Marian Gracia Rivera is a Filipina-Spanish actress which was born on August 12, 1984 in Madrid, Spain. Her father’s name is Francisco Javier Gracia Alonso, who is a Spaniard and married a Filipina name Amalia Rivera from Cavite. When her parents separated 2 years after her birth, Rivera and her mom left Spain and flew back to her mother’s hometown in the Philippines. In 2005, she was first seen in Philippine Television via Tape Inc.’s afternoon drama, Kung Mamahalin Mo Lang Ako and became a lead actress for the soap opera itself. However, Marian’s role did not come until 2007 when she was cast for the title role in the Philippine version of “Marimar”.
Marian began her career as a ramp and commercial model, which landed her with an appearance on TV advertisements for Skin White Lotion and Sky Flakes crackers.
She signed a contract for Regal Films in 2006 and shot her first horror movie which entitled “Pamahiin” together with actor Dennis Trillo and commercial-actress Iya Villania. In 2007, her breakout role came which she starred the title role of Marimar. It premiered on August 13, 2007 with a 36.6% rating. Later, Rivera Awarded in GMMSF Inc. honoring her as Phenomenal TV Star in the 38th Box-Office Entertainment Awards. Marimar is currently and consistently the highest rating show on Philippine primetime TV according to AGB Nielsen.
She also starred in two MMFF movie entries such as Bahay Kubo and Desperadas. In 2008, Rivera’s starred her first leading lady movie with actor Richard Gutierrez in the hit blockbuster romantic-comedy My Best Friend’s Girlfriend. In the same year, Marian also plays the role of Dyesebel. Dingdong Dantes who was her leading man in MariMar, pairs up with Rivera as Fredo. Rivera plays as a beautiful young mermaid under the ocean. It aired on April 28, 2008.
The Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes or what their fans call “Dongyan” team-up is probably the sexiest loveteam of 2008. Her team-up with one of GMA Network’s most bankable young actors, Dingdong Dantes (playing Sergio Santibanez in Marimar), proved to be a huge success. Aside for being an actress, Marian is also the first ever non-cover girl FHM Philippines’ sexiest woman for 2008, beating the two-time FHM sexiest woman Katrina Halili. GMA Network Executives dubbed her as “The Next Big Star.” She is now tagged as Philippine’s Primetime Princess after her successful debut starrer.