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is an American actor, producer, music video director, musician, and activist.
For his work as an actor, Phoenix has received a Grammy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and has three Academy Award and British Academy Film Award nominations.
On October 31, 1993, three days after Phoenix's 19th birthday, his older brother River suffered a fatal drug overdose and died.Phoenix's first acting jobs were guest appearances on two television shows with his brother River in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1982), and Backwards: The Riddle of Dyslexia (1984) as well as an episode, "We're Off to Kill the Wizard" in Murder, She Wrote with his sister Summer.In 1985, he appeared in the CBS television film Kids Don't Tell.The call Phoenix made to 911 seeking help for his brother was repeatedly played on radio and television.In response, Phoenix retreated from the public eye for about a year.Phoenix was born Joaquín Rafael Bottom in the Río Piedras district of San Juan, Puerto Rico, to parents from the U. He also has a half-sister named Jodean (born 1964) from a previous relationship of his father's.Phoenix's father, John Lee Bottom, originally from Fontana, California, was a lapsed Catholic of English, German, and French Huguenot ancestry.His mother, Arlyn (née Dunetz), was born in The Bronx, New York, to Jewish parents whose families were from Hungary and Russia.Arlyn left her family in 1968 and moved to California, later meeting Phoenix's father while hitchhiking.Phoenix is a social activist, lending his support to a number of charities and humanitarian organizations.He is on the board of directors for The Lunchbox Fund, a non-profit organization which provides daily meals to students of township schools in Soweto of South Africa.