At the 61st Academy Awards; Governor's House, March 29, 1989
|Born||River Jude Bottom
August 23, 1970
|Died||October 31, 1993
West Hollywood, California
|Cause of death||Heart failure due to heroin and cocaine overdose|
|Occupation||Actor, musician, activist|
River Jude Phoenix (August 23, 1970 – October 31, 1993) was an American film actor, musician, and activist. He was the older brother of Rain Phoenix, Joaquin Phoenix, Summer Phoenix and Liberty 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. Phoenix's meteoric rise to fame led to his status as a "teen sensation".
Phoenix began acting at age 10 in television commercials. He appeared in diverse 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. Phoenix made a transition into more adult-oriented roles with Running on Empty (1988), playing the son of fugitive parents in a well-received performance that earned him a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, and My Own Private Idaho (1991), playing a gay hustler in search of his estranged mother. For his performance in the latter, Phoenix garnered enormous praise and won a Volpi Cup at the Venice Film Festival, along with Best Actor from the National Society of Film Critics. He was listed by John Willis as one of twelve promising new actors of 1986.
On October 31, 1993, Phoenix collapsed and died of drug-induced heart failure on the sidewalk outside the West Hollywood nightclub The Viper Room. At the time of his death, Phoenix had been in the middle of filming Dark Blood (1993).
Early life 
Phoenix was born as River Jude Bottom on August 23, 1970, in Madras, Oregon, the first child of Arlyn Sharon Dunetz and John Lee Bottom. Phoenix's parents named him after the river of life from the Hermann Hesse novel Siddhartha, and he received his middle name from The Beatles' song "Hey Jude".
In an interview with People, Phoenix described his parents as "hippieish". His mother was born in The Bronx, New York, to Jewish parents whose families had emigrated from Russia and Hungary. His father was a lapsed Catholic from Fontana, California. In 1968, Phoenix's mother left her family in New York City and travelled across the United States, meeting John Lee Bottom while hitchhiking in northern California. They married on September 13, 1969, less than one year after meeting. While living in Crockett, Texas, their second child Rain Joan of Arc Bottom was born on November 21, 1972. In 1973, the family joined a Christian new religious movement called the Children of God as missionaries. Their third child, Joaquin Rafael Bottom, was born on October 28, 1974, in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
On July 5, 1976, Phoenix's sister Libertad Mariposa Bottom was born, after the family had settled in Caracas, Venezuela, where the Children of God had stationed them to work as missionaries and fruit gatherers. Although John Bottom was later designated the group's "Archbishop of Venezuela and the Caribbean", their family received no financial support and lived in poverty. Phoenix often played guitar while he and Rain sang on street corners for money and food to support their ever-growing family. Arlyn and John eventually grew disillusioned with the Children of God; Arlyn would later tell a journalist that she and her husband were opposed to the groups's practice of Flirty Fishing, stating: "The group was being distorted by the leader, David Berg, who was getting powerful and wealthy. He sought to attract rich disciples through sex. No way." Fearing the group was moving in a negative direction, the Bottom family left and stayed for a period with a church in Venezuela. It was during the last years in South America that the entire Phoenix family converted to veganism, encouraged by River and Joaquin, who had witnessed local fishermen's methods of killing their catch.
The family eventually made the trip back to the United States by a cargo ship. Upon their return, they moved in with Phoenix's maternal grandparents in Florida. On December 10, 1978, Summer Joy Bottom was born in Winter Park, Florida. On April 2, 1979, the family officially changed their name to Phoenix, after the mythical bird that rises from its own ashes, symbolizing a new beginning.
Acting career 
In Los Angeles, Arlyn Phoenix was working for a casting agent at NBC. She secured her talented brood a meeting with top kids' agent Iris Burton, who was so charmed by the family that she agreed to take on all five Phoenix children. 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. In 1982, River was cast in the CBS short-lived TV series, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, in which he starred as the youngest brother, Guthrie McFadden. River, who arrived at the auditions with his guitar, promptly burst into a convincing Elvis Presley impersonation, charming the show producer.
