Glee star Heather Morris pays emotional tribute to her on-screen wife and ‘loving friend’ Naya Rivera

Heather Morris and Naya Rivera

Glee star Heather Morris has paid an emotional and moving tribute to her on-screen wife Naya Rivera, celebrating their “beautiful friendship”.

Morris played Brittany Pierce on the hit show, who in the final season married Santana Lopez, played by Rivera.

Rivera went missing while swimming with her son in California’s Lake Piru on July 8. Investigators found her body after a frantic six-day search and an autopsy confirmed she had drowned in the lake.

When the actor was confirmed to have passed away, Morris thanked followers for their messages but said she was taking “a moment to honor [her] grief”.

Now, in an Instagram post, Morris has described their “beautiful friendship” alongside photos of their children playing together.

You are and always will be the strongest and most resilient human being I know.

She wrote: “We stuck by each other’s side and created the most beautiful friendship built out of love and understanding… You are and always will be the strongest and most resilient human being I know, and I vowed to carry that with me as I continue to live my life.

“You constantly taught me lessons about grief, about beauty and poise, about being strong, resilient and about not giving a f**k (but still somehow respectful).

“Yet, the utmost important lesson I learned most of all from you was being a consistent and loving friend.

“You were the first to check in, the first to ask questions, the first to listen… you cherished our friendship and I never took that for granted.”

Morris said that the last contact she had with her friend was when she left oranges outside her house for Rivera to take, and in return she and her son Josey left two succulents on the doorstep.

She said: “I planted those succulents and I look at them everyday and think of you.”

Heather Morris and Naya Rivera

Naya Rivera and Heather Morris tied the knot on screen in the final season of Glee. (FOX Image Collection via Getty)

Heather Morris said she and Naya Rivera shared “pride and joy” in their children.

Heather Morris added that she had posted pictures of their children to honour Rivera because “we mutually hated taking pictures”.

She added: “Our relationship meant more than proof. I have countless pictures of our babies playing, because we shared that kind of pride and joy.

I cherish every moment we had and hold it close to my heart.

“So I’m showing the world a photo of our little goof balls for you, because I know that meant more than anything and they remind me of you and I.

“I speak to you everyday because I know you’re still with me and even though I’m feeling greedy that we don’t get more time together, I cherish every moment we had and hold it close to my heart.”