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28th Sep 2020

Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara name their son River after his late brother

Wil Jones

River Phoenix was just 23 when he died

Joenix Phoenix and Rooney Mara have named their son River, after Joaquin’s late brother and fellow actor River Phoenix.

Joaquin’s old River Phoenix was one of the most exciting young actors of his generation when he died of a drug overdose outside a West Hollywood nightclub in 1993, aged just 23.

FIlm director Victor Kossakovsky revealed the news at a Q and A at the 2020 Zurich film.

Kossakovsky is the director of a black-and-white documentary called Gunda produced by Joaquin Phoenix.

“He just got a baby by the way,” Kossakovsky told the crowd. “A beautiful son called River.”

Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara confirmed their engagement in June 2019. The couple acted together in the films Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot and Mary Magdalene.

River Phoenix started acting at the age of ten in commercials. Despite his career being cut short so early, he appeared in several iconic movies.

His breakthrough came in the 1985 family sci-fi Explorers, but it was 1986’s Stand By Me that made many pay attention to him. The 1950s-set coming-of-age drama, based on Stephen King’s short story The Body, remains a classic to this day.

River went on to move into more adult roles, in particular drawing acclaim for his performance as a gay hustler alongside Keanu Reeves in Gus Van Sant’s My Own Private Idaho in 1991.

In 1989, he played the young Indy in the prologue of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, which would go on to inspire The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles television series.

As well as Joaquin, River’s other siblings Rain Phoenix, Liberty Phoenix, and Summer Phoenix all went on to be actors.

Joaquin Phoenix first broke through with roles in films like Gladiator, 8MM and Walk The Line. In 2008, he announced he was quitting acting to become a rapper, a stunt which would result in the mockumentary I’m Still Here. He has since returned to acting and earlier this year he won an Oscar for playing the title role in Joker.