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River Phoenix's mother pays tribute to late star on 53rd birthday

River Phoenix's mother pays tribute to late star on 53rd birthday credit:Bang Showbiz
River Phoenix's mother pays tribute to late star on 53rd birthday credit:Bang Showbiz

River Phoenix's mother has paid tribute to him on what would have been his 53rd birthday.

Arlyn 'Heart' Phoenix took to Instagram on Wednesday (23.08.23) to remember her son - who fatally overdosed on a combination of cocaine and heroin in 1993 at the age of 23 - and Heart insisted that he is "very much alive in me".

She wrote: "August 23, 1970...one of the most amazing days of my life...bringing Earthbound a living being...truly a touch of the most sacred. Just as he tried to do with most people, River Jude embraced each of his siblings (who entered through the same portal after him) with his humor, wisdom, authenticity, talent, compassion, vulnerability and undying Love. I would say he was and still is our greatest teacher.

"The greatest pain I experienced in my life was the pain of natural childbirth and even tho quite different, the pain of my son's passing. But almost instantaneously on both occasions, the gifts that he brought were imbued in each of us and so we carry on celebrating his life for those 23 precious years.

"There are no guarantees in life and I don't believe any of us were promised that we would not experience 'tragic moments'. I count it one of the greatest blessings by living in the moment and drawing upon inner knowing as a sacred pathway to navigate through life's many challenges. River's life and death taught me that, in no uncertain terms. I am in awe of the fact that he is very much alive in me. Thank you for all the precious messages that I have received through these past 30 years."

River died in the early morning of Halloween 1993 outside the Los Angeles venue The Viper Room, after he collapsed.

River's girlfriend Samantha Mathis, and younger brother Joaquin Phoenix were among those present at the time of his death.

Samantha previously told The Guardian: "I knew something was wrong that night, something I didn’t understand. I didn’t see anyone doing drugs but he was high in a way that made me feel uncomfortable — I was in way over my head.

“Forty-five minutes later, he was dead."