The Life of River Phoenix

Without his older brother, Joaquin Phoenix may not have become the actor he is today. River Phoenix was a rising star who died at 23 — this is his story.

'The Vegan James Dean'

He was Joaquin Phoenix’s brother, role model and he was a rising star in Hollywood, he died at the age of 23, this is River Phoenix. River Phoenix or River Bottom, his real name, was born in 1970, in Oregon. At the age of 2, his family joined the cult The Family International and moved to Venezuela. He grew up with his three sisters and his brother, all younger than him: Rain, Liberty, Summer and Joaquin.

In 1977, his family left the cult, moved back to the United States and changed their last name to Phoenix. At 7, he decided to go vegan with his sisters and brother. As a child, his parents encouraged him to become an actor. At 16, he got noticed thanks to his role in "Stand by Me” and "Mosquito Coast" alongside Harrison Ford. Two years later, he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in “Running on Empty.” In 1989, he played the role of young Indiana in Steven Spielberg’s “Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade.” At that time, he encouraged his brother Joaquin to work on his acting. With his sister, he also became involved in the Peta association against wearing fur.

At 21, he stole the show in Gus Van Sant's "My Own Private Idaho", playing the role of an outsider who prostitutes himself alongside Keanu Reeves. On the night of October 30 to 31, 1993, he died of an overdose in the arms of his brother in front of a nightclub in Los Angeles owned by Johnny Depp. Dubbed "The Vegan James Dean", he was a staunch defender of animal welfare and just as staunchly dedicated to what we now call sustainability, buying up chunks of rainforest to protect it from logging. River Phoenix was 23 years old.


11/22/2019 11:19 AM
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  • David M.
    2 days

    we should take culinary advice from a family that joined a cult? GTFO. Great acting, thats it.

  • Roxy B.
    12/01/2019 22:24

    Hold on...he wasn’t 23 when he died, he was already in his early 30s because the last movie he made that I can recall is Sneakers with Robert Redford.

  • Saya A.
    11/30/2019 08:22


  • Sayan L.
    11/29/2019 10:37

    dakh eta.

  • Roan G.
    11/27/2019 22:55


  • Yajaira R.
    11/26/2019 15:51

    Las Drogas asesinan mas que una pistola

  • Krijn J.
    11/26/2019 14:40

    I think he's the best buddy of Keanu Reeves.

  • Rashik R.
    11/26/2019 14:31

    প্রত্যয় মুবিন Stand by me দেখছিলি না?

  • Alexa R.
    11/26/2019 13:25

    Don’t do drugs. It will rob everything of your life and your loved ones.

  • Wynohna N.
    11/26/2019 08:59


  • Mezan A.
    11/26/2019 07:23

    River was a highly talented guy since a young age. Both brothers are genius. He will always be missed by his incredible family and fans

  • Khem O.
    11/26/2019 06:48

    Keannu's bestfriend

  • Adlane A.
    11/26/2019 06:35

    Let's just don't eat meat 🥩 and do drugs that's less harmful

  • Bik R.
    11/26/2019 05:39

    He sounds like little Justin beiber

  • Francis X.
    11/26/2019 05:07

    kamuka ni dan.haha

  • Francisco G.
    11/26/2019 04:32

    ahoooo yo no sabia !! No se parecen

  • Maliha S.
    11/26/2019 04:23

    What an amazing family 💗

  • Jose G.
    11/26/2019 03:26

    So sad. All the great actors who died early were on drugs or had a drug habit. Everyone has some addiction.

  • Sumit S.
    11/26/2019 03:19

    Early Sucess in life can destroy our life sure .

  • Aboj H.
    11/26/2019 02:29

    God Bless U😍 River Phoenix❤