Joaquin Phoenix

Recent Role:

Star on Her

Born:

10/28/1974, San Juan, Puerto Rico

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  • Credits
  • Guest Star (23)

  • Biography
  • Joaquin Rafael Bottom was born on October 28th,1974 in San Juan, Puerto Rico to parents, Arlyn and John Bottom. Arlyn and John were missionaries for the cult, Children of God and the family often traveled around and lived in a shack in Venezuela. John did yard work for a woman, who had a pool, as well and one of Joaquin's earliest memories, he says, was being in the pool in his father's arms, watching iguanas dart around in the sun.


    Joaquin was the third child in a family of five children including his big brother River and big sister Rain and younger sisters Summer and Liberty. He often spoke of their closeness in his interviews later on in his career saying "I had a really wonderful upbringing. We were a tight family. It was wonderful to grow up with so many siblings. We were all just 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."


    John and Arlyn decided to leave the Children of God cult and the family moved to the U.S. to start anew. As they were desperate and without a lot of money, the family stowed away on a commercial boat loaded with Tonka toys, on its way to the state of Florida. Joaquin turned 3 on the boat and once the crew had found out about the family, they made him a cake and gave him his first ever toy, a Tonka truck.


    They changed their surname to Phoenix to symbolize a fresh beginning and Arlyn changed her first name to Heart. Realizing his sibling's earthier names one day, while out raking leaves with his dad, Joaquin decided to change his name, as it was too hard to pronounce and he wanted it to be like the others. So, he changed his name to Leaf and is credited under that name for several of his first projects in the industry. Later, he changed it back to Joaquin.


    Although the family was poor, they did their best to manage. Heart worked as a secretary for NBC and John was a landscaper. The children often sang and played instruments on the street or in talent shows for money.


    Joaquin, at the time of his mother's job on NBC, was a big fan of actor, John Travolta and she was able to get Joaquin an autograph. Later on in his career, Joaquin worked with Travolta in the film Ladder 49. Through her job, Heart also was able to get an agent, Iris Burton, to represent all five children. Although they refused to allow them to do anything related to meat, milk, or junk food (they were strict vegetarians) they managed to find some projects that fit. Joaquin's first project was a guest stint on a show River starred on called Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1982). In 1984, he worked with him again on an after-school program titled Backwards: The Riddle of Dyslexia. His first on-screen debut was for the film Spacecamp (1986).
    At the Viper Club, Halloween in 1993, Joaquin's brother, River overdosed on drugs, collapsed, and later died. Joaquin and his sister, Rain were there and he made the infamous call to 911 that was broadcasted everywhere after River's death. Overwhelmed with all the media attention his brother's unexpected death was getting, Joaquin took a break from the industry. In 1994, Joaquin made a return to the industry at the insistence of his friends and co-starred in the film To Die For starring actress, Nicole Kidman. In April 2005, after filming Walk the Line , Joaquin submitted himself to rehab for alcohol abuse. His publicist said "He was uncomfortable with the way that he was living his life and found the courage to deal with the disease." In January 2006, Joaquin was in a car accident, when his breaks went out and his vehicle overturned and crashed on a canyon road above Los Angeles' Sunset Strip. Shaken and confused from the accident, he heard a tapping on his window and heard a voice say "Just relax." Unable to see who the person was, he replied "I'm fine. I am relaxed." As it turns out, it was the famous Werner Herzog and he replied "No you're not", pulled Joaquin out from the wreckage, called an ambulance, and disappeared. Since then, Joaquin has starred and co-starred in thirty nominated films and won eight awards for his skills in both acting and singing (the soundtrack for Walk the Line). In January 2009, Joaquin announced that he was retiring from his career as an actor and instead, focusing on a music career. His best friend and brother-in-law, actor Casey Affleck, was filming his transition from the film industry into the music industry for a future documentary. Though being accused of committing a hoax or making some kind of joke out of his retirement, Joaquin insists it is not and one day, years from now, he'll be remembered for it.moreless

    Birth Name:

    Joaquin Raphael Bottom

    Gender:

    Male

    Birth Place:

    San Juan, Puerto Rico

    Also Known As

    Leaf Phoenix

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (32)

    • Joaquin Phoenix:(On his childhood and how his family was struggling money-wise) I remember us being poor, but I never felt embarrassed, or like I was missing anything. I don't remember the hardship of trying to make it, just how my parents always managed to get through.

    • Joaquin Phoenix:(On the people that would help out his family) We always had angels in our lives‚ people who became friends and are friends to this day.

    • Joaquin Phoenix: Most of my childhood, I grew up with both parents. They were poor, with all these kids, but they always found open arms; people took us in.

    • Joaquin Phoenix: In my life, I try to find the finest qualities in people, no matter what they look like.

