Marian Rivera Gracia-Dantes (born Marian Gracia y Rivera; 12 August 1984 in Madrid, Spain), known professionally as Marian Rivera, is a Spanish Filipino commercial model and actress, best known for her roles in MariMar, Dyesebel, Amaya, and Temptation of Wife.
As a recording artist, Rivera has released two studio albums: the Marian Rivera Dance Hits and Retro Crazy. She starred in such films as My Bestfriend’s Girlfriend, You to Me Are Everything, and Panday 2.
She was included in 2011’s Top 20 Endorsers. She was hailed as FHM Magazine’s Sexiest Woman in 2008, 2013, and 2014, setting the record of three cumulative victories through voting online and SMS.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Career
- 3 Philanthropy
- 4 Public image
- 5 Personal life
- 6 Filmography
- 7 Discography
- 8 Awards and recognition
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Marian Rivera was born in Madrid, Spain to Francisco Javier Gracia Alonso, a Spaniard, and Amalia Rivera, a Filipina from Cavite. Her parents separated when she was three years old, after which her mother brought her to the Philippines where she grew up. However, her mother had to leave to continue her work commitment abroad and Rivera was sent to her maternal grandmother, Francisca Rivera, in Bacoor, Cavite.
Rivera pursued her elementary and high school education at Saint Francis of Assisi College System, and spent her college education finishing Bachelor of Arts in psychology at De La Salle University Dasmariñas. After graduating, she worked for National Institute of Mental Health in Mandaluyong City where she gave out medicine, examinations and evaluation to patients, among others.
2005–06: Discovery and career beginnings
Marian Rivera pursued ramp modelling in her elementary schooling years then later as TV commercial model for SkinWhite lotion, Sky Flakes biscuits, and other labels. These commercial appearances led TAPE Inc. executive producer Tony Tuviera commission her for roles in the afternoon TV soap operas Kung Mamahalin Mo Lang Ako, Agawin Mo Man Ang Lahat, and Pinakamamahal. Rivera made her first supporting role film appearance through OctoArts‘ Enteng Kabisote 2: Okay Ka Fairy Ko: The Legend Continues in 2005 as the fairy Alyssa. In 2006, she signed a contract with Regal Entertainment that featured her debut in the horror film Pamahiin.
2007–09: Marimar and rise to fame
From February 2007, GMA Network cast her for motherly roles; first in the Filipino-Malaysian TV drama series Muli. and lastly in the fantasy TV series, Super Twins as the protagonist twins’ mother, and villain on later episodes that concluded on 1 June 2007.
In 2007, Rivera auditioned for and won the lead role in GMA Network‘s adaptation of the popular Mexican series MariMar (based on Televisa‘s the 1994 Mexican telenovela of the sane title). Opposite Dingdong Dantes, the show became the highest-rated prime time drama show on Philippine television at that time and launched Rivera to stardom.
She was acknowledged as a Phenomenal TV Star in the 38th Box-Office Entertainment Awards by the Guillermo Mendoza Memorial Scholarship Foundation, Inc. in 2008. That year she won an award for her work in the show, as well as several product endorsements. She was named the country’s sexiest woman by FHM magazine, and was also included in the “hottest” list of other magazines like Maxim and Uno.
In 2008, Rivera played the title role Dyesebel, which aired on 28 April 2008, the famous Philippine mermaid character acted by many famous Filipinos actresses from as early as 1970. The series is another team-up with Dantes. The year marked Rivera’s first lead role opposite Richard Gutierrez in My Best Friend’s Girlfriend. In the same year, Dantes & Rivera debuted in One True Love, directed by Mac Alejandre. She also appeared in two Metro Manila Film Festival entries such as Shake, Rattle & Roll X, an omnibus horror trilogy in which she played “Nieves, The Engkanto Slayer”, and Desperadas 2, a sequel of the 2007 film of the same with Rufa Mae Quinto, Iza Calzado, Ruffa Gutierrez, and Ogie Alcasid. She was among the third batch of stars honored in the Eastwood City Walk of Fame located in Eastwood City, Libis, Quezon City in 2008.
Rivera released her first dance music album entitled Marian Rivera Dance Hits under Universal Records in 2008. It was a compilation of 12 songs, danced and choreographed by Rivera. The album certified a 2-time Platinum Record Award by the Philippine Association of the Record Industry (or PARI).
In 2009, she released her first single, Sabay Sabay Tayo under her second album Retro Crazy. The single and the album both received Gold Award and later on, a Platinum Record Award from PARI.
