Joaquin Phoenix

Actor, Model
An unconventional actor with a propensity for intense performances, Joaquin Phoenix broke out on his own following the tragic death of brother River Phoenix with the indie gem "To Die For" (1995). Previously credited as ... Read more »
Born: 10/28/1974 in Puerto Rico


Actor (46)

Irrational Man 2015 (Movie)

Abe (Actor)

Jimmy Kimmel Live 2015 (Tv Show)


Inherent Vice 2014 (Movie)

Larry "Doc" Sportello (Actor)

The Immigrant 2014 (Movie)

Bruno Weiss (Actor)

The Late Show With David Letterman 2009 - 2010, 2014 (Tv Show)


Her 2013 (Movie)

Theodore (Actor)

The Master 2012 (Movie)

Freddie Quell (Actor)

4Real 2008 - 2009 (Tv Show)


Two Lovers 2009 (Movie)

Leonard Kraditor (Actor)

Reservation Road 2007 (Movie)

Ethan Learner (Actor)

The 64th Annual Golden Globe Awards 2006 - 2007 (TV Show)


We Own the Night 2007 (Movie)

Bobby Green (Actor)

I Walk the Line: A Night for Johnny Cash 2005 - 2006 (TV Show)


The 39th Annual CMA Awards 2005 - 2006 (TV Show)


Walk the Line 2005 (Movie)

John R Cash (Actor)

Hotel Rwanda 2004 (Movie)

Jack Daglish (Actor)

It's All About Love 2004 (Movie)

John (Actor)

Ladder 49 2004 (Movie)

Jack Morrison (Actor)

The Village 2004 (Movie)

Lucius Hunt (Actor)

Brother Bear 2003 (Movie)

Voice of Kenai-Bear/Kenai-Human (Actor)

Buffalo Soldiers 2003 (Movie)

Ray Elwood (Actor)

Signs 2002 (Movie)

Merrill Hess (Actor)

7th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)


Gladiator 2000 (Movie)

Commodus (Actor)

Gladiator Games: The Roman Blood Sport 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)


Quills 2000 (Movie)

Abbe Coulmier (Actor)

The Yards 2000 (Movie)

Willie Gutierrez (Actor)

8mm 1999 (Movie)

Max California (Actor)

Clay Pigeons 1998 (Movie)

Clay (Actor)

Return to Paradise 1998 (Movie)

Lewis (Actor)

Inventing the Abbotts 1997 (Movie)

Doug Holt (Actor)

U-Turn 1997 (Movie)

Toby N Tucker (Actor)

To Die For 1995 (Movie)

Jimmy Emmett (Actor)

Walking the Dog 1990 (Movie)


Parenthood 1989 (Movie)

Garry (Actor)

Russkies 1987 (Movie)

Danny (Actor)

Morningstar/Eveningstar 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)


Space Camp 1986 (Movie)

Max (Actor)

Anything For Love 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)


Kids Don't Tell 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)


Six Pack 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)


Earthlings (TV Show)


Secret Witness (TV Show)

Producer (3)

We Own the Night 2007 (Movie)

Music (2)

Her 2013 (Movie)

("The Moon Song") (Song Performer)

Walk the Line 2005 (Movie)

Featured Musician (Performer)
Writer (1)


An unconventional actor with a propensity for intense performances, Joaquin Phoenix broke out on his own following the tragic death of brother River Phoenix with the indie gem "To Die For" (1995). Previously credited as Leaf Phoenix, the actor had his start in films like "SpaceCamp" (1986) and "Parenthood" (1989) before nearly leaving acting for good after his brother's drug overdose in 1993. Phoenix picked himself up from the loss to star in films like "U Turn" (1997) and "Inventing the Abbotts" (1997) before earning acclaim and an Oscar nomination for playing the Emperor Commodus in Ridley Scott's Roman epic "Gladiator" (2000). That same year, he received further acclaim as the profoundly religious Abbé in "Quills" (2000), while elevating his profile with "Signs" (2003), "Ladder 49" (2004), "The Village" (2004) and "Hotel Rwanda" (2004). Phoenix found himself in Academy Award contention once more for playing bad boy country singer Johnny Cash in "Walk the Line" (2005). After starring in "Reservation Road" (2007), he appeared to go off the deep end by abruptly announcing his retirement from Hollywood in 2008 in order to pursue a rap music career. Phoenix made public appearances in frazzled, unkempt states - most notably on David Letterman - which aroused suspicions that he may have been pulling an Andy Kaufman, which proved to be the case after the release of the mockumentary "I'm Still Here" (2010). With a return to critical favor following "The Master" (2012), Phoenix resumed his career as a gifted performer with eclectic taste.



