passing, hordes of Naya’s former co-stars took to social media to pay tribute, with Harry – who played Mike Chang in Glee opposite Naya’s Santana Lopez – telling his Instagram followers he’s still struggling to accept that she’s gone.

“Dear Naya, I’m failing miserably to process this news. I always imagined old future senior moments where we would hear your infectious laughter down the hall knowing that our funny bone was in for a treat,” he wrote in his letter addressed to the late screen star. “To many people, myself included, you were the life of the party. Not only able to rock when fun was to be had after a long day but that shining friend that was always willing to listen, offer sympathy, perspective and at times, give much needed levity to any situation.”

Recalling their time together on the set of the Fox series, Harry continued, “You were a beast on the show. I admired you as I watched you nail multi page monologues that you learned moments before and pour your heart into every performance with an energy that had that snicks special written all over it. Our deep conversations about life in between scenes are some of my favorite moments with you. Getting to hear about your hopes and dreams for the future and with Josey’s arrival, ‘Your greatest success,’ I was so happy to see your dream turn into reality.”

Concluding, the 38-year-old wrote, “You deserved more. I’m so sorry but you deserved more. You gave life your all and I hope all the good that you have given to the world will be returned in abundance when you reunite with our brother in the heavanly (sic) skies. I’m so grateful for our memories. We will make sure to keep your legacy and spirit alive so Josey will grow up to know the incredible woman you were. Love you, Naya. You are already missed. Eternally.”

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