    • Joaquin Phoenix:(From 2008, on how he doesn't believe he's as good as other actors) I don't think I have any value. I'm always surprised that a director would want me, to be frank. I always think there's someone far more talented and interesting and better looking and taller or smaller than I am.

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    Trivia (30)

    • Joaquin has been nominated and won many times for his roles. Academy Awards: 2001 - Nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Gladiator. 2006 - Nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for Walk the Line. BAFTA Awards: 2001 - Nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for Gladiator. 2006 - Nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for Walk the Line. Blockbuster Entertainment Awards: 2001 - Nominated and won Favorite Villain for Gladiator. British Independent Film Awards: 2003 - Nominated for Best Actor for Buffalo Soldiers. Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards: 2001 - Nominated and won for Best Supporting Actor for Quills, Gladiator, and The Yards. 2006 - Nominated for Best Actor for Walk the Line. Chicago Film Critics Association Awards: 2006 - Nominated for Best Actor for Walk the Line. Clotrudis Awards: 1996 - Nominated for Best Supporting Actor for To Die For. 2001 - Nominated for Best Supporting Actor for Quills. CMT Music Awards: 2006 - Nominated along with Reese Witherspoon for Collaborative Video of the Year for Walk the Line. Csapnivalo Awards: 2000 - Nominated for Best Male Performance for Return to Paradise. Golden Globes: 2001 - Nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture for Gladiator. 2006 - Nominated and won for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy for Walk the Line. Grammy Awards: 2007 - Nominated and won for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture - Television or Other Visual Media for Walk the Line. Hollywood Film Festival: 2005 - Nominated and won for Actor of the Year. Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards: 2000 - Nominated for a Sierra Award for Best Supporting Actor for both Quills and Gladiator. MTV Movie Awards: 2001 - Nominated for Best Line From a Movie and Best Villain for Gladiator. 2006 - Nominated for Best Performance for Walk the Line. Movie Guide Awards: 2005 - Nominated for Grace Award for Most Inspiring Movie Acting for Ladder 49. Music Video Production Association Awards: 2006 - Nominated for Directorial Debut, Direction of a New Artist, and Adult Contemporary. National Board of Review: 2000 - Nominated and won for Best Supporting Actor for Quills, Gladiator, and The Yards. Online Film Critics Society Awards: 2001 - Nominated for Best Supporting Actor for Gladiator. 2006 - Nominated for Best Actor for Walk the Line. People Choice Awards: 2008 - Nominated and won for Favorite Leading Man. Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards: 2001 - Nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for both Quills and Gladiator. San Diego Film Critics Society Awards: 2000 - Nominated and won for Special Award for Body of Work for Quills, Gladiator, and The Yards. Satelite Awards: 2001 - Nominated for Golden Satelite Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role - Drama for Gladiator. 2005 - Nominated for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical for Walk the Line. SAG Awards: 2001 - Nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role and Outstanding Performance by the Cast of a Theatrical Motion Picture for Gladiator. 2005 - Nominated for Outstanding Performance by the Cast in a Motion Picture for Hotel Rwanda. 2006 - Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role for Walk the Line. Teen Choice Awards: 2005 - Nominated for Choice Movie Actor - Drama for Ladder 49. Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Awards: 2005 - Nominated for Best Actor for Walk the Line. Young Artist Awards: 1985 - Nominated for Best Young Actor Starring in a Motion Picture for Parenthood. 1990 - Nominated for Best Young Actor in a Family Film Made for Television for ABC Afterschool Specials: Backwards: The Riddle of Dyslexia.

    • Joaquin has participated in and supported 23 different causes and charities over the years.

      Some having to do with making our world a better place and helping those who live in it include: American Red Cross, amfAR, Amnesty International USA, The Art of Elysium, Aspen Filmfest, Chrysalis, Direct Current Media/4Real, Divided We Fail, Earth Love Movement Foundation, SOS/Live Earth, The Peace Alliance, The Happy Hearts Fund, Kiss For a Cause Film Foundation and Museum, The Lunchbox Fund, The Painted Turtle, HEART, The Peapod, and Rock'n Roll Fantasy Camp to Benefit the Teenage Cancer Trust.

      Others having to do with the protection of animals and their fur include: AFIPA, SPA, PETA, The Cool vs. Cruel Competition, and Earthlings.

    • Joaquin was chosen as one of People Magazine's Sexiest Men Alive for 2007.

    • Joaquin earned $3,5000,00 for Walk the Line in 2005, $850,000 for Ladder 49 in 2004, $5,000,000 for The Village in 2004, $1,000,000 for Signs in 2002, $700,000 for Buffalo Soldiers in 2001 and $375,000 for Quills.

    • Joaquin doesn't like to watch his own screen performances, with the exception of his role in 2000's Quills.

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