Almost a year after Seven Brides ended in 1983, River found a new role in the 1984 made-for-TV movie Celebrity, where he played the part of young Jeffie Crawford. Although he was only on screen for about ten minutes, his character was a central role. Less than a month after Celebrity came the ABC Afterschool Special: Backwards: The Riddle of Dyslexia. River starred as a young boy who discovers he has dyslexia. Joaquin starred in a small role alongside his brother. In September, the pilot episode of the short-lived TV series It's Your Move aired. River was cast as Brian and only had one line of dialogue. He also starred as Robert Kennedy's son, Robert Kennedy, Jr. in the TV movie Robert Kennedy and His Times. After River's role in Dyslexia was critically acclaimed, he was almost immediately cast as a major role in his next made-for-TV movie, Surviving: A Family in Crisis. River starred as Philip Brogan alongside Molly Ringwald and Heather O'Rourke. Halfway during the filming of Surviving, Iris Burton contacted him about a possible role in the film Explorers.
In October 1984, River was informed that he had been cast as the geeky boy-scientist Wolfgang Müller in Joe Dante's large-budget science-fiction film Explorers and production began soon after. Released in the summer of 1985, this was River's first major motion picture role. 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. This was Phoenix's last television role he filmed before achieving feature film stardom. He had significant roles in Rob Reiner's coming of age picture Stand by Me (1986) which first brought Phoenix to public prominence; Peter Weir's The Mosquito Coast (1986), where Phoenix played the son of Harrison Ford's character; A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon (1988); and Little Nikita (1988) alongside Sidney Poitier. During this time, the Phoenix family continued to move on a regular basis and moved over forty times by the time Phoenix was 18. After completing his sixth feature film, Sidney Lumet's Running on Empty (1988) the family made their last move to Micanopy, Florida, near Gainesville, Florida in 1987. In early 1989, Phoenix was nominated for an Oscar 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. That year he also portrayed a young Indiana Jones in the box-office hit Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. In 1989, reportedly Phoenix wanted the role of Neil Perry, the main character of Dead Poets Society, but the role was instead given to Robert Sean Leonard.
Phoenix met actor Keanu Reeves while Reeves was filming Parenthood with Phoenix's brother, Joaquin. The two starred together for the first time (along with Kevin Kline, Tracey Ullman and Joan Plowright) in 1990's I Love You to Death and again in Gus Van Sant's avant-garde film My Own Private Idaho. In his review for Newsweek, David Ansen praised Phoenix's performance: "The campfire scene in which Mike awkwardly declares his unrequited love for Scott is a marvel of delicacy. In this, and every scene, Phoenix immerses himself so deeply inside his character you almost forget you've seen him before: it's a stunningly sensitive performance, poignant and comic at once". For his role in My Own Private Idaho, Phoenix won Best Actor honors at the Venice Film Festival, the National Society of Film Critics and the Independent Spirit Awards. The film and its success solidified Phoenix's image as an actor with edgy, leading man potential. Just prior to My Own Private Idaho, he filmed an acclaimed independent picture called Dogfight co-starring Lili Taylor and directed by Nancy Savoca, in which Phoenix portrayed a young U.S. Marine on the night prior to his being shipped off to Vietnam in November 1963. Phoenix teamed up with Robert Redford and again with Sidney Poitier for the conspiracy/espionage thriller Sneakers (1992). A month later he began production on Sam Shepard's art-house ghost western Silent Tongue (which was released in 1994); he also was beaten out for the role of Paul by Brad Pitt in A River Runs Through It. He then appeared in Peter Bogdanovich's country music-themed film, The Thing Called Love (1993), the last completed picture before his death.
Although Phoenix's movie career was generating most of the income for his family, it has been stated by close friends and relatives that his true passion was music. Phoenix was a singer, songwriter, and an accomplished guitarist. He had begun teaching himself guitar at the age of five and had stated in an interview for E! in 1988 that his family's move to Los Angeles when he was nine was made so that he and his sister "... could become recording artists. I fell into commercials for financial reasons and acting became an attractive concept ..." Prior to securing an acting agent, Phoenix and his siblings had attempted to forge a career in music by playing cover songs on the streets of the Westwood district of LA, often being moved along by police because of the gathering crowds who obstructed the pavement.
