Career Beginnings and Breakthrough with Glee
Born Naya Marie Rivera on January 12, 1987 in Valencia, California to George and Yolanda Rivera, she gained worldwide popularity as Santana Lopez in Glee. Her brother is NFL tight end Mychal Rivera and her younger sister is runway model Nickayla Rivera.
She started her career as a baby when she appeared in commercials for Kmart. Her first professional acting job came at age four as Hillary Winston in the sitcom The Royal Family. She earned a Young Artist Award nomination for her performance in the series.
During the early 1990s and early 2000s, she landed small roles in several television shows including The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Baywatch, Live Shot, Family Matters, The Jersey, Smart Guy, House Blend, Even Stevens and The Master of Disguise. She was also cast for a guest appearance in The Bernie Mac Show but was further given recurring parts in a total of ten episodes throughout all five seasons.
Other television work includes being featured in the shows 8 Simple Rules and CSI: Miami. In between auditions and television roles, she worked as a telemarketer, a nanny and a greeter at an Abercrombie & Fitch store. In 2006, she performed in a stage production of Mark E. Swinton’s play, U Don’t Know Me: The Musical in Los Angeles, and went on tour with the production as well.
Her breakout role was as Santana Lopez in the musical comedy drama Glee. For her performance, she has been nominated for two ALMA Awards for “Favorite Female Music Artist” and “Favorite TV Actress—Leading Role in a Comedy”. She was also highly acclaimed for her acting and singing performance in Glee, especially in the latter part of the second season. Furthermore, she was included in several “Best Of” lists such as in HitFix’s 25 Breakout Stars of 2011 and MTV’s Best TV Characters of 2011.
In 2011, she ventured into being a recording artist when she signed a deal with Columbia Records to produce a solo album. Her debut single “Sorry”, which featured her fiance Big Sean was released as a digital download on September 17, 2013.
Plastic Surgery Rumors
As plastic surgery has become rampant in Hollywood regardless of age, Naya Rivera became one of the young stars to be rumored to have undergone a cosmetic procedure. Before and after photos show the apparent disparity in her cup size. Experts like Dr. Archangel Salzhaue told Maine Heal that the Glee star may have possibly done something to enhance her appearance.
The doctor explained, “Naya Rivera clearly has had a breast augmentation as unconcealed by her terribly full cleavage, and has had a face lift yet unconcealed by her excellent profile and outlined nasal tip.” Other professionals also shared their expert opinion that the actress has had facial fillers and lip injections to polish her entire look.
People are also considering the fact that her body has just reached its full maturity since she is still young. There are also other factors to consider that may have caused her body to experience change such as weight gain, make-up, lighting and other red carpet tricks, as well as the garments being worn. The actress has remained silent over the truthfulness of the reports.
Instead, she focused on her acting and singing career. She has made more performances outside Glee such as at the 10th Annual Celebration of Dreams Event for the Dream Foundation and at the 23rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York. In April 2012, she graced the cover of Latina magazine. She was also chosen by People en Español for their 50 Most Beautiful list, and was included at FHM’s 100 Sexiest Women List in May 2012. She is currently engaged to recording artist Big Sean, whom she started dating in April 2013.