ABC - Entertainment News

L-R - Knighton, Cuthbert, Coupe, Wayans, Pally, Wilson -- Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Entertainment Weekly(LOS ANGELES) -- Fans of the beloved but ratings-challenged show Happy Endings, take heart.  Variety reports that cast members Eliza Coupe, Elisha Cuthbert, Adam Pally, Zachary Knighton, Damon Wayans, Jr. and Casey Wilson will be slipping back into their characters for a special charity event. 

The gang, along with a "surprise special guest," wil  perform an episode via Zoom titled "And the Pandemmy Goes To…" and then do a Q&A with fans who can submit their questions using #AskHappyEndings and tag @HappyEndings.

The event will benefit celebrity chef José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen supporting Black Lives Matter and COVID-19 relief efforts, as well as Color of Change. Andres' charity also reunited the cast of Community during the pandemic.

Happy Endings creator David Caspe noted dryly, "For years, the people -- and multiple networks -- have spoken: They do not want this show to continue. Undeterred, we were finally able to convince them to at least let us do just one weird Zoom thing, as long as we did it ourselves and it was for charity."

His statement continued, "So if you want to watch, please donate to Color of Change and World Central Kitchen, two incredible organizations fighting to make the world a safer, more equitable, just place for all."

The trade notes that the event will take place Monday, July 20 at 7 p.m. ET on Sony Pictures Television's YouTube page.

By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


L-R - Murphy, Falchuk, Brennan -- Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Less than a day after she was confirmed dead following the discovery of her remains in California's Lake Piru, Naya Rivera is being remembered by the creators of Glee, the show that made her famous. 

Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan have issued a statement praising the 33-year-old, explaining that it was Rivera's talent that made her Santana Lopez a fan favorite.

"Naya wasn’t a series regular when we cast her," the statement reads. "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."

The "heartbroken" creators continued, "Naya could act, she could dance, and she could sing (could she ever sing!) She could nail a joke as well as she could crush you with an emotional scene....She was a joy to write for, a joy to direct and a joy to be around."

The statement concluded, "Our hearts go out to her family, especially her mom, Yolanda, who was a big part of the Glee family and her son Josey. The three of us are currently in the process of creating a college fund for the beautiful son Naya loved most of all."

Josey, 4, was found alone on the pontoon boat Rivera had rented with him, prompting the investigation into her disappearance. Officials say she lifted the boy to safety from the water, but was unable to pull herself back onto the drifting boat.

By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


RLJE Films(LOS ANGELES) -- Talk about commitment to a role.  To play the part of a ruthless gang enforcer in The Tax Collector, Shia LaBeouf reportedly got a massive tattoo that covers his torso from his collarbones to his navel. 

Tattoo artist Bryan Ramirez just revealed the ink on his Instagram feed, noting people were asking him if the body art was real. "Yes it’s pretty real," he noted. "[W]e started this back when we where filming the movie." He adds the main portion is a "meaningful tattoo" representing LaBeouf's parents. 

Under a field of black and white flowers, there's a beautifully rendered tattoo of a woman, tenderly nuzzling the face of someone wearing clown makeup.

The ink also features a pair of Mickey Mouse-gloved hands pointing towards each other, and "Creeper," Shia's character's name in the movie. 

Director David Ayer, who worked with Shia on the WWII tank thriller Fury, also confirmed to Slashfilm that the tats are real. "He's one of the best actors I've worked with, and he's the most committed to body and soul...So he kind of goes all in, and I've never known anyone that committed," said Ayer.

For Fury, LaBeouf reportedly cut his own face to simulate a war wound, and had one of his bottom front teeth pulled out for the role.  He said at the time, "WHEN YOU GET A ROLE TO SINK YOUR TEETH INTO DO IT."

The Tax Collector comes to streaming and video on demand August 7.

By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


SHOWTIME/Parrish Lewis(NEW YORK) -- Kandi Burruss made her acting debut on the Showtime series The Chi on Sunday, as Rosalyn the estranged wife of street hustler and mayoral candidate Otis "Douda" Perry, played by Curtiss Cook.

