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Archive - 1993

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October 31st

River Phoenix dies 23 years old

River Phoenix DeathRiver Jude Phoenix (August 23, 1970 - October 31, 1993) was an American film actor. He was listed on John Willis's Screen World, Vol. 38 as one of twelve "promising new actors of 1986", and was hailed as highly talented by such critics as Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel. He was the older brother of actors Joaquin Phoenix and Summer Phoenix.

River Phoenix's Cause of Death
On October 31, 1993, Phoenix collapsed from a drug overdose of heroin and cocaine (known as a speedball) outside the Viper Room, a Hollywood night club partially owned by actor Johnny Depp until 2004. On the night of Phoenix's death, River was to perform onstage with Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers. At some point in the evening Phoenix went to the bathroom to take drugs with various friends and dealers. It is reported that an acquaintance offered him some Persian Brown (a powerful form of methamphetamine mixed with opiates, which is then snorted) and soon after consuming the drug he became ill. Upon leaving The Viper Room, he collapsed onto the sidewalk and began convulsing for eight minutes. His brother Joaquin, sister Rain and actress Samantha Mathis were at the scene. Joaquin dialed 911; during the call Joaquin was unable to determine whether River was breathing. River had, in fact, already stopped breathing. Paramedics arrived on the scene and found Phoenix in asystole (flatline), when they administered drugs in an attempt to restart his heart. He was rushed to the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center via an ambulance. Further attempts to resuscitate Phoenix (including the insertion of a pacemaker) were unsuccessful. He was pronounced dead at 1:51 a.m. PST on the morning of October 31, 1993.

River Phoenix (White Shirt) - Stand By Me