Where those associated with Western films from around the world are laid to rest.
Friday, June 8, 2012
RIP J. Michael Riva
Production designer J. Michael Riva, whose most recent work includes Quentin
Tarantino’s currently filming Django Unchained and Sony’s franchise reboot The
Amazing Spider-Man, has died. Riva was 63, and the circumstances and cause of
death were not known but Deadline was able to confirm his passing. Very highly
regarded in the industry, he was the son of actress-author Maria Riva and art
director William Riva and the grandson of Marlene Dietrich and film editor
Rudolph Sieber. Raised in New York City, he eventually found his way to Los
Angeles. Dropping out of UCLA to pursue a career in production design, Riva
apprenticed with Jackson DeGoiva and his first major movie was uncredited work
with Toby Rafelson on I Never Promised You a Rose Garden (1977). That led to
Brubaker (1980) with Robert Redford and subsequently Redford hired him for
Ordinary People (1980). Other work included the 1984 cult fave The Adventures of
Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension plus Bad Boys, The Goonies, The Golden
Child and The Color Purple among numerous others. In addition to Django
Unchained and the upcoming The Amazing Spider-Man, Riva also worked on Iron Man
and its first sequel, Spider-Man 3, both Charlie’s Angels movies, the four
Lethal Weapon pictures as well as Scrooged, Congo, Dave and A Few Good Men.
RIVA, J. Michael (John Michael Riva) Born: 6/28/1948, New York City, New York, U.S.A. Died: 6/7/2012, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.A.
J. Michael Rivas' western - production manager:
Django Unchained - 2012
Born in Toledo, Ohio in 1946 I have a BA degree in American History from Cal St. Northridge. I've been researching the American West and western films since the early 1980s and visiting filming sites in Spain and the U.S.A. Elected a member of the Spaghetti Western Hall of Fame 2010.