In early 2009, she appeared in Ang Babaeng Hinugot Sa Aking Tadyang, an adaptation of Carlo J. Caparas‘s graphic novel. It was her third team-up with Dingdong Dantes. Later that year, she was paired with Dennis Trillo in an adaptation of the famous historical fiction heroine created by Mars Ravelo, the Darna. She played Narda, who turns into superheroine Darna, after swallowing a magical stone. Nestor Torre of Philippine Daily Inquirer described the series as “loud and livid”, praising Rivera’s acting. Trillo and Rivera later teamed-up for the second time on the horror–suspense film Tarot produced by GMA Films and Regal Entertainment.
2010–13: Amaya, Temptation of Wife and other works
Rivera, starred in the Philippine Adaptation of Endless Love, a Korean series, aired on GMA Network. Rivera reunited with Dantes in You to Me Are Everything, a romantic-comedy film under GMA Films which premiered on 5 May 2010. She played Francisca Carantes, a girl from Cordillera who turns out to be the daughter of a millionaire.
Gracia starred in her own Metro Manila Film Festival entry, Super Inday and the Golden Bibe wherein she was nominated as Best Actress on the festival’s awards night. She starred on a Holy Week drama special, Anghel sa Lupa (Earth Angel), produced by APT Entertainment, as well as in a Christmas series aired on GMA Network, The Christmas Doll.
In 2011, she was cast in Temptation Island, a remake of the 1980 film of the same name. She reprised the role of Cristina G., a beauty queen aspirant who has been trapped on an island together with contenders acted by Heart Evangelista, Solenn Heussaff, Lovi Poe, and Ruffa Mae Quinto. She also starred in Bong Revilla‘s film, Ang Panday 2. That same year, she headlined Amaya, a historical drama fiction depicting early Filipinos in the 16th century. She won several awards and accolades including “Favorite TV Actress” on 2011 KZONE Awards, “Best Actress” in a Prime Time Television Series on NSSUA Awards, and for the first time as “Best Actress” in Golden Screen TV Awards in 2013.
That same year, she won her second “Best Actress” award for the same show at the 2013 Northwest Samar State University Annual Awards. The series is promoted by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines and Department of Education due to its cultural concept that shows and depicts the Filipino material culture, beliefs, traditions and mores in the Pre-Hispanic era.
In 2012, Rivera headlined on different programs of GMA Network such as My Beloved, a Filipino romance drama–suspense–thriller series created and written by RJ Nuevas, under the helm of Dominic Zapata and Lore Reyes.
The series premiered on 13 February 2012, it follows the life and love story of an angel of death named Arlan, a fictional character portrayed by Dantes, who falls in love with a human named Sharina, played by Rivera. He was punished and sent to earth to become human being. But complications arise when he found himself trapped in the body of a notorious criminal. She was cast on her second sitcom Tweets For My Sweet which earned her two nominations as “Best Actress in comedy show” on 2012 PMPC Star Awards and 2013 Golden Screen TV Awards.
In the latter part of 2012, Rivera gained another fame through the Philippine adaptation of a popular Korean series, Temptation Of Wife, which aired on the same network. She played Angeline, a long-suffering wife, who has been lied to by his husband, Marcel and a friend named Heidi. Angeline returned as “Chantal”, a rich sophisticated woman who takes revenge on the people who had hurt her. The series once again gave fame to Rivera on various Asian countries, resulting to a fan meeting and television guesting’s in Vietnam, where the series was aired, along with her other works. The series gave Rivera a “Best Actress” award at the PMPC Star Awards for TV and a “Best Actress in a Lead Role” nomination from the 18th Asian Television Awards with Lorna Tolentino in the series Pahiram Ng Sandali. She appeared on her second movie with Richard Gutierrez in a romantic-comedy film entitled My Lady Boss. According to her, “It’s my first time to play a mean but ultraconservative character…”, referring on her role as Evelyn, “the boss from hell”.
Rivera made an appearance for Ekstra: The Bit Player, an official entry to the 2013 Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival. She appeared with Piolo Pascual in Nauna Kang Naging Akin. Rivera appeared with Ai-Ai de las Alas in Kung Fu Divas, a film distributed by Star Cinema as part of their 20th Anniversary in the Philippine Film Industry, Rivera also act as co-producer of the said film.
This prompted her to appear for the first time on ABS-CBN, rival network of GMA 7. She appeared on three consecutive episodes of Kris TV, a taped interview in Showbiz Inside Report, and a live interview on The Buzz with Delas Alas. Her last appearance on ABS-CBN was a live interview in Bandila. During the interviews, she revealed she had her On the Job Training in ABS-CBN during her college days.
2014–15: Carmela & Eat Bulaga!
Rivera returned to prime time with a heavy-drama project temporarily entitled as Carmela (formerly “Catarina”) broadcast by GMA Network on 27 January 2014, wherein she was occasionally paired with Alden Richards.
On 19 April 2014, she headlined in another Lenten television drama anthology special, Panalangin. It was the fourth time she had starred in a Lenten series which was also produced by APT Entertainment and broadcast in the same network.
In 2015, Rivera was supposed to appear in her comeback television program entitled The Rich Man’s Daughter, but due to her pregnancy, she was then replaced by fellow Kapuso celebrity Rhian Ramos respectedly. Despite of her first pregnancy, Rivera pursued to continue some of her appointments in which she appeared in different television commercial ads namely Biofit Tea, Hana Shampoo, Kopiko Cafe Blanca, 555 Tuna’, and the recent Del Monte Quick & Easy TV ad, together with her husband Dingdong Dantes. Magazine covers that featured Rivera such as UNO Magazine, MEG Magazine, Preview Magazine, Speed Magazine, Weddings & Beyond Magazine are to be name the few. In the cover of UNO Magazine, Rivera was quoted as saying “Pregnancy is a beautiful thing”, describing her present condition in her Instagram account.
Rivera was selected as USTv’s Student Leaders Choice for Female Social Media Personality Gawad Sulo ng Bayan Natatanging Pilipinang Aktres sa Pelikula at Telebisyon on Golden Torch CCA, Inc., and the 2nd PEPList Choice Awards for its Newsmaker of the Year category, with Dingdong Dantes, was accepted by ABS-CBN newscaster Korina Sanchez on behalf of the couple. Rivera was included to Rogue Magazine’s Top 50 Most Influential Filipino Online.
2015-present: Sunday Pinasaya & Encantadia
That same year, she headlined with Ai-Ai delas Alas, joined by Alden Richards, Julie Anne San Jose, as well as comedians Jose Manalo and Wally Bayola in the comedy-variety show Sunday PinaSaya.  In 2016, Rivera marked her comeback in television as part of the remake of GMA-7‘s fantasy TV show Encantadia.
In 2009, Rivera and Dingdong Dantes, with assistance from Yes Pinoy Foundation, Philippine National Red Cross and Philippine Marines went to Cainta, Rizal to help the victim of Typhoon Ondoy. Aside from being a volunteer in GMA Network‘s telethon, she helped repacking relief goods from the GMA Kapuso Foundation, a charitable institution from the network.
In August 2012, Rivera joined the Philippine Red Cross team during their mission in Quezon City to help out the victims of the flooding. Rivera, together with former senator Dick Gordon, waded through floodwaters to get to an area where some 500 families sought refuge from the floods caused by the non-stop rains. She stated that helping out the victims is her 28th birthday gift to herself. She also said that she didn’t mind getting wet and tired during the mission, as she says it was a small sacrifice compared to the hardships that the victims are experiencing. According to Rivera, she went as a volunteer and not as a celebrity.
Rivera joined Kris Aquino in visiting affected areas throughout Metro Manila. Rivera organized a blood donation program for the Red Cross at the Ever Gotesco in Quezon City in celebration of her 28th birthday wherein it was attended by lot of people including celebrities.
In 2013, Rivera and her boyfriend Dingdong Dantes contributed for the fund-raising event at the annual Noel Bazaar, the long-running Christmas shopping event in the Pasay City for GMA Kapuso Foundation. During the Philippines‘ Typhoon Haiyan, the strongest typhoon ever recorded, Rivera also helped in the packing of relief goods to be distributed to the affected families and supported the Yes Pinoy Foundation’s victim assistance program. In addition to that, she launched Oplan: Bangka, a livelihood project in which Rivera will shoulder the expenses for the construction of fishing boats that will be given for Cebu‘s fishermen.