Involved in 1995 No longer together

John Amram

Born 1947 in Fontana, CA Missionary with Children of God; former Children of God's archbishop of Venezuela and the Caribbean Islands Divorced from Phoenix's mother

Arlyn Jochebed

Born 1944 in the Bronx Former missionary with Children of God; worked as NBC temp in California 1978 Divorced from Phoenix's father; re-married to Jeffrey Weisberg, treasurer and member of the Board of Directors of The Peace Alliance Foundation

River Phoenix Actor

Born Aug. 23, 1970 Died Oct. 31, 1993 of a drug overdose in Los Angeles, CA

Summer Phoenix Actor

Born Dec. 10, 1978

Liberty Phoenix Actor

Born July 5, 1976

Rain Phoenix Actor

Born Nov. 21, 1972

Liv Tyler Actor

Met during filming of "Inventing the Abbotts" (1997) Broke up fall 1998


Dropped out of school in ninth grade; primarily home schooled



Co-starred as a war veteran who joins a cult in Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master"


Produced and starred in Casey Affleck's music documentary "I'm Still Here" about his attempt to transition from acting to a career as a rapper; Affleck later revealed the film was fake


Appeared in the James Gray directed "Two Lovers"


Announced retirement from acting in order pursue his career in music; it was later revealed to be an act for the fake documentary "I'm Still Here"


Co-starred in the Terry George directed "Reservation Road"


Co-starred with Mark Wahlberg and Robert Duvall in "We Own the Night"


Starred in James Mangold's "Walk the Line," a biopic of country music legend Johnny Cash opposite Reese Witherspoon as his wife June Carter Cash; earned Oscar and SAG nominations for Best Actor


Starred as curious and headstrong Lucius Hunt in M. Night Shyamalan's "The Village"


Featured in "Ladder 49" as a firefighter who reflects on his career and family while awaiting rescue from a burning building


Co-starred with Claire Danes and Sean Penn in "It's All About Love"


Starred in "Buffalo Soldiers," a dark comedy about a clever American soldier stationed in Berlin


Replaced an ill Mark Ruffalo in the M. Night Shyamalan thriller "Signs"


Won rave reviews as the malevolent emperor Commodus in "Gladiator"; garnered a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination


Co-starred in period drama "Quills"


Played the shady best friend of Mark Wahlberg in "The Yards"


Appeared with Nicolas Cage in "8mm"


Co-starred in two films with Vince Vaughn, "Clay Pigeons" and "Return to Paradise" (the former was filmed first, but was released in theaters weeks after the latter)


Landed breakthrough role in Gus Van Sant's "To Die For," playing the youth seduced by his teacher (Nicole Kidman) into murdering her husband


Cast as Dianne Wiest's troubled son in Ron Howard's "Parenthood"


Feature acting debut, "SpaceCamp"


Made debut as a TV series regular on CBS drama "Morningstar/Eveningstar"


Starred in an episode of the revival of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" entitled "A Very Happy Ending" as a deaf boy with murderous designs on his wealthy and emotionally distant father


TV-movie debut, "Kids Don't Tell," a CBS drama about child molestation


Featured in the NBC dramatic pilot "Six Pack"


Made acting debut on episode of short-lived CBS musical adventure series "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers"; older brother River was a regular; younger sister Summer also appeared


Changed first name to "Leaf" around age six or seven


Relocated with family to Los Angeles, CA after Rainbow and River won local talent contests


Family returned to the U.S. and settled in Florida


Parents left the Children of God; lived in Caracas, Venezuela where older siblings River and Rainbow sang religious songs for money and food in the street


Moved with family to South America


Traveled throughout Puerto Rico and Mexico with parents as missionaries for the evangelical cult Children of God

