Kristin Chenoweth Tears Up As She Recalls Her Time With Naya Rivera On ‘Glee’

A visibly emotional Kristin Chenoweth urged fans “not to lose hope” as she paid tribute to fellow actor Naya Rivera, who was found dead this week.

On Tuesday, Chenoweth posted an Instagram story video in which she recalled her time on the “Glee” set with Rivera.

“A long time ago, I was invited to be a guest star on a show called ‘Glee.’ I had the honor of meeting all my babies, those kids who still make me proud,” said the actor and singer, who played struggling thespian April Rhodes in five episodes of the musical comedy series. “With Naya gone, I know how that hurts them. She was such a sweet, sweet child.”

“To see her sitting with her baby really just gets me,” she added, referring to a photo she shared Monday of Rivera and her 4-year-old son, Josey Dorsey.

It’s been a challenging year for Chenoweth, who is beloved by Broadway audiences for her roles in the musicals “Wicked” and “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.”

Her close friend John Sawyer also died earlier this year on Mother’s Day, the Tony and Emmy Award winner shared in her Instagram story Tuesday.

“I thought maybe John was up in Heaven with [Rivera], preparing the way,” Chenoweth said. “Anyway, I just want to tell you all not to lose hope. It’s going to be OK. And if you need to have a big cry like I’m doing right now, then do it.”

Rivera’s body was discovered in California’s Lake Piru on Monday after she went missing last week during a boating trip with her son. The 33-year-old actor’s death was declared an accidental drowning, medical examiners said Wednesday.

In addition to Chenoweth, many of Rivera’s other “Glee” co-stars ― including Darren Criss, Kevin McHale and Lea Michele ― have expressed their condolences on social media. 

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