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River Phoenix's Death
- River Phoenix
- August 23, 1970
- October 31, 1993
His name on his birth certificate was River June Bottom, born to parents he described as hippies. He got his middle name from a Beatles' song. And his promising career and life bottomed out with a drug overdose.
River Phoenix was an actor, musician and a political, animal rights and environmental activist, who started working in TV commercials when he was only ten.
The older brother of Joaquin…
…who grew up to become a successful actor in his own right, River never had much formal education because the family moved around, although he could read and write.
His first really big hit was in "Stand by Me".
He made 24 movie and TV appearances, including "A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon", "Little Nikita", and as the young hero in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade." And he also became a teen sensation.
On October 30, 1993 River went to the Viper Room…
…a Hollywood nightspot part owned by actor Johnny Depp…
Early the next morning, he collapsed outside and suffered convulsions for five minutes.
His brother Joaquin…
…called for help. (Depp was onstage inside.)
When paramedics arrived they found Phoenix turning blue and in severe cardiac arrest. They tried to restart his heart and he was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, but was pronounced dead in the early morning hours.
A sign was placed on the Viper Room window the next day.
River's autopsy revealed high levels of heroin and cocaine in his blood, along with other substances.
River Phoenix was cremated and his ashes were scattered over his family's ranch in Florida.