While working on A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon in 1986, Phoenix had written and recorded a song, "Heart to Get", specifically for the end credits of the movie. 20th Century Fox cut it from the completed film, but director William Richert put it back into place for his director's cut some years later. It was during filming that Phoenix met Chris Blackwell of Island Records, this meeting would later secure Phoenix a two-year development deal with the label. Phoenix disliked the idea of being a solo artist and relished collaboration; therefore he focused on putting together a band. Aleka's Attic were formed in 1987 and the line up included his sister Rain. Phoenix was committed to gaining credibility by his own merit and so he maintained that the band would not use his name when securing performances that were not benefits for charitable organizations. Phoenix's first release was "Across the Way", co-written with band mate Josh McKay, which was released in 1989 on a benefit album for PETA titled Tame Yourself. In 1991 River wrote and recorded a spoken word piece called "Curi Curi" for Milton Nascimento's album TXAI. Also in 1991 the Aleka's Attic track "Too Many Colors" was lent to the soundtrack of Gus Van Sant's My Own Private Idaho a film which included Phoenix in a starring role. In 1996 the Aleka's Attic track "Note to a Friend" was released on the 1996 benefit album In Defense of Animals; Volume II and featured Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers on bass.
Phoenix had collaborated with friend John Frusciante after his first departure from Red Hot Chili Peppers and the songs "Height Down" and "Well I've Been" were released on Frusciante's second solo album Smile from the Streets You Hold in 1997. The title track may also be an ode to Phoenix.
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.
Phoenix was a dedicated animal rights, environmental and political activist. He was a prominent spokesperson for PETA and won their Humanitarian award in 1992 for his fund-raising efforts. Also in 1990, for Earth Day, Phoenix wrote an environmental awareness essay targeted at his young fanbase, which was printed in Seventeen magazine. He financially aided a great many environmental and humanitarian organizations and bought 800 acres (320 ha) of endangered rainforest in Costa Rica.
Prior to his death, Phoenix's image—one he bemoaned in interviews—had been squeaky-clean, owing in part to the public discussion of his various social, political, humanitarian, and dietary interests not always popular in the 1980s. As a result, his death elicited a vast amount of coverage from the media at the time.
On the evening of October 30, 1993, Phoenix was to perform with his close friend Michael "Flea" Balzary from the Red Hot Chili Peppers onstage at The Viper Room, a Hollywood night club partly owned at the time by actor Johnny Depp. Phoenix had returned to Los Angeles early that week from Utah to complete the three weeks of interior shots left on his last project Dark Blood, a film that was finally completed in 2012. His younger sister Rain and brother Joaquin had flown out to join him at the Hotel Nikko (now the SLS Hotel) on La Cienega Boulevard. Phoenix's girlfriend, Samantha Mathis, had also come to meet him. All would be present at the scene of Phoenix's death.
Phoenix retreated into a bathroom and snorted a massive overdose of cocaine and heroin. During the early-morning hours of October 31, 1993, Phoenix collapsed outside and convulsed for over five minutes. When his brother Joaquin called 9-1-1, he was unable to determine whether Phoenix was breathing. Sister Rain Phoenix proceeded to give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, to no avail.
During the episode, Johnny Depp and his band P (featuring Flea and Phoenix's friend Gibby Haynes of the Butthole Surfers) were onstage. According to Haynes the band was in the middle of their song, "Michael Stipe" while Phoenix was outside the venue having seizures on the sidewalk. When the news filtered through the club, Flea left the stage and rushed outside. Paramedics had arrived on the scene and found Phoenix turning dark blue in full cardiac arrest and in a flatline state. They administered drugs in an attempt to restart his heart. He was rushed to the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, accompanied by Flea, via an ambulance. Further attempts to resuscitate Phoenix were unsuccessful. He was pronounced dead at 1:51 a.m. PST on the morning of October 31, 1993.
