River Phoenix

Actor + Musician and Activist
Born Aug 23, 1958

River Jude Phoenix was an American film actor, musician, and activist. He was the oldest brother of fellow actors Rain, Joaquin, Liberty, and Summer Phoenix. Phoenix's work encompassed 24 films and television appearances, including the science fiction adventure film Explorers, the coming-of-age film Stand By Me, the action sequel Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and the independent adult drama My Own Private Idaho.… Read More

related links

News + Updates

Browse recent news and stories about River Phoenix.


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of River Phoenix.


1970 Birth Phoenix was born on August 23, 1970, in Madras, Oregon, the first child of Arlyn Dunetz and John Lee Bottom. … Read More
1973 2 Years Old In 1973, the family joined a controversial Christian new religious movement called the Children of God as missionaries. … Read More
1980 9 Years Old …  In 1980, Phoenix began to fully pursue his work as an actor, making his first appearance on a TV show called Fantasy singing with his sister Rain.


1982 - 1983 2 More Events
1984 13 Years Old In October 1984, Phoenix secured the role of geeky boy-scientist Wolfgang Müller in Joe Dante's large-budget science-fiction film Explorers alongside Ethan Hawke, and production began soon after.
1985 14 Years Old Released in the summer of 1985, this was Phoenix's first major motion picture role.
1986 15 Years Old In October 1986, Phoenix co-starred alongside Tuesday Weld and Geraldine Fitzgerald in the acclaimed CBS television movie Circle of Violence: A Family Drama, which told the tragic story of domestic elder abuse. … Read More
1987 16 Years Old …  After completing his sixth feature film, Sidney Lumet's Running on Empty (1988), Phoenix purchased his family a ranch in Micanopy, Florida, near Gainesville in 1987, in addition to a spread in Costa Rica.
1989 18 Years Old In early 1989, Phoenix was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor (as well as for a Golden Globe), and received the Best Supporting Actor honor from the National Board of Review for his role in Running on Empty. … Read More
1990 19 Years Old In 1990, Phoenix was photographed by Bruce Weber for Vogue and was spokesperson for a campaign for Gap.


In 1991, Phoenix filmed an acclaimed independent picture called Dogfight co-starring Lili Taylor and directed by Nancy Savoca. … Read More
1992 21 Years Old 1 More Event
Phoenix was an investor in the original House of Blues (founded by his good friend and Sneakers co-star Dan Aykroyd) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which opened its doors to the public after serving a group of homeless people on Thanksgiving Day 1992.
On the evening of October 30, 1993, Phoenix was to perform with his close friend Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers onstage at The Viper Room, a Hollywood nightclub partly owned at the time by actor Johnny Depp. … Read More
Original Authors of this text are noted on
Text is made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.