Mario Riva

Mario Riva (26 January 1912 1 September 1960) was an Italian television presenter and actor. He appeared in 51 films between 1941 and 1960.[1]

Mario Riva
Mario Riva (on the left) and Riccardo Billi (on the right) in It Happened at the Police Station (1954)
Mario Bonavolontà

(1912-01-26)26 January 1912
Rome, Italy
Died1 September 1960(1960-09-01) (aged 48)
Verona, Italy
Cause of deathaccidental fall
Years active1941–1960

Life and career

Born in Rome as Mariuccio Bonavolontà, the son of a composer, Giuseppe (Joseph) Bonavolonta (b.1885) and his wife Teresa Chinzari. His father composed over 500 popular tunes including "Goodbye Nemi" and "Fiocca Snow". Mario attended St Joseph College in Piazza di Spagna in Rome.[2]

Riva debuted at young age as a dubber and a radio actor.[3] His film debut was in 1941 in "Due cuori sotto sequestro " (Two Hearts Seized).

He became first known as presenter of the stage show Clan (1942).[3] After a long season of successes on stage (often in couple with Riccardo Billi) Riva reached the peak of his career with the RAI variety television Il Musichiere (1957-1960) (the Italian version of Name That Tune).[3] He also appeared on several films, usually in supporting roles.[3]

While he was presenting from the Arena di Verona a special event linked to the TV program, the Secondo Festival del Musichiere, he inadvertently fell into a hole in the stage covered with a tarpaulin and died.[3]

He was married to the actress Diana Dei. Their son is Antonello Riva (b.1951).

Selected filmography


  1. "Mario Riva". MyMovies. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  3. Enrico Lancia, Roberto Poppi. Dizionario del cinema italiano: Gli attori. Gremese Editore, 2003. ISBN 8884402697.
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