With a whole life ahead and a promising career,
River Phoenix passed away too early, suddenly and quite tragically. For 25 years since his
death, people have been saying many different things about the actor, some more controversial
than others. Stay with CurioSips to get to know everything about River Phoenix!
The oldest child in the Phoenix family was born on August 23, 1970, in Madras, Oregon.
But, before getting well-known, River initially had his parents’ surname Bottom. As we mentioned
in our video about his brother, Joaquin Phoenix, his parents decided to change their last name
and start a new life after leaving the religious group the Children of God. Such a relief!
Because calling such a legendary actor River Bottom could be a bit frustrating… Obviously,
during his childhood, it caused constant teasing from his schoolmates and neighbors.
Since childhood, River showed a talent for music, so he learned to play the guitar and,
while he lived with his parents in Venezuela, both he and his sister, Rain, played on the
streets of Caracas to earn some money. The Bottoms decided to leave their old life behind
and return to the United States. It was then that River and his brothers decided to try
their luck in the world of acting. River was the one who quickly attracted the attention
of Hollywood bigwigs. After taking part in several commercials and
TV programs, the young River quickly became a child star of American TV, continuing his
musical career. Finally, in 1985 he had his film debut in the movie “Explorers”, where
he played a young inventor. But, without a doubt, the great success of his career as
a child actor was achieved thanks to his participation in the classic film, “Stand By Me”, 1986,
based on Stephen King’s novel, “The Body”. From that moment the young River became an
important figure in the film industry, starring with the greatest actors such as Harrison
Ford, in the film “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” where Phoenix played young Indiana,
and Keanu Reeves, in the 1991 film, “My own private Idaho,” and even received the Oscar
nomination for his role of Danny Pope, in the 1988 film, “Running on Empty.”
An interesting fact that only a few know is that River, like the rest of his family, was
vegan. In addition to the recognition for his acting talent, in 1992 the young Phoenix
also received a Humanitarian Award for his altruistic efforts. And not only River was
a spokesman for the animal rights organization, PETA, but he also donated significant sums
of money for charitable causes. But, his veganism and concerns for all living
things were, strangely enough, accompanied by his consumption of tobacco, alcohol and
other illegal substances. And it became his curse… On the night of October 31, 1993,
he lost his life by consuming an explosive mixture of narcotics known as Speedball. Many
things about that tragic night still remain a mystery.
However, in October 2018, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of that event, the
actress Samantha Mathis, who was River’s girlfriend at the time of his death, spoke with The Guardian
about it. According to her, that night River and she
gave a ride to Rain and Joaquin Phoenix to the Johnny Depp’s nightclub, Viper Room.
But when they arrived at the venue, River offered to hang out there as some people playing
live asked him to join the band. Samantha wasn’t very enthusiastic but she agreed
because she thought it wouldn’t take long. But, according to her, from the beginning
she had a bad feeling “I knew something was wrong that night, something I didn’t
understand.” This is why she tried to calm down thinking that River would come back soon
as he had his belongings in the trunk of her car… Bursting into tears, Samantha ends
the story with the harrowing phrase, “Forty-five minutes later, he was dead.”
After his early and tragic death at only 23, River Phoenix left his friends and family
devastated, a legacy of an estimated $5 million dollars at that time and unfinished career.
Among other films he never got a chance to play in, he didn’t finish his role in the
film “Dark Blood”. Also, just before River passed away, the creators
of the film, “Interview with the Vampire”, based on the Anne Rice novel, wanted to offer
him a role of Neil Jordan, the interviewer of Louis de Pointe du Lac, played by Brad
Pitt. Instead, the producers chose the actor Christian Slater and dedicated the film to
the late Phoenix. What do you think about the sudden death of
River Phoenix? Do you think he would have become an outstanding actor if he hadn’t
died? We’ll gladly read your comments and don’t forget to subscribe to our channel
to become honorable members of our CurioSips community! See you next time!