On October 31, 1993, River Phoenix died at the age of 23, a talent we lost much too soon. In his short time professionally acting, Phoenix impressed in various movies and TV shows, most notably Stand by Me and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. With today marking 30 years since his passing, his mother, Heart, and sister Rain penned sweet tributes to him to remind people about their lost loved one.
Let’s start with Phoenix’s mother, who was originally known as Heart Phoenix. As you’ll see in the below post she shared on Instagram, Heart’s caption accompanying the picture of her late son starts off with sharing lyrics from the first song he ever wrote.
Heart also shared a quote from Rain about how River “was not about telling people how to live their lives,” but rather focused on “doing his part and encouraging others through his example, through his art. It’s just who he was as a person, his generosity, his spirit, his compassion.” Heart then shared her belief of how River would react to how the world is today, and capped off the post with these words:
When will we be brave enough to transform all of the issues of separation and move on to reparation, peace by peace, in order to live and celebrate our one common humanity? It's not too late. 💖
Meanwhile, over on her own Instagram, Ryan Phoenix shared a LaunchLeft video she narrated that displayed artwork, pictures and other kinds of images from fans that paid tribute to her brother, as you’ll see below:
Rain’s post also included a variety of quotes from River, with the final one being “Run to the rescue with love and peace will follow.” As her own words go though, Rain concluded by saying:
LOVE is more powerful than hate. We can all do our part. More love. Less hate. Peace. Peace. PEACE.
Like his brother Joaquin, River Phoenix kicked off his acting career in 1982 with the TV show Seven Brides of Seven Brothers, with River appearing in 21 episodes as Guthrie McFadden. Following various small screen appearances, he made his theatrical debut in 1985 with Explorers, and that was followed a year later by Stand by Me, where he starred opposite Will Wheaton, Corey Feldman and Jerry O’Connell, among others. Three years later, he played young Henry Jones Jr. in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, with the 1989 movie’s prologue depicting thing like how the young Indy got his face scar, fedora, etc.
River Phoenix’s other notable credits included The Mosquito Coast, Running on Empty and My Own Private Idaho. His last movie prior to his death was The Thing Called Love, which was released on August 27, 1993, a little over two months before his death. Silent Tongue was posthumously released in 1994, and his final movie, Dark Blood, was not completed until 2012, and Lionsgate purchased it two years later. In 2020, Joaquin and his partner Rooney Mara named their son after River.
Though he’s been gone for three decades, River Phoenix is still missed by his loved ones and fans, and these tributes from Heart and Rain served as heartwarming ways to remember him on this unfortunate anniversary. If you’re interested in revisiting some of his work, Stand by Me can be streamed with a Netflix subscription, and Disney+ subscribers can check out Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.