Marlene Dietrich
Marlene Dietrich surrounded by admirers. (Marlene Dietrich Collection GmbH, Munich, Germany)

Hollywood was never far from Peter Riva’s childhood.

His father was a set designer who worked on Broadway and television. His mother, an actress.

And his grandmother was Marlene Dietrich .

“You learned very early on she was the matriarch of the family,” the 67-year-old told Fox News. “If mom was doing live television, she would come around … She could be the grandmother cooking dinner for [my brother] Michael and I.”

Riva‘s mother has previously written a memoir about the film icon. He also shared there are potential plans to publish Dietrich’s German poems in English this year.

Dietrich, was recognized as an international symbol of glamour and sex for more than half a century. She died in 1992 at age 90, and Riva, now a literary agent, continues to protect the her legacy.

But as a child, Riva simply viewed Dietrich, one of the most celebrated Hollywood stars of all time, as the woman he called “Massy.” However, he knew early on there was something different about her.