Maria Riva was born in Berlin in 1924 and is the only child of Marlene Dietrich. Maria performed in Germany and Italy as part of a USO troupe during World War II and taught acting at Fordham University upon her return to the United States. She has performed on Broadway, radio, television, and film and has been nominated for an Emmy. Maria continues an active life in California and spends time visiting her sons and grandchildren.
Dietrich has remained, in the public mind, an alluring legend. What remains when the myth is stripped away? Dietrich wanted her daughter to write her biography. [It is] the only biography to rely on her diaries and letters. -- People Entertaining. The Dietrich image remains fabulous. -- The Independent (London) Riva has a remarkable good eye. [Her book] completes the portrait of Marlene Dietrich. -- The Baltimore Sun Gossipy, elaborately detailed, and greatly entertaining. Riva leaves no sequin unturned. -- The New York Times