Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images/FOX ©2012 Fox Broadcasting Co.

Can you imagine Glee without Naya Rivera as Santana or Jane Lynch as Sue? We can’t either but we came thisclose to being deprived of seeing these amazing women on Glee.

Jane tells Huffington Post that, even as recently as her late 30s, she was ready to give up on acting. "I must have been 37 or 38 at the time. Don't get me wrong I had a pretty nice career going. I was making a good living doing a lot of voiceover work for radio,” Jane says, now 52. “But I just wasn't able to break through to the next level."

It wasn’t until 2000 when she landed a role in the mockumentary film Best in Show that things finally started to change. “That's the thing that kind of blew the doors open for my career,” she says. Since then, of course, Jane has been everywhere, both on the small screen on Glee and in movie theaters with films like Wreck-It Ralph, which opens today.

Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images/FOX ©2012 Fox Broadcasting Co.

Naya had also grown frustrated with a similar level of rejections. “I had people say that I just wasn't a good singer,” she shockingly admits to MTV’s “This Is How I Made It.” 

Naya, 25, says — although she had a successful run as a child actress, including an adorable appearance on TV’s Smart Guy (!) — that things were looking grim for her career between ages 16 and 21. 

“They didn't know what to do with me. I would never fit in any markets,” Naya explains. “I almost quit acting altogether.”

Good thing Naya and Jane both knew not to give up on their dreams! Glee fans — and Smart Guy fans (those exist, right?) — around the world are thankful for their tenacity.

Sources: Huffington PostMTV.com

Can’t get enough Gleetastic goodness? Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter!