The actor who played the narcoleptic hustler in 'My Own Private Idaho' (1991) who rose to fame as a teen idol. He was featured in the movie 'Stand by Me' (1986) as well.
August 23, 1970
October 31, 1993
River Phoenix came to prominence as a teen idol in Stephen King’s ‘Stand by Me’ (1986), ‘Running on Empty’ (1988), and ‘My Own Private Idaho’ (1991). He comes from the Phoenix family of actors. When he died due to drug intoxication at the age of 23, his ashes were sprinkled at the Phoenix family ranch in Florida. Red Hot Chili Peppers’ hit track ‘Transcending’ (1995), Natalie Merchant’s songs ‘River’ (1995) and ‘Carnival’ (1995), as well as ‘Milton Nascimento’ composition ‘River Phoenix’ (1988) were all dedicated to the young actor’s life and death.
His name was inspired by Hermann Hesse’ novel ‘Siddhartha”s (1951) river of life while his middle name was from the famous Beatles’ song, ‘Hey Jude’ (1968). Likewise, many fondly call him Rio or Riv. His hippie parents gave all their children nature-themed names such as Rain, Joaquin (otherwise known as Leaf), Liberty, and Summer Phoenix. It was only when they moved to the United States when his family changed their original last name Bottom to Phoenix.
He was a member of PeTA and an avid supporter of animal rights activism, vegetarianism, and environmentalism.