Established November 2006 | angel-river.net has no affiliation with the Phoenix Family
When River Phoenix passed away at the age of 23 on 31 October 1993, he not only broke the hearts of his family and friends - but also those of his countless fans and admirers across the world. We were all left to wonder why, and reflect on what might have been.
River was a gentle, sensitive soul who loved everything and everybody. He had been a strict vegan since he was a young boy - and was often seen or heard campaigning for his favourite charity, PETA - People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. He was also concerned about the state of the planet, as highlighted in this quote:
"I've just bought 800 acres of forest on the border of Panama and Costa Rica. I want to buy the last 'first growth forest' and turn it into a national park. It's a human tragedy of immense proportions. Many native Indians in that region are losing their homes daily, and it's going to affect both you and me, because that's where most of the world's oxygen comes from. The Amazon rain forests are the world's lungs and without them we will not be able to breath. It's a very scary thought and it's not too far off."
He was also, of course, a highly talented and respected actor - his most memorable performance being that of Chris Chambers in 'Stand by Me.' Throughout his acting career, River made some lasting friendships - Sidney Poitier, Richard Harries, Harrison Ford and Dan Ackroyd - amongst others. Most of these friends were present at the memorial service held for River in Los Angeles a few weeks after his passing.
Music though, was River's greatest love. He was close to sealing a recording contract for his band - Aleka's Attic, at the time of his passing. He wrote most of the band's songs himself, and was once asked to write a song for one of his later movies - 'The Thing Called Love.' He did write a song - 'Lone Star State of Mine,' which he also performed in the movie.
He was a loving, caring and humble human being, who had no care for the Hollywood lifestyle - always preferring to be at home with his family.
Below is a lovely quote about River from Louanne Sirota. Louanne appeared in one episode of 'Seven Brides for Seven Brothers' with River, and also appeared in 'A Night In the Life of Jimmy Reardon.' It describes the way he was perfectly:
"Once, we were on the way to 'The Great Greek Restaurant' and he wanted to drive my car. As we were driving I said, "I gotta stop at my bank, I have to go to the ATM." So we are driving, here comes my bank. "There's my bank, there's my bank," I shouted. He keeps driving, and he doesn't stop. Now to River, that was his way of saying that he'll be paying for the meal. That was his way of doing it."
River once said "he did not want people to forget him"..... We won't - as long as we all keep him in our hearts.
Also, with the completion of 'Dark Blood' in 2012 after 19 years of waiting, he is being seen by people who did not get the chance all those years ago..... Only recently, I received a lovely message from a 13 year old girl who told me she had 'only just discovered River.' She also said 'he has a special way of touching people.'
RIVER MAY NO LONGER BE WITH US - BUT HIS LEGACY WILL LIVE ON FOREVER
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CELEBRATING THE LIFE & CAREER OF THE MUCH-MISSED ACTOR & HUMANITARIAN - RIVER PHOENIX