Took a leave from acting

Changed first name back to Joaquin while living in Mexico

Bonus Trivia


"I think he feels uncomfortable doing interviews and being around people he doesn't know, I understand, because you can't be completely honest. It's like thinking of the right thing to say and not just on impulse." – Liv Tyler about Phoenix to Empire, April 1997


"I've come to a nearer acceptance, I wouldn't say understanding, because it's something I'll never understand, but just an acceptance of River's death. What was difficult in the beginning was that I felt robbed of my memories. See, a public death is a really difficult thing to go through. The death of someone you love is difficult enough all on its own. Then, when your memories of what happened are distorted and put out there for public consumption, you just feel so robbed. Anything that was mine, that I knew, people would angle for, try to ask me, they wanted to know things. From the inside, tell me a little bit from the inside." – Phoenix quoted in Movieline, March 1998


"I'll never live down my character in 'To Die For.' See, the problem is, if early in your career you come out with a really well-defined character that kind of establishes you, you become known for that. For a while after 'To Die For,' I didn't care, but eventually it bothered me and I started defending myself, citing my other work, not that I played Edward Teller or f*cking Richard III, but even that's pathetic, having to defend yourself in that way. It's ridiculous and embarrassing and who gives a sh*t? Why should I have to defend myself like that? I did it, it was good, it's over. F*ck it!" – Phoenix to Movieline, March 1998


"I had a really wonderful upbringing. We were a tight family. It was wonderful to grow up with so may siblings. We were all just about a year or two apart, and we were always so supportive of each other. I learned everything from my older brother and sister and taught it to my younger sisters." – Phoenix quoted in Daily News, Aug. 11, 1998


"The reason why I keep making movies, which is the reason why I keep doing interviews, is 'cause I hate the last thing that I did. I'm always trying to rectify my wrongs." – Phoenix quoted in Los Angeles Times, Aug. 13, 1998


"I never lost the urge. I had a lot of opportunities, but I never liked them. They were all so clichéd. I just wasn't interested in 'she's my stepmother, and I pour ketchup on them,' that kind of ridiculous movie." – Phoenix on his break from acting in the early 1990s, to Stephen Schaefer of The Boston Herald, Sept. 25, 1998


"To try and be a part of only one style or one genre is limiting. I don't limit myself that way.""I'm not the indie kid and I'm also not the John Grisham novel hero, but I am all of those things. I do whatever excites me at the time. I'll be in some huge $80 million buddy cop movie, I don't care, and I'll also do some wild independent movie. I refuse to have an agenda." – Phoenix quoted in the London Times, Nov. 9, 2000


With his Oscar nomination for "Gladiator" (2000) Phoenix became half of the only pair of brothers to receive acting nods. Older brother River Phoenix was nominated as Best Supporting Actor for 1988's "Running on Empty."


Phoenix was offered the part in "Gladiator." He instead asked to audition, just to make sure he deserved it.


"If you're doing it for outside validation, you're going to be destroyed. The same thing that can make you feel great one moment, saying you're wonderful one moment, and the next you're [not]. I think I'm conscious of that. I've always done things for me. That sounds really selfish. I don't know any other way to do it. That's what drives me." – Phoenix on acting, quoted in USA Weekend, July 28, 2002


"I like characters who have conflicted emotions," Phoenix insists. "It's much more realistic and less limiting in terms of what you can do as an actor." – quoted in Total Film (UK), September 2003


On April 12, 2005, Phoenix's publicist announced that he had checked into an undisclosed rehabilitation facility for treatment of alcoholism.


Phoenix on how he does not draw on personal experiences to tap into roles: "I find it incredibly confusing. It's very difficult for me to be reminded of myself. From the very beginning when I start working on a character it's to create their experience and their history. I get completely enveloped in a character. So when I'm reminded of something of my own, or if the director reminds me of something [personal], I just find it very confusing. I can't contain both things." – from, Nov. 17, 2005


"The hardest thing in some ways is to remain stimulated by a role throughout the course of a three-month shoot and twice as long to prep. I never had that problem with John [Cash]. He was an incredibly complex person, and there are so many beats to play that I never once felt bored by him. I always felt challenged." – Phoenix on playing Johnny Cash in "Walk the Line," to Premiere, February 2006