She says this scripted role is significantly different than her past few seasons on the reality series The Real Housewives of Atlanta.

"Oh, it's a major difference," Kandi tells ABC Audio. "I mean well, first of all, I was so excited to be a part of The Chi. This is a really huge opportunity for me to be a part of the show. I loved the show before I even auditioned for it. So to get the role I was super excited."

Kandi said the difference between doing scripted shows and reality television is the long hours and "lots of sit and wait" time between scenes and adjusting to various roles, opposed to Housewives, which documents her real life with her husband Todd Tucker and their family and friends. 

She tells ABC Audio, "It's a totally different feeling when the world is coming at you about the stuff that you've been through."

Surprisingly, Kandi said the most challenging part of this role was filming an upcoming sex scene during her first week of taping. 

"You know, I've never been in close contact...with any man other than my husband in years," she says. "So even though he knows its acting is, I don't want people to think it's real. So I had to put myself in a totally different mind frame."

Kandi praised the show's cast and crew for being "so cool" and "so supportive." "They're all just very like a family, and it was a great experience the entire time," she says.

The Chi airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on Showtime. 

By Rachel George
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


ABC/Eric Liebowitz(LONDON) -- Emmy-winning actor and animal rights activist Ricky Gervais didn't take to Twitter Sunday night to raise money for animal charities, but that's just what he did by poking fun at the Kardashians.

Beer in hand -- and with seemingly a few under his belt -- Gervais spoke with fans in a livestream, during which he took issue with the Kardashians raking it in with lucrative sponsored tweets: Kim, Kylie, and the rest rake in money just by posting pics on social media while wearing a certain item or using a beauty treatment. 

Gervais admits, "I get these offers to do endorsed tweets...proper mental money," he says, meaning, well, a lot.

"I know the Kardashians get something like 20 grand for sitting on a bench, and going, 'Oh, I love this new chocolate bar.'"

"I've been offered that sort of thing," Ricky said, "and I've always said no."

Gervais adds, "I think that's sort of embarrassing. I want myself to be real...I don't mind doing an advert when everyone knows I got paid to do an advert."

However, as he sipped his beer, an IPA from a company called Brew Dog, an idea seemed to come to him: "Maybe I should just say to companies, 'why don't we be just honest?' I like Brew Dog. I love Brew Dog, now give some money to charity. Don't give it to me, just give it straight to charity."

"I've got enough money," Gervais declared.  "I like [the beer]. So I can endorse things -- I would have said it anyway, and they're just giving money to charity. It's perfect, isn't it?"

In response, the Scotland-based brewery retweeted Gervais, noting, "We didn't have to pay for this publicity so we donated money to these charities instead: @Nowzad @AllDogsMatter @AnimalsAsia @Paws2RescueUK. Cheers, Ricky Gervais!"

By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


©Jessica Hromas/CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.(LOS ANGELES) -- CBS announced on Monday that The Bold and the Beautiful, which resumed production over two weeks ago, will start airing new episodes on July 20. 

The daytime drama on June 16 became the first U.S. broadcast series to resume production on stage, following strict COVID-19 safety protocols, but shut down after one day to “modify [its] testing protocol to better accommodate the large volume of testing needed.” 

The soap, which films at Television City in Los Angeles, resumed production on June 24 and has been taping ever since. 

By George Costantino 
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


FOX/Chuck Hodes(ARIZONA) -- Actor Bryshere Gray, who played Hakeem Lyon on Empire, was arrested Sunday after allegedly assaulting his wife at their Goodyear, Arizona home.

Goodyear PD announced on their Facebook Monday that officers responded to a 9-1-1 call by a citizen who was flagged down by a woman at a nearby gas station.  The woman claimed she had been assaulted "for several hours" by her husband,” who she identified as Gray.

The victim was treated and released for non life-threatening injuries, according to Goodyear PD.  "Goodyear Detectives and Victim’s Advocate continued to assist her after her discharge from the hospital," the department said.

When officers arrived at the actor’s home, he refused to come out and speak with them, according to police.  "Goodyear SWAT and Crisis Negotiations were called out to assist," the department says.

