Childhood & Early Life
Marian Gracia Rivera was born on August 12, 1984 in Madrid, Spain. She was born to a Filipino mother named Amalia Rivera and a Spanish father named Francisco Javier Gracia Alonso. Rivera had a rather difficult childhood as her parents got separated when she was barely three years old. Post her parents’ separation, she was taken to Philippines by her mother and was eventually sent to Bacoor, Cavite, where she was raised by Francisca Rivera, her maternal grandmother.
After graduating high school from ‘Saint Francis of Assisi College’ (SFAC), Rivera went on to attend ‘De La Salle University’ at Dasmariñas, from where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in Psychology. Immediately after her graduation, Rivera started working in Mandaluyong City at the ‘National Institute of Mental Health’ for a brief period of time, until she was presented with an opportunity to showcase her skills as a model.
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Blessed with goddess like features, Marian Rivera was always involved in modelling in one way or another. After being a prominent part of her school’s ramp modelling team, she eventually landed opportunities to model for brands like ‘SkinWhite’ lotion and ‘Sky Flakes’ biscuits, which were advertised through local television commercials.
In 2005, she was spotted by the executive producer of ‘TAPE Inc.’ Tony Tuviera, who recommended her name to play a character named Clarisse in a Philippine TV soap opera titled ‘Kung Mamahalin Mo Lang Ako.’ In the same year, she was roped in to play Rahinda in another television series named ‘Ang Mahiwagang Baul.’
2005 also saw her making her feature film debut as she was cast to play the role of a fairy in the Tony Y. Reyes directed movie ‘Enteng Kabisote 2: Okay Ka Fairy Ko: The Legend Continues.’ Rivera did not take long to prove her worth as an actress as she was nominated for ‘STAR Awards’ for her work in her debut film itself.
The following year, Rivera was signed by ‘Regal Entertainment,’ which led to her presence in the 2006 horror flick, ‘Pamahiin.’ In the same year, she was also seen in a couple of television series such as ‘Pinakamamahal’ and ‘Agawin Mo Man Ang Lahat,’ in which she portrayed three different roles with excellent precision.
The year 2007 turned out to be one of significant importance to Rivera. After appearing in a couple of television series like ‘Super Twins’ and ‘Muli,’ she received her breakthrough role in the GMA Network’s drama romance series ‘Marimar.’ For portraying the roles of Marimar Perez and Bella Aldama, Rivera was presented with various awards including the prestigious ‘Guillermo Box-office Award for Phenomenal TV Star.’ In 2007, she was also seen in a feature film titled ‘Bahay Kubo: A Pinoy Mano Po.’
Rivera’s gigantic success in ‘Marimar’ earned her opportunities to star in a string of films in 2008. These films include ‘Desperadas,’ ‘My Best Friend’s Girlfriend,’ ‘One True Love,’ ‘Scaregivers,’ ‘Shake Rattle & Roll X,’ and ‘Desperadas 2.’ In the same year, she was also seen playing multiple roles, including the titular role in the romance fantasy series ‘Dyesebel.’
In 2009, she was first seen in a film titled ‘Tarot’ and was then seen in a host of TV series, such as ‘Ang Babaeng Hinugot sa Aking Tadyang,’ ‘Sugat ng Kahapon,’ ‘Show Me Da Manny,’ and ‘Darna.’ In ‘Darna,’ she played the role of a super heroine, created by the famous Filipino comic book cartoonist Mars Ravelo.
By 2010, Rivera had reached the pinnacle of her acting career as she continued appearing in films and television series, such as ‘You to Me Are Everything,’ ‘Super Inday and the Golden Bibe,’ ‘Anghel sa Lupa,’ ‘Endless Love,’ and ‘Jillian: Namamasko Po’ to name a few. In 2011, she appeared in as many as three feature films and a couple of TV series, including ‘Amaya,’ which earned her four awards and a nomination.