On 31 March 2014, she lent her star power to promote the rights of women and children with disabilities in the country as she was appointed by the Congress of the Philippines as Ambassador for Women and Children with Disabilities. She proposed a public-private partnership for the establishment of a special school for children with disabilities so that they can have better access to education. On the latter part of the year, Rivera adds another advocacy to her list as she actively supports “Smile Train“, an international children’s charity with a sustainable approach to a single, solvable problem: cleft lip and palate.
|Rivera’s FHM Cover FHM Magazine cover from January 2013|
|Rivera’s second FHM Magazine cover, March 2014|
Rivera was declared as FHM Magazine’s Sexiest Woman in 2008. With her victory, the FHM staff clarifies that contrary to popular impression, Rivera was already being eyed by FHM even before her career skyrocketed because of Marimar. Before arising as Top 1 in the Top 100 list, she was already listed in the list in 2006 and 2007 at #38 and #24 respectively.
In 2012, Rivera entered the chart at #5, her lowest since topping the said list in 2008. She became a cover for the first time on FHM through its January 2013 issue, which made her one of the biggest contenders for the title, Sexiest Woman of the World for 2013. Rivera appeared on the cover of Cosmopolitan Magazine in the same month. For the third time, she was given a cover of Women’s Health in March 2013. She stated she owes her physique to Muay Thai and Wushu; both are forms of martial arts.
In 2013, Rivera was declared by FHM Philippines as “the sexiest woman in the Philippines”, making her second to reclaim the coveted title five years after she first won it (the first was Angel Locsin, who won it in ’05 and ’10). According to FHM, more than 16 million votes were cast this year, and the final tally saw Rivera raking in a total of 890,490 votes against Sam Pinto‘s 778,681.
In 2009, Rivera was listed as #5 in “Top 20 Celebrity Endorser”‘s list of Manila Standard and #1 in QTV’s “Ang Pinaka…” List of Endorsers. In 2010, she was listed at SPOT’s list of “Top 10 Most In-demand Celebrity Endorsers” at #3. Christine Marie Leido of AB Communications, Inc. stated, “In our choice, for instance, of Marian Rivera[…]she provided the excitement, fresh look and instant recognition the brand needed. The market understood the product and was able to relate to it because she embodied the values the brand stood for … As could be expected, she motivated purchase because of her appeal across all classes and gender.”
In 2012, Rivera ranked 2nd after losing to Angel Locsin on the “Top 20 Most Beautiful Celebrities In The Philippines” published by The Richest. In 2012, she charted at #9 on the “Top 10 International Beauties of 2012” published by TopTenz, the only Asian who made it to the list. According to the web site, Rivera belongs to the major stars in the Philippines.
In August 2014, while a live airing of Rivera’s dance program, Dantes, her longtime boyfriend, made a special guest appearance in the show. Dantes, on the other hand, made a surprise live proposal to Rivera. It was the second proposal by Dantes; the first one was in Macau. In order to marry him, she had to be received into the Roman Catholic Church via conditional baptism as her baptism in Spain was not recognized as valid.[why?]
On 30 December 2014, she married Dingdong Dantes. The wedding was held at Cubao Cathedral in Quezon City, and was televised on GMA Network. In April 2015, the couple announced that they were expecting their first child. Rivera gave birth to the couple’s child, Maria Letizia, at the Makati Medical Center on 23 November 2015 at exactly 5:25 a.m.
Rivera supports breastfeeding in public. She was given the Breastfeeding Influencer and Advocate Award by the Mother and Child Nurses Association of the Philippines on 25 November 2016, citing her advocacy for public breastfeeding.