Police say Gray surrendered and was taken into custody "without incident" just after 7 a.m. local time on Monday. He will be booked on domestic violence charges.

By George Costantino 
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)(LOS ANGELES) -- In a recently resurfaced video, Will Smith seemingly references the time that he and Jada Pinkett Smith decided to separate. 

In the self-shot video, obtained by British publication Daily Mail, the Bad Boys star shared, "You can make a person smile, you can make a person feel good, you can make a person laugh, but whether a person is happy is deeply utterly and completely out of your control." 

He continued, "I remember the day I said to Jada, 'I retire. I retire from trying to make you happy. I need you to go make yourself happy and just prove to me it’s even possible.'"

Will explained that he and Jada had a "false romantic concept" in which they believed they could be the source of each other's happiness before realizing they "were two completely separate people on two completely separate individual journeys" who were "choosing to walk our separate journeys together."

He added, "Her happiness was her responsibility and my happiness was my responsibility."

The video is believed to be from 2018 and comes after Will and Jada's record-breaking Red Table Talk episode in which Jada admitted she had become involved in an "entanglement" with singer August Alsina during a a time when the couple was separated. 

By Danielle Long
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


ABC/Eric McCandless(LOS ANGELES) -- A major shakeup has come to Dancing with the Stars, as series original host Tom Bergeron announced he's exiting the show after a 15-year run that spanned an impressive 28 seasons.

What's more, his co-host Erin Andrews will not be returning to the long-running series, either, ABC announced.

Bergeron, who's been a stalwart of the show since 2005, made the shocking announcement Monday in a tweet.

"Just informed @DancingABC will be continuing without me. It's been an incredible 15 year run and the most unexpected gift of my career," The 65-year-old revealed on Twitter.  "I'm grateful for that and for the lifelong friendships made."

Bergeron remained in good spirits about stepping down, offering a small joke regarding all the outfits he donned during his expansive hosting career. "That said, now what am I supposed to do with all of these glitter masks?," he concluded.

During his time serving as host, Bergeron was nominated for 11 Emmy Awards, winning one in 2012 for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program.

Shortly after Bergeron's announcement, ABC and BBC Studios confirmed his departure, offering a joint statement that read, "Tom Bergeron will forever be part of the Dancing with the Stars family. As we embark on a new creative direction, he departs the show with our sincerest thanks and gratitude for his trademark wit and charm that helped make this show a success."

The statement also revealed that Andrews, who co-hosted the show for nearly a decade, will not be be back for the show's 29th season.

"Erin will also not be returning, and we appreciate all that she brought to the ballroom," The statement furthered. "Fans have been rooting for her since she originally competed as a contestant back in 2010, and her signature sense of humor has become a hallmark of the show."

DWTS returns for season 29 later this year.

By Megan Stone
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Kevin Winter/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Heartbreak gripped Hollywood on Monday when Naya Rivera's body was recovered in Lake Piru in California.

Her four-year-old son was found Wednesday drifting alone on a boat, which prompted the initial search-and-rescue mission before officials moved toward a recovery mission, believing the 33-year-old had drowned. 

While the recovered body has yet to be officially identified via dental records, Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub says there's no other evidence suggesting otherwise that it is not the Glee alum.

In a press conference on Monday, Ayub relayed what Rivera's son, Josey Hollis Dorsey, told investigators regarding his mother's disappearance.

Based on Josey's information, Ayub says, "We believe it was mid-afternoon when [Rivera] went swimming, the idea being, perhaps, that the boat began drifting."  He furthered that "she mustered enough energy to get her son back on the boat but not enough to save herself."

"[Her son] described being helped into the boat by Naya, who boosted him onto the deck from behind," Continued Ayub. "He looked back and saw her disappear under the surface of the water."

As for what caused the boat to move away from Rivera and her son, a member of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Search & Rescue Team believes the weather played a factor.

Robert Inglis, who was part of the diving mission to recover Rivera's body, told US Weekly, "What I suspect is that the winds kicked up. Those pontoon boats are very light, and when you push them, it can get away from you. She might’ve tried to swim after the boat." 