The following day the club became a makeshift shrine with fans and mourners leaving flowers, pictures and candles on the sidewalk and graffiti messages on the walls of the venue. A sign was placed in the window that read, "With much respect and love to River and his family, The Viper Room is temporarily closed. Our heartfelt condolences to all his family, friends and loved ones. He will be missed." The club remained closed for a week. Depp continued to close the club every year on October 31 until selling his share in 2004. Phoenix was described by one writer as "the vegan James Dean", and comparisons were made regarding the youth and sudden deaths of both the actors.
River Phoenix was cremated, and his ashes were scattered at his family ranch in Florida. Following his death, Aleka's Attic disbanded.
Unreleased film projects 
River's sudden death prevented him from playing various roles for which he had already been cast:
- Phoenix was due to begin work on Neil Jordan's Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994) two weeks after his death. He was to play Daniel Molloy, the interviewer, which then went to Christian Slater, who donated his entire $250,000 salary to two of Phoenix's favorite charitable organizations: Earth Save and Earth Trust. The film has a dedication to Phoenix after the end credits.
- London's The Guardian suggested in 2003, without explanation, "It was likely that Phoenix would have followed [Interview with the Vampire] by appearing as Susan Sarandon's son in Safe Passage" (1994), a role that went to Sean Astin.
- Phoenix had signed onto the lead role in Broken Dreams, a screenplay written by John Boorman and Neil Jordan (to be directed by Boorman). The film was put on hold due to Phoenix's death. In June 2012, it was announced that Caleb Landry Jones had been cast in the role.
- Gus Van Sant had gotten Phoenix to agree to play the role of Cleve Jones in Milk when he was originally planning on making the movie in the early 1990s. The role was eventually played by Emile Hirsch in 2008. When asked in Interview magazine, "You were going to do a movie with River about Andy Warhol, right?" Van Sant said, "Yeah. River kind of looked like Andy in his younger days. But that project never really went forward."
- In 1988, Phoenix was reported by a magazine[which?] to have been carrying around a copy of the 1978 memoir The Basketball Diaries. He had heard a movie version was in the works and wanted to play the role of Jim Carroll. The film was sent into hiatus on numerous occasions, with each occasion Phoenix being cited as the main contender for the role. The Basketball Diaries eventually went into pre-production in 1994 with the role going to Leonardo DiCaprio.
- He had expressed interest in playing the 19th century poet Arthur Rimbaud in Total Eclipse (1995) by Polish director Agnieszka Holland. Phoenix died before the movie was in the casting stages, with the role eventually going to Leonardo DiCaprio.
References in popular culture 
River Phoenix's status as a teen idol and promising young actor, and his subsequent premature death, made him a frequent subject in popular culture media. He first gained references in music with Brazilian singer Milton Nascimento writing the song "River Phoenix: Letter to a Young Actor" about him after having seen Phoenix in The Mosquito Coast (1986). The song appears on the 1989 release Miltons. Phoenix's friends, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, wrote a few lines for him in the song "Give It Away" from the 1991 album Blood Sugar Sex Magik: "There's a River born to be a giver, keep you warm won't let you shiver, his heart is never gonna wither..."
Phoenix has been the subject of numerous tributes in song and other media. The band R.E.M. dedicated their album Monster to Phoenix (as Michael Stipe and Phoenix were close friends), and their song "E-Bow the Letter" from 1996's New Adventures in Hi-Fi is said to have been written from a letter Michael Stipe wrote to Phoenix but never sent because of the actor's death. River Phoenix is referenced in the song: Sacred Life, from the eponymous album by the British band, The Cult: "River Phoenix was so young, Don't you know your prince has gone?"
