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Joaquin Phoenix

Joaquin Phoenix

Known For: Acting · Birthday: 1974-10-28 (45 years old)

53 Movies · 4 TV Series

Biography

Joaquin Rafael Phoenix (; né Bottom; born October 28, 1974) is an American actor, environmentalist, animal rights activist, and producer. He has received numerous accolades, including an Academy Award, a Grammy Award, and two Golden Globe Awards. As a child, Phoenix started acting in television with his brother River and sister Summer. His first major film role was in SpaceCamp (1986). During that period, he was credited as Leaf Phoenix, a name he gave himself. He later went back to his original name and received positive reviews for his supporting work in the comedy-drama film To Die For (1995) and the period film Quills (2000). He received wider attention for his portrayal of Commodus in the historical drama film Gladiator (2000), for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. He subsequently earned Best Actor nominations for portraying musician Johnny Cash in Walk the Line (2005), an alcoholic war veteran in The Master (2012), and the title character in Joker (2019), winning for the latter. His other films include the horror films Signs (2002) and The Village (2004), the historical drama Hotel Rwanda (2004), the romantic drama Her (2013), the crime satire Inherent Vice (2014), and the psychological thriller You Were Never Really Here (2017), winning the Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actor for the latter. Phoenix has also ventured into directing music videos, as well as producing films and television shows. For recording the soundtrack to Walk the Line, he won the Grammy Award for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media. He is a social activist and has lent his support to several charities and humanitarian organizations. He is on the board of directors for The Lunchbox Fund, a non-profit organization which provides daily meals to school students in the South African town of Soweto. He is also known for his animal rights advocacy; he has been a vegan since the age of three and often campaigns with PETA and In Defense of Animals.

Personal Life

Phoenix dated his Inventing the Abbotts co-star Liv Tyler from 1995 to 1998 and South African model Topaz Page-Green from 2001 to 2005. Since late 2016, he has been in a relationship with actress Rooney Mara. In July 2019, it was confirmed that they are engaged. In May 2020, it was reported that Phoenix and Mara are expecting their first child together.In early April 2005, Phoenix checked himself into rehab to be treated for alcoholism. Since 2006, he has lived in the Hollywood Hills. On his religious background, he has said, "My parents believed in God. I'm Jewish, my mom's Jewish, but she believes in Jesus, she felt a connection to that. But they were never religious. I don't remember going to church, maybe a couple of times."On January 26, 2006, while driving down a winding canyon road in Hollywood, Phoenix veered off the road and flipped his car. The crash was reportedly caused by brake failure. Shaken and confused, he heard someone tapping on his window and telling him to "just relax". Unable to see the man, Phoenix replied, "I'm fine. I am relaxed." The man replied, "No, you're not." The man then stopped Phoenix from lighting a cigarette while gasoline was leaking into the car cabin. Phoenix realized that the man was German filmmaker Werner Herzog. While Herzog helped Phoenix out of the wreckage by breaking the back window of the car, bystanders called an ambulance. Phoenix approached Herzog to express his gratitude, but Herzog downplayed his actions and returned to his home nearby.Phoenix unexpectedly announced in late 2008 that he had retired from acting to pursue a career in rap music, and that the forthcoming Two Lovers would be his last film. On February 11, 2009, he appeared on Late Show to promote Two Lovers. He seemed incoherent and was mostly unresponsive to host David Letterman's questions about the film and his career plans. Phoenix appeared on Late Show again on September 22, 2010, revealing that his "retirement" and eccentric behavior were for his role in a mockumentary called I'm Still Here. In October 2012, Phoenix labeled the Academy Awards "bullshit". He later gave an interview apologizing for his comments, and acknowledged that the awards provide an important platform for many deserving filmmakers. He elaborated on the topic while on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in 2015, explaining that he is uncomfortable receiving accolades for his work in films when he considers the filmmaking process to be a collaborative one.Phoenix is famous for his anxiety when acting and receiving awards. During a 2012 interview with Interview magazine, he said, "I still get nauseous the day before and have weeks of incredible anxiety. They have to put fucking pads in my armpits because I sweat so much that it just drips down my wardrobe. For the first three weeks of shooting, I'm just sweating. It's pure anxiety, and I love it."

Early Life

Phoenix was born Joaquin Rafael Bottom in the Río Piedras district of San Juan on October 28, 1974, the son of American parents from the U.S. mainland. He is the third of five children, following River (1970–1993) and Rain (born 1972), and preceding Liberty (born 1976) and Summer (born 1978), all of whom are actors. He also has a half-sister named Jodean (born 1964) from his father's previous relationship. He was born with a mark on his lip, which he claims is not a cleft lip. His father, John Lee Bottom, is originally from California and is of mostly English descent with some German and French ancestry. His mother, Arlyn (née Dunetz), was born in New York City to Ashkenazi Jewish parents, whose families were from Hungary and Russia.Arlyn moved to California, meeting Phoenix's father while hitchhiking. They married in 1969; years later, they joined a religious cult called the Children of God and began traveling throughout South America. They eventually became disenchanted with the cult and decided to leave the group, returning to the U.S. in 1977 when Phoenix was three years old. They changed their last name to Phoenix, after the mythical bird that rises from its own ashes, symbolizing a new beginning. Phoenix began calling himself "Leaf" around this time, having been inspired by spending time outdoors raking leaves and desiring to have a nature-related name like his siblings. This became the name he used as a child actor, until he changed it back to Joaquin at age 15.

Movies & TV Series

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