While her son was wearing a life jacket, an adult-sized life vest was found in the vessel. 

Inglis stated that swimming or jumping off a boat without wearing a life vest contributes to "a lot of the drownings" at lakes.

By Megan Stone
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


NBCUniversal(NEW YORK) -- On Monday night, Jimmy Fallon became the first late night host to venture back into the studio, bringing his Tonight Show back to its pre-COVID-19 home in New York’s Rockefeller Center.

Following a pre-taped opening sequence in which he was seen walking to the studio wearing a mask and doing his best to stay the recommended six feet away from others, Fallon took the stage, accompanied by a scaled-down version of his house band The Roots, and a limited crew.

Before launching into his monologue, Fallon thanked New Yorkers for their part in helping to “get us back to where we are now,” while extending his best wishes those in states like Florida, Texas, Arizona and California, who are just now experiencing a surge of COVID-19.

“I guess I’m here to show you that there is a light at the end of the tunnel if we all do our part to keep each other safe,” he said.

“Any type of normalcy feels great, he continued, “so hopefully we can put a smile on your face for an hour every night and let you sit back and relax while we try to bring you just a little bit of normal.”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo appeared remotely to welcome Jimmy back to New York, declaring, “New York is really open now that you’re doing your show again.”

Jimmy’s other guests on Monday included Charlize Theron and Little Big Town.

By George Costantino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Another devastating loss has rocked Hollywood. MythBusters star Grant Imahara died unexpectedly on Monday at the age of 49.

Discovery confirmed early Tuesday the show's longtime engineer suffered a brain aneurysm. 

"We are heartbroken to hear this sad news about Grant. He was an important part of our Discovery family and a really wonderful man. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family," the network said in a statement.

Grant's former costars reacted to his sudden passing with shock.

Mythbusters star Adam Savage tweeted, "I’m at a loss. No words. I’ve been part of two big families with Grant Imahara over the last 22 years. Grant was a truly brilliant engineer, artist and performer, but also just such a generous, easygoing, and gentle PERSON. Working with Grant was so much fun. I'll miss my friend."

Fellow co-host Kari Byron uploaded a series of photos of her, Imahara and fellow Build Team member Tory Belleci, writing"Somedays I wish I had a time machine."

Imahara, a gifted electrical engineer and roboticist, joined MythBusters in 2005 as the new member of the Build Team and quickly became a fan favorite. He departed the show in 2014 alongside Byron and Belleci.

The three found a new home at Netflix in 2016 for the short-lived White Rabbit Project, but the show was cancelled after one season.

Beyond Imahara's robotic and engineer work, he made a series of movie and television cameos, such as appearing in Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! and Eureka. He also was "one of the few officially trained operators for famed droid R2-D2 within the Star Wars universe."

Prior to his sudden death, Imahara partnered with Disney to help the company develop a new series of acrobatic animatronics, dubbed Stuntronics, that would be used in Disney Theme Parks across the globe. The cutting-edge tech created a robot that could be launched in the air, execute flips, even strike a superhero pose, then land on a safety net.

The robots will allow "Spider-Man" to sail above the heads of park-goers at the upcoming Avengers Campus attraction, which will launch at the Disney's California Adventure Park.

He also created his own robotic version of "Baby Yoda" from The Mandalorian, which he used to delight at children's hospital visits and the like.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

By Megan Stone and Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Presley Ann/Getty Images for Libertine(LOS ANGELES) -- Celebrities have taken to social media to commemorate Naya Rivera in the wake of her tragic passing. 

The actress, best known for her role as Santana Lopez on the musical dramedy Glee, was confirmed dead after she went missing while boating with her young son on Lake Piru in California on July 8. She was 33. 

Since the announcement, Rivera's former Glee costars, as well as friends and other celebrities have shared their condolences. 

Demi Lovato: "RIP Naya Rivera. I’ll forever cherish the opportunity to play your girlfriend on Glee. The character you played was groundbreaking for tons of closeted queer girls (like me at the time) and open queer girls, and your ambition and accomplishments were inspiring to Latina women all over the world. My heart goes out to your loved ones at this time.."

