River Phoenix movies: 15 greatest films, ranked worst to best, include ‘Running on Empty,’ ‘Stand By Me,’ ‘Indiana Jones’

  • Gold Derby
River Phoenix sadly was one of those actors whose career burned bright for only a few years and then ended way before its time. August 23, 2019, would have marked his 49th birthday but tragically the gifted young actor only made it to age 23.

Phoenix and his siblings (including Joaquin Phoenix) began acting as children. He found his first job in a television show based on the popular film “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.” That show only ran for one season, but Phoenix would continue to work on TV for the next few years. In 1985 he would have his breakthrough in a supporting role in an acclaimed all-star TV movie called “Surviving” and then that same year in his first feature film “Explorers.” The following year would mark an even bigger breakthrough when he starred in the sleeper hit “Stand by Me” as one of four childhood friends who go looking for a dead body.
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