Maria Riva

Actress + Memoirist
Born Dec 13, 1924

Maria Riva is a German-American actress and memoirist. She primarily worked on television in the 1950s. She is the daughter of the actress Marlene Dietrich, about whom she wrote a memoir, which was published in 1992.

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1924 Birth Born on December 13, 1924.
1930 5 Years Old Maria Elisabeth Sieber was born in Berlin, the only child of actress Marlene Dietrich and film production assistant Rudolf Sieber (and later Paramount Pictures director of dubbing, Paris, France). In 1930, at age six, she moved with her mother to Los Angeles, California.
1934 9 Years Old In 1934, aged 9, she had a small role in Josef von Sternberg's film The Scarlet Empress, based on the life of Catherine the Great, in which she played Catherine as a child.


1936 11 Years Old She was also an extra in the 1936 David O Selznick production, The Garden of Allah. (see film credits 1936 and Universal NBC archives).


1945 20 Years Old She received acting training and during the Second World War entertained Allied troops in Europe for the USO from 1945-1946 (stationed in Frankfurt am Rhine, Germany). … Read More
1947 22 Years Old After a brief marriage to Dean Goodman (whom she married in 1943) ended in divorce, she married scenic designer William Riva in 1947; they had four sons. … Read More
1948 23 Years Old Michael Riva in 1948, the press dubbed Dietrich "the world's most glamorous grandmother." … Read More
1952 27 Years Old She received Emmy nominations as best actress in 1952 and 1953, respectively. … Read More


1992 67 Years Old After her mother's death in 1992, Riva's biography about her mother was published in 1992 by Bertelsmann in Germany, and by Knopf in New York and in 12 other languages.
2005 80 Years Old Maria Riva edited a volume of Dietrich's poetry, Nachtgedanken, published in Germany and Italy in 2005 (ISBN-10: 3570008746).
2012 87 Years Old In June 2012, her son Michael died, aged 63, following a stroke.
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