Chris Colfer: "How can you convey all your love and respect for someone in one post? How can you summarize a decade of friendship and laughter with words alone? If you were friends with Naya Rivera, you simply can't. Her brilliance and humor were unmatched. Her beauty and talent were otherworldly. She spoke truth to power with poise and fearlessness. She could turn a bad day into a great day with a single remark. She inspired and uplifted people without even trying. Being close to her was both a badge of honor and a suit of armor. Naya was truly one of a kind, and she always will be. Sending all my love to her wonderful family and her beautiful son." 

Jane Lynch: "Rest sweet, Naya. What a force you were. Love and peace to your family." 

Darren Criss: "She was bold. She was outrageous. She was a LOT of fun. Naya made me laugh like no one else on that set. I always said it while we were working together and I've maintained it ever since. Her playful, wicked sense of humor never ceased to bring a smile to my face. She played by her own rules and was in a class of her own. She had a brashness about her that I couldn't help but be enchanted by. I also always loved her voice, and savored every chance I got to hear her sing. I think she had more talent than we would have ever been able to see. I was constantly moved by the degree to which she took care of her family, and how she looked out for her friends. She showed up for me on numerous occasions where she didn't have to, and I was always so grateful for her friendship then, as I certainly am now. And even as I sit here, struggling to comprehend, gutted beyond description- the very thought of her cracks me up and still brings a smile to my face. That was Naya's gift.  And it's a gift that will never go away. Rest in peace you wild, hilarious, beautiful angel."

Kevin McHale: "My Naya, my Snixxx, my Bee. I legitimately can not imagine this world without you.

7 years ago today, she and I were together in London when we found out about Cory. We were so far away, but I was so thankful that we had each other. A week ago today we were talking about running away to Hawaii. This doesn’t make sense. And I know it probably never will.

She was so independent and strong and the idea of her not being here is something I cannot comprehend. She was the single most quick-witted person I’ve ever met, with a steel-trap memory that could recall the most forgettable conversations from a decade ago verbatim. The amount of times she would memorize all of those crazy monologues on Glee the morning of and would never ever mess up during the scene… I mean, she was clearly more talented than the rest of us. She was the most talented person I’ve ever known. There is nothing she couldn’t do and I’m furious we won’t get to see more.

I’m thankful for all the ways in which she made me a better person. She taught me how to advocate for myself and to speak up for the things and people that were important to me, always. I’m thankful for the times I grew an ab muscle from laughing so hard at something she said. I’m thankful she became like family. I’m thankful that my dad happened to have met her weeks before I did and when I got Glee, he told me to “look out for a girl named Naya because she seemed nice.” Well dad, she was nice and she became one of my favorite people ever.

If you were fortunate enough to have known her, you’ll know that her most natural talent of all was being a mother. The way that she loved her boy, it was truly Naya at her most peaceful. I’m thankful that Naya got that beautiful little boy got back on that boat. I’m thankful he will have a strong family around him to protect him and tell him about his incredible mom.

I just hope more than anything that her family is given the space and time to come to terms with this. For having such tiny body, Naya had such a gigantic presence, a void that will now be felt by all of us - those of us who knew her personally and the millions of you who loved her through your TVs. I love you, Bee."
NeNe Leakes: "I was praying for a miracle! I wanted you to come home to your baby so bad. This hurts! I will hold the memories close to my heart and remember the good times, the laughs and the way we would cut up on set. Those were fun times! Please pray for Naya's family."

Kristin Chenoweth: "Thank you for what you gave the world. I love you." 

Becca Tobin: "Naya was insanely talented, breathtakingly gorgeous, and one of the wittiest people I've ever met, but the legacy she left behind for me is her kindness. I joined the cast of Glee in the third season and as the newcomer, I was intimidated and terrified. The cast was already such a tight-knit group who had been working incredibly hard together for over three years to make it a hit show and I never expected any of them to have time for me. To my surprise, Naya, one of the most beloved by the rest of the cast (and the entire world), showed me instant warmth and kindness. She invited me to parties and gatherings and was always there to give advice. She was a superstar who had nothing to gain from being kind to the new girl, but she was and that changed this new girl's entire experience on that show. I will forever be grateful to that beautiful human. My heart goes out to her family and her sweet boy."