|2005||Kung Mamahalin Mo Lang Ako||Clarisse|
|Ang Mahiwagang Baul:Ang Alamat ng Kawayan||Rahinda|
|2006||Agawin Mo Man Ang Lahat||Almira / Isadora / Alegra||Won—Star Awards for Best New Female TV Personality|
|2007||Super Twins||Ester Paredes||Last Mother Role on Philippine Television|
|Muli||Racquel Estadilla||First International Drama Stint|
|2007–08||MariMar||MariMar Perez / Bella Aldama||‘Won—Fil-Am Visionary Awards for Favorite Actress
Won—USTv Student Choice for Most Popular Actress in a Drama/Miniseries
Won—Guillermo Box-office Awards for Most Promising Female Star
Won—Guillermo Box-office Awards for Phenomenal TV Star
|2007–10||SOP Rules||Herself / Performer|
|2008||Dyesebel||Dyesebel/Isabel/Cassandra||First Mars Ravelo’s Super Heroine Lead|
|2009||Ang Babaeng Hinugot sa Aking Tadyang||Proserfina J. Valdez/Andrea|
|Sugat ng Kahapon||Hilda|
|2009–11||Show Me Da Manny||Ella Paredes||First Comedy Program|
|2009–10||Mars Ravelo’s : Darna||Narda/Darna||Second Mars Ravelo’s Super Heroine Lead|
|2010||Anghel sa Lupa||Theresa San Miguel|
|Endless Love||Jenny Dizon/Jenny Cruz|
|Jillian: Namamasko Po||Odessa Fuentes|
|2011||Spooky Nights: Bampirella||Cinderella “Cindy” Dela Paz/Bampirella|
|2011–12||Amaya||Amaya/Bai Amaya/Dian Amaya||Nominated—Golden Screen TV Awards 2011 for Best Actress
Won—KZONE Awards for Favorite TV Actress
Won—NSSUAA 2012 for Best Actress
Won—NSSUAA 2013 for Best Actress
Won–Golden Screen TV Awards 2013 for Best Actress
First Ever Historical Epic Period Drama on Philippine Television
|2012||My Beloved||Sharina Quijano|
|Tweets For My Sweet||Megan “Meg” Reyes||Nominated—STAR Awards for TV 2012 for Best Comedy Actress
Nominated—Enpress Screen TV Awards for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Gag or Comedy Program
|Pinoy Adventures||Herself/Co-host||First Hosting Stint|
|Showbiz Central||Herself/Guest Co-Host|
|2012–13||Temptation of Wife||Angeline Santos-Salcedo / Chantal Gonzales||Won—STAR Awards for TV for Best Drama Actress
Nominated—Asian TV Awards for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Nominated—Enpress TV Awards for Best Actress
Won—NSSUAA for Best Actress
|Extra Challenge||Herself/Co-Host||Nominated—STAR Awards for Best Reality-Competition Host|
|2013||One Day, Isang Araw: Ang Sikreto ni Milette||Milette|
|2014||Carmela||Carmela Fernandez/Catarina Bulaong|
|2014–15||Eat Bulaga!||Herself/Co- Host|
|2014||Marian||Herself/Host||Self-Titled Dance Program|
|Vampire Ang Daddy Ko||Dang|
|2015||Eat Bulaga Lenten Special: Aruga ng Puso||Vanjie||Nominated—EB Dabarkads Awards for Best Actress|
|Pepito Manaloto: Ang Tunay na Kwento||Melissa|
|2015||Pari ‘Koy||Cameo Role|
|2016||Yan Ang Morning!||Herself/host|
|2016; 2017||Encantadia||Ynang Reyna Mine-a† / Hara Mine-a|
|2016||Magic of Christmas: The 2016 GMA Christmas Special||Herself||Performer|
|2017||Daig Kayo ng Lola Ko||Gracia Idlefonso/Grasa||Episode Guest|
|Mulawin vs Ravena||Reyna Mine-a||From Encantadia|
|Super Ma’am||Bb. Minerva Henerala||Main Cast|
|2005||Enteng Kabisote 2: Okay Ka Fairy Ko: The Legend Continues||Alyssa||Nominated—STAR Awards for New Movie Actress of the Year|
|My Best Friend’s Girlfriend||Grace||Nominated—Enpress Golden Screen Awards for Best Actress
Won—Box-Office Entertainment Awards for Valentine Box-Office Queen
|One True Love||Joy|
|Shake Rattle & Roll X||Nieves|
|2010||You to Me Are Everything||Francisca/Iska Florantes|
|Super Inday and the Golden Bibe||Inday/Super Inday||Nominated—Metro Manila Film Festival Awards for Best Actress|
|2011||Temptation Island||Cristina G.|
|Tween Academy: Class of 2012||Cameo Role|
|Ang Panday 2||Arlana||Nominated—FAMAS Awards for Best Actress|
|2013||Dance of The Steelbars||Cameo Role|
|My Lady Boss||Evelyn Vallejo|
|Ekstra||Herself/Belinda (cameo)||Nominated—Worldfest-Houston International for Best Supporting Actress|
|Kung Fu Divas||Samantha||Nominated-FAMAS Awards for Best Actress|
|2014||Kubot: The Aswang Chronicles 2||Cameo Role||40th Metro Manila Film Festival Entry|
|My Big Bossing’s Adventures||Clarrisa|
|2016||Imagine You and Me||Cameo Role|
|2008||Marian Rivera Dance Hits||Universal Records||15,000 copies||Platinum Award|
|2009||Retro Crazy||Gold Award|
|2009||“Sabay Sabay Tayo”||Universal Records||15,000 copies||Platinum Award
ASAP 24K Gold Award