Biography

River Jude Phoenix (August 23, 1970 – October 31, 1993) was an up-and-coming movie star when he died suddenly of drug-induced heart failure in 1993 at the age of 23. His brief career was marked by critically-acclaimed performances in films such as Stand by Me (1986), Running on Empty (1988) and Gus Van Sant's My Own Private Idaho (1991, with Keanu Reeves). Phoenix was the eldest of five children whose itinerant parents were members of a radical Christian group called the Children of God (later known as The Family). His family lived in communes in Oregon, Texas, Puerto Rico and Venezuela before settling in Florida. Pursuing entertainment careers for their children, the parents moved the family to Los Angeles, where Phoenix began getting television jobs in the early 1980s. Although his first feature film was 1985's Explorers (with young Ethan Hawke), it was his stand-out performance in the ensemble drama Stand by Me that gained him national recognition. Phoenix was labeled a promising young actor and his career took off. He co-starred with Harrison Ford in both The Mosquito Coast (1986) and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), and earned an Oscar nomination for his performance in Running on Empty. His other films include Little Nikita (1988, with Sidney Poitier), Dogfight (1991) and Sneakers (1992, with Robert Redford).

In 1993, outside Johnny Depp's L.A. nightclub, The Viper Room, Phoenix went into cardiac arrest and died, a result of lethal levels of heroin and cocaine.

River Jude Phoenix (August 23, 1970 – October 31, 1993) was an up-and-coming movie star when he died suddenly of drug-induced heart failure in 1993 at the age of 23. His brief career was marked by critically-acclaimed performances in films such as Stand by Me (1986), Running on Empty (1988) and Gus Van Sant's My Own Private Idaho (1991, with Keanu Reeves). Phoenix was the eldest of five children whose itinerant parents were members of a radical Christian group called the Children of God (later known as The Family). His family lived in communes in Oregon, Texas, Puerto Rico and Venezuela before settling in Florida. Pursuing entertainment careers for their children, the parents moved the family to Los Angeles, where Phoenix began getting television jobs in the early 1980s. Although his first feature film was 1985's Explorers (with young Ethan Hawke), it was his stand-out performance in the ensemble drama Stand by Me that gained him national recognition. Phoenix was labeled a promising young actor and his career took off. He co-starred with Harrison Ford in both The Mosquito Coast (1986) and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), and earned an Oscar nomination for his performance in Running on Empty. His other films include Little Nikita (1988, with Sidney Poitier), Dogfight (1991) and Sneakers (1992, with Robert Redford).

In 1993, outside Johnny Depp's L.A. nightclub, The Viper Room, Phoenix went into cardiac arrest and died, a result of lethal levels of heroin and cocaine.

Personal Info

Known For Acting

Gender Male

Known Credits 29

Birthday 1970-08-23

Day of Death 1993-10-31

Place of Birth Metolius, Oregon USA

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • -

Acting TV ShowsMovies

2012 Dark Blood as Boy
2012 Too Young to Die (1 episode) as Himself (archive footage)
2011 My Own Private River as Michael "Mike" Waters (archive footage)
2005 The Making of My Own Private Idaho
1994 Even Cowgirls Get the Blues as Pilgrim
1993 The Thing Called Love as James Wright
1993 Silent Tongue as Talbot Roe
1992 Sneakers as Carl Arbegast
1991 Dogfight as Eddie Birdlace
1991 My Own Private Idaho as Michael "Mike" Waters
1991 Teen Vid II as Himself
1990 I Love You to Death as Devo Nod
1989 Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade as Indiana Jones (young)
1988 Running on Empty as Danny Pope / Michael Manfield
1988 A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon as Jimmy Reardon
1988 Little Nikita as Jeff Grant
1986 The Mosquito Coast as Charlie Fox
1986 Circle of Violence: A Family Drama as Chris Benfield
1986 Stand by Me as Chris Chambers
1985 Explorers as Wolfgang Müller
1985 Surviving as Philip Brogan
1985 Robert Kennedy & His Times (3 episodes) as Robert Kennedy Jr.
1984 It's Your Move (1 episode)
1984 Backwards: The Riddle of Dyslexia as Brian Ellsworth
1984 Celebrity (3 episodes) as Jeffie - Age 11
1982 Family Ties (1 episode)
1982 Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (22 episodes) as Guthrie McFadden
1982 Hotel (1 episode)

Crew

1994 Interview with the Vampire Thanks

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