Ricky Martin: "Beautiful memories boricua. RIP." 

Aly & AJ: "Praying for Naya Rivera, Kelly Preston & Benjamin Keough's families right now. Please take a moment to think of them today." 

Becky G: "Beautiful Naya Rivera, Rest In Peace. My thoughts and prayers are with your loved ones. You will be missed & never forgotten."

Bebe Rexha: "This is an absolute nightmare. I had the pleasure of having dinner with her once after a recording session we did together and she was an absolute sweetheart. My heart goes out to her family and friends. I hope I'm lucky enough to meet you up in heaven. Rest In Peace Naya Rivera." 

Khalid: "RIP Naya Rivera"

Ally Brooke: "It is so awful hearing about Naya Rivera. Just awful What a talent, and beauty - inside and out. I lift her family up in prayer, especially her son Josey. Such a very sad day May God be with her family. We love you Naya. Rest In Peace"

Mandy Moore"This is absolutely heartbreaking. Sending love and holding space for her son and loved ones." 

Holly Robinson Peete: "Rest In Heaven, Naya Rivera. Sending so much prayer, love and courage to her family." 

Ross Mathews: "I only got to meet #NayaRivera a few times, but each time she looked me right in the eye, was fully present and laughed whole-heartedly. I adored her. I'm heartbroken for her family. Let's all send them love." 

Kathy Griffin: "I had the opportunity to work with the one and only #nayarivera. So much talent. Deeply saddened and touched. Please, let her have peace, Lord."

Jenna Dewan: "Fly with the angels Naya."

Viola Davis: "Prayers for Naya Rivera's family. Man....can we have a "Do Over " of 2020. The loss is too much." 

Lili Reinhart: "It feels strange to cry and mourn the loss of someone you never knew. But I grew up watching Glee- and Naya Rivera was such a beautiful talent. My heart breaks for her son. Hold on tight to your people right now, if you're lucky enough to be near them." 

Kehlani: "The reason songbird by Fleetwood Mac is one of my favorite songs ever is because of the glee soundtrack version. She transformed it. Rest Easy Naya Rivera. God cover and hold her loved ones!" 

Hayley Kiyoko: "Absolutely devastating I’m so sorry for Naya’s family, her son, and friends ... just awful"

Tamera Mowry-Housley: "Can't believe I'm writing this. My heart. So many emotions. So many memories. My mind did not want to accept this. My sweet Naya. I love you. Will always love you. I'll never forget your sweet smile, your amazing voice, and your warmth and love that has always welcomed me. I knew as early as 9 years old you were going to grace us with so much talent and so much beauty. I'm so grateful to have been blessed with your presence for over 20 years. You took my breath away and always will. Another angel has gained her wings. My heart goes out to the Rivera family."  

Tia Mowry: "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 parities 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." 

Josh Gad: "Sick to my stomach. RIP #nayarivera." 

Alyssa Milano: "'Butterflies can't see their wings. They can't see how truly beautiful they are, but everyone else can. People are like that as well.' ~Naya Rivera Rest with the angels, Naya."

Ashley Benson: "RIP sweet Naya." 

Danielle Fishel Karp: "My heart hurts for this beautiful boy and Ms. Rivera's entire family. Seeing her sing this song I sing to my own son really hit me in the gut."

Nick Bolton: "Naya and I were acquaintances at best, but I am heartbroken. My favorite memory will always be dancing with her at @HeatherMorrisTV's wedding while she was pregnant with Josey. She was so happy. I know he was her world. Please pray for her family and friends. #RIPNayaRivera."

Josh Sussman: "Naya, you will be missed so much." 

Janel Parrish: "Rest In Peace and power, Naya." 

By Danielle Long
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


David Livingston/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Actress Naya Rivera, known for playing fan-favorite character Santana Lopez on the hit musical comedy Glee, has been confirmed dead after she went missing while boating on Lake Piru [PY-roo] in California last Wednesday. She was 33.

