Born: 28 October 1974
Birthplace: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Best known as:
The guy who played Johnny Cash in Walk the Line
Joaquin Phoenix is best known as the villainous Commodus in Ridley Scott's Gladiator (2000), and as country singer Johnny Cash in the movie Walk The Line (2005). The younger brother of actors Rain and River Phoenix, Joaquin got his start in the entertainment business when he was a kid. Like the other kids in his family, Joaquin (who went by the name Leaf for a time) began making commercials and appearing in the movies in the early 1980s. By the late '80s he had sizable roles in the movies SpaceCamp (1986), Russkies (1987) and Ron Howard's Parenthood (1989). After 1990 Joaquin took some time off from acting, but in late 1993 he was in the spotlight once again, this time because he made the emergency phone call the night River died outside a Los Angeles nightclub. Joaquin re-started his movie career with a plum role as Nicole Kidman's vulnerable boy-toy in Gus Van Sant's To Die For (1995), and has been gaining star power ever since, with bigger roles in higher-profile Hollywood movies. His films include M. Night Shyamalan's Signs (2002), Ladder 49 (2004, with John Travolta) and The Village (2004, with Sigourney Weaver). In 2006 he was nominated for a best actor Oscar for his performance in Walk the Line (co-starring Reese Witherspoon). Phoenix stunned reporters in October of 2008 by announcing that he was giving up acting to focus on rap music, but by the fall of 2010 the stunt proved to be part of a two-year "performance art" project filmed as I'm Still Here by his brother-in-law, actor Casey Afflect. He returned to acting in the Paul Thomas Anderson feature The Master (2012) and earned an Oscar nomination for best actor.
Joaquin (pronounced "wah-keen") has a prominent scar on his upper lip that he says has been there since birth... He was at one time engaged to be married to Liv Tyler, his co-star in Inventing the Abbots (1997).
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