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River Phoenix

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 19, 1993
In response to "Drug Overdose Killed Phoenix, Coroner Says," Nov. 13: Please do not use the word overdose to describe what happened to River Phoenix and to thousands of others like him. Overdose implies that there is a safe and appropriate level of recreational drug use, which Phoenix exceeded. This is the myth that is destroying our young people, whether Hollywood stars or street kids. In reality there is only one safe dose: zero. Anything more than that is drug abuse, which kills.
ARTICLES BY DATE
ENTERTAINMENT
October 28, 2013 | By Oliver Gettell
This Halloween marks the 20th anniversary of the death of actor River Phoenix, who succumbed to an accidental drug overdose outside a West Hollywood nightclub in 1993 at the age of 23. On Tuesday, two days before the anniversary, the actor's unreleased final film, "Dark Blood," will play in the Los Angeles area for the first time. The screening, at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica, represents the latest but perhaps not the last leg of a turbulent two-decade journey for both the film, which to this day remains in a sort of legal limbo, and its director, the now-81-year-old Dutch filmmaker George Sluizer.
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ENTERTAINMENT
October 28, 2013 | By Oliver Gettell
This Halloween marks the 20th anniversary of the death of actor River Phoenix, who succumbed to an accidental drug overdose outside a West Hollywood nightclub in 1993 at the age of 23. On Tuesday, two days before the anniversary, the actor's unreleased final film, "Dark Blood," will play in the Los Angeles area for the first time. The screening, at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica, represents the latest but perhaps not the last leg of a turbulent two-decade journey for both the film, which to this day remains in a sort of legal limbo, and its director, the now-81-year-old Dutch filmmaker George Sluizer.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 23, 2005 | Robert Hilburn, Times Staff Writer
IN a pivotal scene in "Walk the Line," the new biopic starring Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash, the maverick country singer goes behind the gray walls of Folsom prison for a 1968 concert that would become a landmark live recording. As he sings about lost souls and redemption, Cash strikes such a nerve with the 1,000 or so convicts in the prison cafeteria that many believe he's actually spent time behind bars himself.
NEWS
November 1, 1993 | CARLA HALL and RICHARD SIMON, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
River Phoenix, who gained fame as a teen-age actor in the film "Stand By Me" and became one of Hollywood's rising young stars, died early Sunday morning after he suffered seizures and collapsed in front of a trendy West Hollywood nightclub. The 23-year-old actor was helped out of the Viper Room on the Sunset Strip about 1 a.m. after "acting strangely," according to Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department deputies.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 14, 1993 | JANE GALBRAITH
Reviews and reaction to River Phoenix's screen talents will not end with his death. One of the actor's more obscure performances is in Sam Shepard's unreleased film "Silent Tongue," a ghost story set in the Southwest of the late 1800s, which won't get a public viewing until early next year when independent distributor Trimark plans to open it in limited release.
NEWS
November 2, 1993 | SHAWN HUBLER and CARLA HALL, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
The untimely death of actor River Phoenix remained cloaked in mystery Monday as an autopsy failed to address an anguished statement by the young star's brother that drugs may have contributed to his collapse, authorities said. Phoenix, who rose to fame as a teen-age actor in the 1986 coming-of-age film "Stand By Me," fell into a violent seizure and died early Sunday after collapsing outside a crowded West Hollywood nightclub where a Halloween jam session was in full swing.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 4, 1993
The death of River Phoenix was a tragedy. Not because he was, to quote The Times, "one of Hollywood's rising young stars" but simply because he was a much too young human being to depart. I cannot presume to know the pain of losing a child, but I understand Mrs. Arlyn (Heart) Phoenix wanting to write the letter that The Times published Nov. 24 ("A Mother's Note on Her Son's Life and Death"). I believe her when she explains that her son "was a soul filled with passion and a sense of service for others," and she should be very proud of that, just as we, who admired his talent, are proud of his work on the screen.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 7, 1988 | JOHN VOLAND
Nurtured by the wide-open ideals of the 1960s and tempered by the efficiency-crazed 1980s, River Phoenix, 18-year-old moon child/man, displays both decades' influences in his new movie, "Running on Empty," and in the flesh. There are, first off, the very sharp eyes of the adult Phoenix when he talks about acting and the Business. But get him onto "earth issues," such as the environment or politics in general, and the agenda of the Age of Aquarius pops up instantly.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 13, 1993
Once upon a time America declared a "war on drugs"--and the prospect of victory against a hard, destructive plague was held out. Americans are still waiting. Victory is not in sight. On Friday the Los Angeles coroner's office announced its finding in the shocking death of River Phoenix outside a Sunset Strip nightclub Oct. 31. The death was shocking not simply because Phoenix was an extremely talented young screen actor for whom even greater entertainment-industry glory was predicted.