Musician Sam Phillips has the dedication "For River" on her album Martinis & Bikinis. Again, Red Hot Chili Peppers, paid tribute with the song "Transcending" on 1995's One Hot Minute being written about him. Other songs inspired by Phoenix include Dana Lyons' "Song For River Phoenix (If I Had Known)", Grant Lee Buffalo's "Halloween", Natalie Merchant's "River" for her 1995 album Tigerlily, Ellis Paul's song "River", found on his 1994 release Stories, Rufus Wainwright's "Matinee Idol", Nada Surf's "River Phoenix" and Stereophonics's "Chris Chambers". In her 1996 album Woman & a Man, Belinda Carlisle referenced River in the song "California". The song opens and closes with the line "I remember I was in a tanning salon, when I heard that River Phoenix was gone." In Jay-Z's album, Kingdom Come, the lyrics of "Hollywood" list him as one of the many fatalities of the pressures of Hollywood. New York band Japanther featured a song on their album Skuffed Up My Huffy (2008) entitled "River Phoenix", which is about certain events in his life and delivers the chorus "River Phoenix didn't mean it". In the song "The Viper Room", Wesley Willis takes an abrupt turn from an otherwise glowing account of the club by noting Phoenix's death, stating that he "...collapsed and died like a Doberman."
Gus Van Sant, with whom Phoenix worked in the film My Own Private Idaho, dedicated his 1994 movie Even Cowgirls Get the Blues as well as his 1998 novel Pink to him. Experimental Santa Cruz filmmaker Cam Archer also produced a documentary called Drowning River Phoenix as part of his American Fame series. During performances on November 13 and November 15, 1993, and February 12, 1994, and one of Nirvana's last USA shows in Seattle on January 7, 1994, Kurt Cobain of Nirvana dedicated the song "Jesus Don't Want Me for a Sunbeam" to Phoenix (among other celebrities who died young), just a few months before Cobain's death. Tom Petty dedicated "Ballad of Easy Rider" to Phoenix when he played in his and Phoenix's hometown of Gainesville, Florida in November 1993.
The British band Manic Street Preachers mentions River in their song "Ifwhiteamericatoldthetruthforonedayitsworldwouldfallapart" (from the album The Holy Bible, 1994) in the following line: "...I'm thinking right now of Hollywood tragedy; Big Mac; smack; Phoenix, R; please smile y'all..." Phoenix was the subject of a controversial song by Australian group TISM titled "(He'll Never Be An) Ol' Man River" the single originally featured a mock-up of River Phoenix's tombstone as its cover art in 1995. The chorus features the line, "I'm on the drug that killed River Phoenix." On the song "Love Me, Hate Me" by rapper Ja Rule, he numerates different ways he could die as a celebrity, and one of the lyrics says "I might OD in a club off drugs like River Phoenix". In the 1997 musical, The Fix, Phoenix is alluded to in the song "Mistress of Deception" in the lines, "Hot young actor died last night at an L.A. club/Ecstasy and booze/And too much NyQuil/Had the sweetest face/Warm and shy and innocent/Sexy in that careless kinda way/The newsman said his heart just stopped like that..." The Hugh Cornwell song "Rain on the River" from his 2009 album Hooverdam is directly about the death of Phoenix, as his sister Rain sits over her dying brother on the sidewalk outside The Viper Room.
A lesser known reference to River Phoenix was Final Fantasy VIII's main protagonist Squall Leonhart. Tetsuya Nomura, the lead character designer for the game, stated he modeled Squall on River's visage during development, and even gave Squall the same birthdate.
Honors and rankings 
Phoenix has been ranked numerous times on a number of lists recognising his talent and career. He was listed as one of twelve "Promising New Actors of 1986" in "John Willis' Screen World" (2004). Phoenix was voted at #64 on a "Greatest Movie Stars of All Time" poll by channel 4 television in the UK. The poll was made up wholly of votes from prominent figures of the acting and directing communities. He was ranked #86 in Empire Magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list in 1997.
His life and death has been the subject of an E! True Hollywood Story, an A&E Biography and an episode of Final 24, which contains a dramatic reconstruction of his final hours and death. He was also referred to as "This century's James Dean" in episode 10 ("Mi Casa, Su Casa Loma") of the first season of Being Erica. His death was listed as #16 in the top 101 events in E! Television's "101 Most Shocking Moments in Entertainment". In 2010, Phoenix was voted by GQ Magazine as one of the "50 Most Stylish Men of the Past Half Century".
