City Connect commemorates River Phoenix, the older brother of Joaquin Phoenix, who died on October 31 1993 under tragic personal circumstances. His work encompassed 24 films and television appearances, including the coming-of-age film Stand by Me, the science fiction adventure Explorers, the action sequel Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and the independent adult drama My Own Private Idaho. The actor’s meteoric rise to fame led to his inevitable status as a “teen sensation”.
Phoenix began acting at the age of ten in some television commercials. He appeared in various roles, making his first notable appearance in the 1986 film Stand by Me, a hugely popular coming-of-age film based on a novella by Stephen King. He made a transition into more adult-oriented roles with Running on Empty that earned him a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, and My Own Private Idaho playing a gay hustler in search of his estranged mother.
On the evening of October 30, 1993, Phoenix was to perform with his close friend Michael Balzary from the Red Hot Chili Peppers onstage at The Viper Room, a Hollywood nightclub partly owned at the time by Johnny Depp. Phoenix had returned to Los Angeles from Utah to complete the three weeks of interior shots left on his last project Dark Blood, a film which was finally completed in 2012. His younger sister Rain and brother Joaquin had flown out to join him. Phoenix’s girlfriend, Samantha Mathis, had also come to join him. All were present at the scene of Phoenix’s death, when he passed away the following morning caused by a Heroine overdose.
City Connect celebrates this outstanding actor today.
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