MAGAZINE
August 9, 1998 | Stephen Lemons
For the two authors seated at the picnic table, death is the chief topic at hand--an odd choice considering that this grassy corner of Lincoln Heights, nestled between the two beige buildings of the coroner's office, is ablaze with the emerald fire of summer. Yet Tony Blanche and Brad Schreiber are eager to discuss their curious new book, "Death in Paradise: an Illustrated History of the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner," due out this month from General Publishing Group.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 2, 1998 | TIM APPELO, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
When River Phoenix died in 1993--of four doses of heroin and eight doses of cocaine, according to biographer John Glatt--few outside his family were more aghast than Gus Van Sant. The director, whose films are about outcasts casting about for alternative families, had formed one with Phoenix and friends in Portland in 1990 while filming "My Own Private Idaho." The film's title denotes "a home, a refuge," according to Van Sant, and Phoenix phoned his Portland "home" about twice a week thereafter.
NEWS
November 12, 1995 | Kevin Thomas
The mainstream success of Gus Van Sant's darkly comic satire "To Die For," starring Nicole Kidman as the most ruthless "weather girl" in the history of TV, may trigger wider interest in this idiosyncratic 1991 odyssey of two hustlers, one gay (River Phoenix, right), the other straight (Keanu Reeves, left). This film is so distinctive and effective that it can even sustain a curious, counterproductive inclusion from Shakespeare's "Henry IV, Part I." (Bravo Tuesday at 8:30 p.m.)
ENTERTAINMENT
June 19, 1994
In "Keanu's Eccentric Adventure" (June 5), Kristine McKenna wrote: "Reeves still dresses like a rebellious teen-ager--faded jeans and a T-shirt--despite the fact that he'll turn 30 in September." Can you please tell me what is rebellious about faded jeans and a T-shirt? It is almost impossible to buy jeans that are not faded. Faded jeans are sold at the Gap, at Kmart, at Bullock's. The middle-aged Russian students I teach wear faded jeans and T-shirts (it's probably the only thing they can find to buy)
ENTERTAINMENT
December 12, 1993 | HILARY de VRIES, Hilary de Vries is a frequent contributor to Calendar. and
So, Johnny Depp, right? You figure with his bad-boy image, what GQ delicately termed "the philosopher king of the stoners" (and that was before the death of River Phoenix after collapsing outside Depp's Viper Room in October), that he would be the kind of shambling, let's-move-the-ashtray-so-you-can-sit-down kind of host. And who could blame you? Not Depp, not after all the stories out there. Like the one where he was supposed to talk to a writer for Cosmopolitan and he showed up drunk.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 4, 1993
The death of River Phoenix was a tragedy. Not because he was, to quote The Times, "one of Hollywood's rising young stars" but simply because he was a much too young human being to depart. I cannot presume to know the pain of losing a child, but I understand Mrs. Arlyn (Heart) Phoenix wanting to write the letter that The Times published Nov. 24 ("A Mother's Note on Her Son's Life and Death"). I believe her when she explains that her son "was a soul filled with passion and a sense of service for others," and she should be very proud of that, just as we, who admired his talent, are proud of his work on the screen.
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