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River Phoenix was an Academy Award nominee and promising young actor who died at the young age of 23 from a drug overdose.
Johnny Depp - Mini Biography (5:22)
An inside look at the last twenty four hours of the life of River Phoenix.
A short biography of Johnny Depp who started out as a TV heartthrob on "21 Jump Street" and moved onto eccentric, big screen roles in "Edward Scissorhands," "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" and "Pirates of the Caribbean."
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For his last completed film, Phoenix starred with Alan Bates, Richard Harris, and Dermot Mulroney in director Sam Shepard’s western Silent Tongue (1994). He had started work on Dark Blood with Jonathan Pryce and Judy Davis when tragedy struck. During a break in filming, Phoenix went out to the Viper Room,
a popular nightclub that was partly owned by Johnny Depp, with his brother Joaquin, his sister Rain, and his girlfriend Samantha Mathis.
At some point during the evening, Phoenix took some drugs and became ill. He was helped outside and started to have seizures. His brother Joaquin called 911 while his sister Rain tried to help Phoenix who was lying on the sidewalk. When the ambulance arrived, paramedics worked on resuscitating the young actor at the scene. Their efforts failed, and they transported him to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where he was declared dead in the early hours of October 31.
Family, friends, and fans mourned the untimely passing of the talented young star. He was only 23 years old. After his death, Harrison Ford said “He once played my son, and I came to love him like a son, and was proud to watch grow into a man of such talent and integrity and compassion,” according to The New York Times. A memorial service was held for Phoenix and his ashes were scattered at the family’s Florida ranch.
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