23 (passed away Oct. 31st, 1993)
Aug. 23rd, 1970
Madras, Oregon, USA
River Phoenix's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles1993 - The Thing Called Love
1993 - Even Cowgirls Get the Blues
1992 - Sneakers
1991 - Dogfight
1991 - My Own Private Idaho
1990 - I Love You to Death
1989 - Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
1988 - Running On Empty
1988 - Little Nikita
1988 - A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon
1986 - Stand by Me
1986 - The Mosquito Coast
1985 - Explorers
Guest TV Roles
His father John had been a carpenter, his mother Arlyn was a secretary in the Bronx. They met in California in 1968 where they worked as itinerant fruit pickers. By the time River was two, they were members of the Children of God, living in South America, where John was the sect's Archbishop of Venezuela. In 1977, they moved to Los Angeles, and changed their last name to Phoenix. His parents encouraged all of their children to get into movies and, by age ten, River was acting professionally on TV. His film debut was in Explorers (1985), followed rapidly by box-office successes with Stand by Me (1986) and The Mosquito Coast (1986), and as young Indiana in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989). His role as Danny Pope in Running on Empty (1988) earned him an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actor. His best role was probably Mike, the hustler in My Own Private Idaho (1991). He died at age 23 outside the Viper Room, Johnny Depp's Los Angeles club.
- Ranked #69 on _The 100 Greatest Movie Stars (2003) (TV)_ (qv) on Channel 4 (UK).
- 'Natalie Merchant' (qv) wrote a song, "River," which is in his memory. In addition, her song "Carnival" was inspired by him.
- The band FenixTX was originally called River Fenix, but due to conflicts with the rights to his name, they were forced to change their name.
- Is one of only three actors to have played the son of and the younger version of the same actor, by playing 'Harrison Ford (I)' (qv)'s son and playing young Indiana Jones. The other is 'Bruno Kirby' (qv), who played 'Richard S. Castellano' (qv)'s son on _"The Super" (1972)_ (qv), and the young Clemenza in _The Godfather: Part II (1974)_ (qv). 'Logan Lerman' (qv) played one of 'Mel Gibson (I)' (qv)'s sons in _The Patriot (2000)_ (qv) and the younger Nick Marshall in _What Women Want (2000)_ (qv).
- Phoenix, who'd been playing the guitar since childhood, had his own band with his sister, 'Rain Phoenix' (qv), called Aleka's Attic.
- Born in a log cabin in Oregon.
- Was set to star in _Total Eclipse (1995)_ (qv), the story of a young gay poet. After River died the part was given to 'Leonardo DiCaprio' (qv).
- Just a month before his death he had expressed an interest in starring in _The Basketball Diaries (1995)_ (qv). His role was subsequently played by 'Leonardo DiCaprio' (qv).