REMEMBERING RIVER PHOENIX
A tragic death on this day, October 31, in 1993 at the age of 23.
Born on August 23, 1970 (Virgo), in Madras, Oregon, River Phoenix achieved fame at 15 in the 1986 film ‘Stand by Me,’ which was based on a novella by Stephen King.
He followed it up with Sidney Lumet’s ‘Running on Empty’ in 1988, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
‘My Own Private Idaho’ in 1991, written and directed by Gus van Sant, won him the Best Actor award at the Venice Film Festival.
“Phoenix immerses himself so deeply inside his character you almost forget you’ve seen him before,” a film reviewer wrote of his performance in ‘My Own Private Idaho.’ “It’s a stunningly sensitive performance, poignant and comic at once.”
River Phoenix was one of the most influential actors of his generation at the time of his death of an accidental drug overdose.
He collapsed on the sidewalk outside the popular West Hollywood nightspot The Viper Room, which was part-owned by actor Johnny Depp at the time.
Depp closed the Viper Room every year on October 31 until selling his share in the club in 2004.
River’s brother Joaquin is well known to the world as a superb actor; his sisters Rain, Liberty and Summer are actors and musicians.
During his childhood, River travelled in South America with his “hippie” missionary parents, members of the Children of God cult. The Phoenix family fled Venezuela by stowing away in a cruise ship. Once back in America, River and his siblings all became child actors.
River was an outspoken animal rights activist and environmentalist.
‘WE CUT THEIR THROATS AND EAT THEM! IT’S INSANE.’
”We take these animals and completely violate who they are. We use them, abuse them, and deprive them all their lives. Then we cut their throats, shred them and eat them! It’s insane. The thought of meat-eating makes me shudder.”
‘My Own Private Idaho’ — five deleted scenes