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.