10 Good Actors Who Died Too Young

River Phoenix

Died: 10/31/93 (23)
Cause of Death:
Drug-induced heart failure
Notable Work:
Stand by Me, Running on EmptyIndiana Jones and the Last Crusade, My Own Private Idaho

River Phoenix, Joaquin's elder brother, had seen growing prominence in Hollywood since he landed one of the starring roles in Stand by Me, the classic adaptation of Stephen King's novella The Body. When he died outside of The Viper Room, his acting career and reliability as a strong leading man had just been solidified with Gus Van Sant's My Own Private Idaho. The autopsy uncovered a myriad of drugs and otherwise illegal substances in his system, a controversial discovery since prior to his death his public persona was perceived to be cleaner than Bieber's. James Cameron later said that he had wanted Phoenix to play the coveted Hollywood heartthrob role of Jack Dawson in Titanic.

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