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River Phoenix was about 16 when he played Chris in the 1986 film 'Stand By Me.'
Three years later, he played the younger version of Indiana Jones in the hit film 'Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.' Phoenix later earned an Oscar nomination for his role as a teen pianist with a dark family secret in the 1988 movie 'Running on Empty.'
In the early 1990s, he starred alongside fellow 1980s heartthrob Keanu Reaves in the films 'My Own Private Idaho' and 'I Love You to Death.' Reeves had appeared with Phoenix's brother Joaquin in the movie 'Parenthood.' Phoenix played a country singer in the 1993 film 'The Thing Called Love,' which starred his reported off-screen girlfriend, Samantha Mathis, as well as Sandra Bullock. H
Phoenix's last movie, the thriller 'Dark Blood,' was never completed. The actor died in 1993 at age 23 outside the Los Angeles nightclub the Viper Room, which was at the time partially owned by actor Johnny Depp. Phoenix's death was caused by an overdose of drugs such as cocaine and morphine, the local coroner's office had said.
Phoenix's looks were often compared to actor Christian Slater's. Slater also dated Mathis and starred with her in the 1990 movie 'Pump Up the Volume.' He also took on a movie role that was originally supposed to be played by Phoenix - that of the interviewer in the 1994 film 'Interview With the Vampire.' Slater donated his entire $250,000 paycheck to Phoenix's favorite charities.
(Pictured: River Phoenix appears as Chris in the 1986 movie 'Stand By Me.' / River Phoenix in a scene from the 1993 film 'The Thing Called Love.')
( Photo / Columbia Pictures / Paramount Pictures)