|1982–1983||Seven Brides for Seven Brothers||Guthrie McFadden||21 episodes
Young Artist Award for Best Young Actor in a Drama Series 1984
Nominated – Young Artist Award for Best Young Actor in a New Television Series 1982
|1984||Celebrity||Jeffie (age 11)||Miniseries|
|ABC Afterschool Special||Brian Ellsworth||Episode: "Backwards: The Riddle of Dyslexia"
Nominated – Young Artist Award for Best Young Actor in a Family Film Made for Television shared with Joaquin Phoenix
|It's Your Move||Brian||Episode: "Pilot"|
|1985||Robert Kennedy & His Times||Robert Kennedy, Jr. (Part 3)||Miniseries|
|Surviving: A Family in Crisis||Philip Brogan||Television movie
Young Artist Award for Best Young Actor Starring in a Television Special or Mini-Series
|Family Ties||Eugene Forbes||Episode: "My Tutor"|
|1986||Circle of Violence: A Family Drama||Chris Benfield||Television movie|
Further reading 
- Glatt, John. Lost in Hollywood: The Fast Times and Short Life of River Phoenix. ISBN 1-55611-440-0.
- Furek, Maxim W. The Death Proclamation of Generation X: A Self-Fulfilling Prophesy of Goth, Grunge and Heroin. ISBN 978-0-595-46319-0.
- Lawrence, Barry C. In Search of River Phoenix: the Truth Behind the Myth. ISBN 0-9672491-9-8.
- Robb, Brian J. River Phoenix: a short life. ISBN 0-06-095132-X.
- "Archives : The Rocky Mountain News". Nl.newsbank.com. 2007-10-09. Retrieved 2011-12-22.
- "Death of River Phoenix jolts the movie industry". The New York Times. November 2, 1993. Retrieved October 15, 2012.
- Remembering 1993 Gary Kirkland Gainesville Sun – December 26, 1993
- Levitt, Shellley (1993-11-15). "River's End – Untimely Deaths, River Phoenix". People.com. Retrieved 2011-12-16.
- River Phoenix Pages (JPG file)
- Pfefferman, Naomi. "JewishJournal.com". JewishJournal.com. Retrieved 2010-08-24.
- "Ten American showbiz celebrities of Russian descent". Pravda.Ru. 2005-11-18. Retrieved 2010-08-24.
- "Rio's Attic – Timeline of a Phoenix". River-phoenix.org. Retrieved 2010-08-24.
- "River Phoenix – XFamily – Children of God". XFamily. Retrieved 2010-08-24.
- River's Rise (JPG file)
- "PREMIERE April 1988". Aleka.org. Retrieved 2010-08-24.
- "Rio's Attic – Phoenix TV". River-phoenix.org. Retrieved 2010-08-24.
- "Rio's Attic – Phoenix TV". River-phoenix.org. Retrieved 2010-08-24.
- "Rio's Attic – Phoenix TV". River-phoenix.org. Retrieved 2010-08-24.
- "Entertainment | A decade without River Phoenix". BBC News. 2003-10-31. Retrieved 2010-08-24.
- The Vindicator - Google News Archive Search
- "Biography of River Jude Phoenix". Buzzle.com. Retrieved 2010-08-24.
- Keefe, Robert (1993-11-02). "Actor had business interests in Tampa". Pqasb.pqarchiver.com. Retrieved 2010-08-24.
- Hubler, Shawn; Hall, Carla (1993-11-02). "Autopsy Reveals Little on of River Phoenix – Page 2 – Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. Retrieved 2010-08-24.
- Christine Spolar (November 14, 1993). "Autopsy Shatters Phoenix's Image". Chicago Sun-Times. "The image of actor River Phoenix as a quiet, clean-cut member of Hollywood's youth fraternity has been shattered by autopsy results that showed he died from a mix of cocaine and heroin."
- Schindehette, Susan (1994-01-17). "High Life – Substance Abuse, Stars Behaving Badly, River Phoenix". People.com. Retrieved 2010-08-24.
- By (1993-11-01). "Actor River Phoenix dies – Entertainment News, Film News, Media". Variety. Retrieved 2010-08-24.
- Geoffrey Macnab (2012-09-27). "River Phoenix: the last film". The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-09-28.
- Levitt, Shellley (1993-11-15). "River's End – Untimely Deaths, River Phoenix". People.com. Retrieved 2010-08-24.
