GLEE star Chris Colfer has written a heartbreaking tribute to late co-star Naya Rivera.
A week after it was confirmed that Naya had tragically died in a boating incident in California, Chris penned an emotional essay recalling how "the process of losing her has been such a nightmare, I find myself wondering if Naya was even real or if she was just a dream all along."
"How could a human being be that talented, that hilarious and that beautiful at once? How could one person be responsible for so much joy and be the subject of so many wonderful memories?" he wrote of the 33-year-old, who played Santana Lopez.
"When someone is as talented as Naya, saying she was also one of the funniest and most quotable people that I’ve ever met sounds like an exaggeration, but it’s the absolute truth.
"Naya could defuse a bomb with a witty remark. Her comebacks and quips were legendary, and I used to follow her around set, jotting down everything she said into my phone."
Chris, who starred as Kurt in the long-running musical dramedy, added: "Just being in Naya’s presence made you feel protected and regardless of the situation, you knew she’d have your back.
"She was never afraid to stand up to authority, she always called out mistreatment where she saw it and she always told you the truth — even when it was hard to hear."
Writing in Variety, he concluded: "To have a friend like her, even briefly, is to be blessed beyond belief."
Naya was confirmed dead after a recovery mission discovered her body in Lake Piru in California, days after she’d gone missing.
The search for the actress first began last Wednesday, after her son Josey, whom she shared with ex-husband Ryan Dorsey, was found alone out in the water on a boat they'd rented.
Officials have suggested that Naya summoned the energy to boost her son back on board the boat before she sadly drowned.
Glee creators Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan have also promised to launch a fund for four-year-old Josey.
In the statement, the entertainment execs wrote: "Naya wasn’t a series regular when we cast her on Glee. She didn’t have more than a few lines in the pilot.
“But it didn’t take more than an episode or two for us to realize that we had lucked into finding one of the most talented, special stars we would ever have the pleasure of working with.
"She could move between being scary tough and deeply vulnerable with ease.
“She was a joy to write for, a joy to direct and a joy to be around.”
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