In 2012, she made her debut as a television host, when she co-hosted a travelogue TV show titled ‘Pinoy Adventures.’ She then went on to co-host a talk show and a reality show titled ‘Showbiz Central’ and ‘Extra Challenge’ respectively. She was also seen in a few series, such as ‘My Beloved,’ ‘Tweets For My Sweet,’ and ‘Temptation of Wife.’
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In the following year, she played a couple of crucial roles as Evelyn Vallejo and Samantha in ‘My Lady Boss’ and ‘Kung Fu Divas,’ respectively. She also played the titular role in the GMA network’s fantasy anthology series ‘One Day, Isang Araw: Ang Sikreto ni Milette.’ In 2014, a feature film titled ‘My Big Bossing’s Adventures,’ in which she played Clarrisa, made an official entry into the 40th ‘Metro Manila Film Festival.’ 2014 also saw her host a self-titled dance variety show titled ‘Marian.’
By now, Marian Rivera had started focusing on her career as a host as she began to host a number of popular television shows. However, she continues to sign projects that exhibit her acting talent as well. Starting from 2016, she took up various television projects like ‘Encantadia,’ ‘Daig Kayo ng Lola Ko,’ and ‘Etheria.’ In 2017 and 2018, she was seen playing important roles in series like ‘Super Ma’am’ and ‘Daig Kayo ng Lola Ko,’ in which she played Princess Annie in an episode titled ‘The Runaway Princess Bride.’
Other Major Works
Marian Rivera is also known for her singing and dancing abilities. In 2008, she released an album titled ‘Marian Rivera Dance Hits,’ which sold over 15,000 copies after having received platinum certification. In 2009, she released another album titled ‘Retro Crazy,’ which received gold certification. A single titled ‘Sabay Sabay Tayo’ went on to become a hit, amassing over 840,000 views on YouTube. All her musical works have so far been released under the label ‘Universal Records.’
Awards & Achievements
Apart from being honored with a host of nominations at various award functions Marian Rivera has been honored with several awards as well. In 2006, she won the prestigious ‘Star Awards’ under ‘Best New Female TV Personality’ category for her work in ‘Agawin Mo Man Ang Lahat.’
In 2008, she won multiple awards for her work in the Joyce E. Bernal and Mac Alejandre directed TV drama ‘Marimar.’ These awards include ‘Fil-Am Visionary Awards for Favorite Actress,’ ‘USTV Student Choice for Most Popular Actress,’ ‘Guillermo Box-office Awards for Most Promising Female Star,’ and ‘Guillermo Box-office Awards for Phenomenal TV Star.’
In 2012 and 2013, she once again won multiple awards, such as ‘KZONE Awards for Favorite TV Actress,’ ‘NSSUAA 2012 for Best Actress,’ ‘NSSUAA 2013 for Best Actress,’ and ‘Golden Screen TV Awards 2013 for Best Actress.’ The only prominent award which she won for her works in feature films came in the year 2008, when she won the ‘Box-Office Entertainment Award’ under ‘Valentine Box-Office Queen’ category.
Thanks to her captivating looks and nymph like features, Marian Rivera has managed to break into the elite lists of magazines and other publications. In 2008, she was announced as the ‘Sexiest Woman’ by ‘FHM Magazine.’ In 2013, she was declared as ‘the sexiest woman in the Philippines’ by ‘FHM Philippines.’ She has won similar honors on multiple occasions and has owed her excellent physique to practices like Wushu and Muay Thai.
Marian Rivera married her longtime boyfriend Dingdong Dantes on December 30, 2014. The wedding, which was held in Quezon City, was televised on GMA network. The couple welcomed their daughter Maria Letizia Dantes on November 23, 2015.
Marian Rivera is a philanthropist and is associated with various benevolent organizations like ‘Philippine Red Cross’ and PETA. In 2011, she joined forces with ‘Marriott Manila’ in order to reach out to the victims of Typhoon Sendong. Rivera has been involved in a number of similar benevolent activities and continues to work towards the betterment of humanity.