- Gabriel, Trip (May 8, 1994). "Fast-Lane Killer: A special report.; Heroin Finds a New Market Along Cutting Edge of Style". The New York Times. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
- Davidson, Casey. (1993-11-12) The Passing of River Phoenix: At the Scene | Charlie Sheen Central. EW.com. Retrieved on 2011-12-17.
- "They Came from Hollywood". SPIN.com. Retrieved 2011-12-16.
- Weinraub, Bernard (1993-11-02). "Death of River Phoenix Jolts the Movie Industry". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-06-07.
- Braxton, Greg (1993-11-09). "The Club Scene, Running on Full After Phoenix's Death, It's Business (Almost) as Usual at L.A. Hot Spots". Pqasb.pqarchiver.com. Retrieved 2010-08-24.
- Weinraub, Bernard (1993-11-02). "Death of River Phoenix Jolts the Movie Industry". NYTimes.com. Retrieved 2010-08-24.
- "Johnny Depp – Depp Sells His Share Of Viper Room – Contactmusic News". Contactmusic.com. Retrieved 2010-08-24.
- Rose Rouse (1993-11-07). "Where were you when River Phoenix died?: The vegan James Dean is being mourned by teenagers from Ilkley to Bristol, says Rose Rouse – Life & Style". London: The Independent. Retrieved 2011-12-16.
- Ryan Gilbey (2003-11-05). "Ryan Gilbey on the legacy of River Phoenix | Film". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-12-16.
- Vera H-C Chan (2011-09-15). "The Misery of Brad Pitt | Movie Talk – Yahoo! Movies". Movies.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2011-12-16.
- Christian Slater. Gadsden Times. November 18, 1993
- "Christian Slater – Slater's Mother Makes Emotional Appeal To Press – Contactmusic News". Contactmusic.com. Retrieved 2011-11-18.
- Grove, Lloyd (2005-04-19). "Plea For Christian Charity – New York Daily News". Articles.nydailynews.com. Retrieved 2011-11-18.
- "Caleb Landry Jones Leading John Boorman’s Resurrected ‘Broken Dream’; John Hurt Takes Supporting Role". Retrieved 3 July 2012.
- "James Franco – Page". Interview Magazine. Online version undated. Archived from the original on August 22, 2010. Retrieved 2011-11-18. Only first page of four pages archived; Milk comment appears on non-archived page.
- "Rain Forests Come First With Singer – Sun Sentinel". Articles.sun-sentinel.com. 1990-06-08. Retrieved 2011-12-16.
- "Songs (w/ Discography)". Ellis Paul. Retrieved 2011-12-16.
- "Film Guide Archive | American Fame Pt. 1: Drowning River Phoenix". TribecaFilm.com. 2010-03-29. Retrieved 2011-12-16.
- LIVE NIRVANA TOUR HISTORY: 11/13/93 – Bender Arena, American University, Washington, DC, US. Livenirvana.com. Retrieved on 2011-12-17.
- LIVE NIRVANA TOUR HISTORY: 11/15/93 – Roseland Ballroom, New York, NY, US. Livenirvana.com. Retrieved on 2011-12-17.
- LIVE NIRVANA TOUR HISTORY: 02/12/94 – Zénith Omega, Toulon, FR. Livenirvana.com. Retrieved on 2011-12-17.
- LIVE NIRVANA TOUR HISTORY: 01/07/94 – Seattle Center Arena, Seattle, WA, US. Livenirvana.com. Retrieved on 2011-12-17.
- Dwyer, Michael (2004-07-02). "The phantom menace – Music". Melbourne: www.theage.com.au. Retrieved 2011-12-16.
- "Hugh Cornwell". Punkglobe.com. Retrieved 2012-01-11.
- Staff (2000-09-21). "The Bouncer Team Talks About Its Mysterious Game". IGN. Retrieved 2009-06-24.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: River Phoenix|
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: River Phoenix|
- River Phoenix at the Internet Movie Database
- River Phoenix at AllRovi
- The Lost Boy: The Legacy of River Phoenix
- River Phoenix at Find a Grave