Concluding a nearly week-long search, the Ventura County Sheriff's department announced her body was recovered from the lake on Monday morning. "We are confident the body we found is that of Naya Rivera," said Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub.

The body will be transported to the medical examiner's office where a formal autopsy will be performed. Authorities say all signs point to her death being a tragic accident.

The sad discovery also comes on the seventh anniversary of the death of Rivera's former Glee co-star, Corey Monteith, who died of an accidental drug overdose on July 13, 2013 at age 31.

Rivera disappeared Wednesday afternoon, July 8 after renting a boat and taking her four-year-old son, Josey Dorsey, out on the lake, located just north of Los Angeles.  Later that day, boaters came across her young son floating alone on the vessel, which prompted an extensive search-and-rescue effort.

Ventura County Sheriff's Department personnel scoured the lake for the actress until Wednesday night, then resumed the search the next day.  As the hours ticked by, officials announced their efforts had officially transitioned from search and rescue to search and recovery.

Josey was wearing a life vest when he was discovered alone on the boat. An adult life vest was also found in the craft.  The child told officials he'd gone swimming with his mother. He said he was boosted back onto the boat by his mom, but looked back and saw her disappear under the water. Officials believe Rivera mustered enough strength to get her son back on the boat, but not herself.

Although the actress is best known for her work on Glee, Rivera's acting career began when she was an infant.  She landed her first job when she was a baby, appearing in a national Kmart commercial campaign.  At the age of four, she went on to star as Hillary Winston in the short-lived sitcom The Royal Family, for which she received a Young Artist Award nomination. 

Before finding mainstream success in 2009 when she was cast as Santana Lopez on Glee, Rivera appeared as a recurring character on The Bernie Mac show, and also appeared on 8 Simple Rules and CSI: Miami, as well as in the 2002 movie Master of Disguise.

After being cast in Glee, Rivera appeared in films including the 2014 thriller At the Devil's Door and in the comedy Mad Families.  When Glee ended in 2015 after six seasons, Rivera joined the third season of the Lifetime drama Devious Maids.  Her last acting role came in 2018 when she joined the YouTube Red series Step Up: High Water as school administrator Collette Jones.

During her time on Glee, Rivera embarked on a brief music career and signed with Columbia Records.  Following the anemic success of her 2013 first single, "Sorry," which featured rapper and then-boyfriend Big Sean, Columbia and the actress parted ways.

Rivera also penned a personal memoir in 2016, titled Sorry Not Sorry: Dreams, Mistakes, and Growing Up.

Naya Rivera leaves behind her son, Josey, whom she shares with ex-husband Ryan Dorsey.


By Megan Stone and Andrea Tuccillo
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Lucasfilm/Disney (LOS ANGELES) -- While the Emmy-winning animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars wrapped up in May, some of the series' newest additions are getting their own spin-off.

Lucasfilm Animation has announced that Star: Wars: The Bad Batch, centering on the continued adventures of a squad of enhanced clone troopers, will come to Disney in 2021.

For the uninitiated, the Galactic Republic fielded millions of clone soldiers -- hence the name the Clone Wars -- to battle the various enemies of the Republic. Most are genetically identical, but according to the final series of The Clone Wars, Clone Force 99, the so-called Bad Batch -- Hunter, Tech, Wrecker, and Crosshair -- had suffered mutations that gave them modified abilities for impossible missions. Later, a Clone Wars fan favorite named Echo joined the squad.

Voiceover actor Dee Bradley Baker supplied the pipes for all of the hundreds of troopers in the original series, and will continue for Bad Batch.

Agnes Chu, Disney senior vice president of Content, said in a statement, "While the Clone Wars may have come to its conclusion, our partnership with the groundbreaking storytellers and artists at Lucasfilm Animation is only beginning. We are thrilled to bring Dave Filoni’s vision to life through the next adventures of the Bad Batch."

Filoni was the executive producer of The Clone Wars, and is now the co-producer of The Mandalorian on Disney .

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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