River Jude Phoenix was an American actor, musician, and activist. He was the older brother of Rain Phoenix, Joaquin Phoenix, Summer Phoenix, and Liberty Phoenix.
Phoenix's work encompassed 24 films and television appearances, and his rise to fame led to his status as a \"teen sensation\". He began his acting career at age ten, in television commercials. He starred in the science fiction adventure film Explorers, and had his first notable role in 1986's Stand By Me, a coming-of-age film based on a novella by Stephen King. Phoenix made a transition into more adult-oriented roles with Running on Empty, playing the son of fugitive parents in a well-received performance that earned him a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, and My Own Private Idaho, playing a gay hustler in search of his estranged mother. For his performance in the latter, Phoenix garnered enormous praise and won a Volpi Cup for Best Actor at the Venice Film Festival, along with Best Actor from the National Society of Film Critics. To this date, he and brother Joaquin Phoenix hold the distinction of being the first and only brothers to get nominated for acting Academy Awards.