Naya Marie Rivera was born on January 12th, 1987 in Valencia, California. Her mother is a model and actress, and Naya is represented by the same talent agent as her mother. She began working as a model and actress before she was a year old. Her first major role was in The Royal Family at the age of four.
In addition to her role on The Royal Family, Naya appeared in many other roles, including performances on the Bernie Mac Show, 8 Simple Rules, and Even Stevens. In addition, she appeared in B2K’s video for “Why I Love You”. In between going on auditions and working these jobs, she also worked as a telemarketer, a nanny, and a greeter at Abercrombie and Fitch.
Naya is, of course, best known for her role on Glee, which is currently filming its third season. Naya plays Santana Lopez, the bitchy cheerleader whose storylines were developed in season two to reveal that Santana is in fact a lesbian, hopelessly in love with her best friend, Brittany S. Pierce. Romantically, Santana Lopez has also been involved with Noah Puckerman, Sam Evans, and Finn Hudson. She also dated Dave Karofsky in the last season, however, this was purely for show, as both Dave and Santana are gay, and were simply acting as each other’s beards.
In 2011, it was revealed that Naya had been signed to a record deal, and she spent most of the summer recording songs. She is hoping to have her first single out later on this year and a full album completed for the year 2012.