Riva's representatives confirmed to Variety that he passed away in hospital, although no cause of death was given.
He had recently been working on Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained in New Orleans.
Riva's 35-year Hollywood career saw him work on The Goonies, Lethal Weapon and A Few Good Men. He was nominated for an Oscar for his work on Steven Spielberg's The Colour Purple in 1985 and won an Emmy in 2007 for the 79th Annual Academy Awards.
Recently, Riva designed superhero blockbusters Spider-Man 3, the first two Iron Man movies and The Amazing Spider-Man.
His credits also include the Opening Ceremonies of the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.
Born in New York, Riva's father William Riva designed sets on Broadway and his mother Maria Riva was a popular TV actress in the '50s. His grandmother was screen icon Marlene Dietrich.
Riva's final movie, Django Unchained, will open in US cinemas on December 25 and January 18 in the UK.
Watch an interview with J Michael Riva from 2009 below: