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Phoenix at the premiere of Inherent Vice.
Phoenix at the Cannes Film Festival in 2017

Joaquin Phoenix is an American actor who started his career performing as a child on television. He appeared on the shows Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1982) and Backwards: The Riddle of Dyslexia (1984) with his brother River Phoenix and on an episode of Murder, She Wrote (1984) with his sister Summer Phoenix. He made his feature film debut in SpaceCamp (1986) and had his first starring role in Russkies (1987). His first major film release was Ron Howard's dramedy Parenthood (1989) with Steve Martin. During his period as a child actor, he was credited as Leaf Phoenix, his self-given name.[1] Six years later, he changed his name back to Joaquin and co-starred opposite Nicole Kidman in the Gus Van Sant-directed crime comedy-drama To Die For (1995), a critical hit.[2] In 1997, Phoenix co-starred in Oliver Stone's crime thriller U Turn opposite Sean Penn and starred opposite Liv Tyler in the coming-of-age film Inventing the Abbotts. Phoenix starred in the crime-comedy film Clay Pigeons (1998), Return to Paradise (1998) followed by a role in the crime mystery thriller 8mm (1999) with Nicolas Cage. Phoenix's first role in 2000 was in his first collaboration with director James Gray in the crime film The Yards. He followed this with supporting roles in the Ridley Scott-directed historical epic Gladiator opposite Russell Crowe and as priest Abbé de Coulmier in the Philip Kaufman-directed period film Quills (2000), opposite Geoffrey Rush. For his role as the villain Commodus in the former, Phoenix earned a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.[3]

The following year he starred in a satire of the US military, Buffalo Soldiers (2001). Phoenix starred opposite Mel Gibson in the science fiction thriller Signs (2002), a massive commercial success.[4] He starred in the romance-drama It's All About Love (2003) and voiced Kenai in the animated film Brother Bear. In 2004, Phoenix starred as a farmer in the psychological thriller farmer in The Village and as a Baltimore firefighter in the drama Ladder 49. He followed this with a supporting role in the historical drama film Hotel Rwanda (2004). Phoenix portrayed musician Johnny Cash in the biopic Walk the Line (2005) opposite Reese Witherspoon. Phoenix played and sang all of Cash's vocal tracks in the film and on the accompanying soundtrack. This earned him the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor  – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy, Grammy Award for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media and garnered his first nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor.[5][6][7] He also narrated the animal rights documentary Earthlings (2005). This was followed by a reteam with Gray in the crime drama We Own the Night (2007) and the lead role in the drama Reservation Road (2007) opposite Mark Ruffalo. The following year, he made his third film with Gray, Two Lovers (2008) and followed this with the mockumentary I'm Still Here (2010). Throughout the filming period, Phoenix remained in character for public appearances, giving many the impression that he was genuinely pursuing a new career as a rapper.[8]

Phoenix starred as a World War II veteran in the Paul Thomas Anderson-directed drama film The Master opposite Philip Seymour Hoffman. The role earned him a Volpi Cup and his second nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor.[9][10] The following year, he reteamed with Gray once again in the drama film The Immigrant opposite Marion Cotillard. Phoenix starred as a man who develops a relationship with Samantha, an intelligent computer operating system in the Spike Jonze-directed romantic science fiction film Her (2013) and starred as a private investigator when he reteamed with Anderson in the film adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's novel Inherent Vice (2014). Both roles earned him nominations for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor  – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. In 2017, his performance as the damaged savior of sex-trafficking victims in You Were Never Really Here netted him the Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actor.[6]



Year Title Credited as Role Notes
Actor Writer Producer
1985 Kids Don't Tell Yes No No Frankie Credited as Leaf Phoenix[11][12][13][14]
1986 SpaceCamp Yes No No Max Graham
1987 Russkies Yes No No Danny
1989 Parenthood Yes No No Garry Buckman
1995 To Die For Yes No No Jimmy Emmett
1997 Inventing the Abbotts Yes No No Doug Holt
U Turn Yes No No Toby N.Tucker
1998 Return to Paradise Yes No No Lewis McBride
Clay Pigeons Yes No No Clay Bidwell
1999 8mm Yes No No Max California
2000 The Yards Yes No No Willie Gutierrez
Gladiator Yes No No Commodus
Quills Yes No No Abbé de Coulmier
2001 Buffalo Soldiers Yes No No Ray Elwood
2002 Signs Yes No No Merrill Hess
2003 It's All About Love Yes No No John
Brother Bear Yes No No Kenai Voice role
2004 The Village Yes No No Lucius Hunt
Hotel Rwanda Yes No No Jack Daglish
Ladder 49 Yes No No Jack Morrison
2005 Earthlings Yes No No Narrator Documentary film, voice role
Walk the Line Yes No No Johnny Cash
2007 We Own the Night Yes No Yes Bobby Green
Reservation Road Yes No No Ethan Learner
2008 Two Lovers Yes No No Leonard Kraditor
2010 I'm Still Here Yes Yes Yes Himself Mockumentary film,
Co-writer with Casey Affleck
2012 The Master Yes No No Freddie Quell
2013 The Immigrant Yes No No Bruno Weiss
Her Yes No No Theodore Twombly
2014 Inherent Vice Yes No No Larry "Doc" Sportello
2015 Irrational Man Yes No No Abe Lucas
Unity Yes No No Narrator Documentary film, voice role
2017 You Were Never Really Here Yes No No Joe
2018 Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot Yes No No John Callahan
Mary Magdalene Yes No No Jesus
Dominion Yes No No Narrator Documentary film, voice role
The Sisters Brothers Yes No No Charlie Sisters
Lou Yes No No Karl Short film
2019 Joker Yes No No Arthur Fleck / The Joker[15] Post-production[16]


Year Title Role Notes
1982 Seven Brides for Seven Brothers Travis Episode: "Christmas Song"
1984 The Fall Guy Kid Episode: "Terror U."
ABC Afterschool Specials Robby Ellsworth Episode: "Backwards: The Riddle of Dyslexia"
Hill Street Blues Daniel Episode: "The Rise and Fall of Paul the Wall"
Murder, She Wrote Billy Donovan Episode: "We're Off to Kill the Wizard"
1986 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Pagey Fisher Episode: "A Very Happy Ending"
Morningstar/Eveningstar Doug Roberts 7 episodes
1989 The New Leave It to Beaver Kyle Cleaver Episode: "Still the New Leave It to Beaver"
Superboy Billy Hercules Episode: "Little Hercules"

See alsoEdit




  1. ^ Paul Fischer (2000). "Gladiator". Dark Horizons. Archived from the original on June 21, 2000. Retrieved August 22, 2007.
  2. ^ Maslin, Janet (September 27, 1995). "To Die For (1995) FILM REVIEW; She Trusts in TV's Redeeming Power". The New York Times. Retrieved March 21, 2015.
  3. ^ "The 73rd Academy Awards (2001) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Retrieved June 29, 2015.
  4. ^ "2002 Worldwide Grosses". Box Office Mojo.
  5. ^ "Oscars 2006 – Academy Award Winners, Nominees, Movies Released in 2005". Retrieved April 14, 2012.
  6. ^ a b "Joaquin Phoenix". Golden Globes. Archived from the original on February 26, 2015. Retrieved March 22, 2015.
  7. ^ "20 People You Won't Believe Have Grammys". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 22, 2015.
  8. ^ {{cite web|url="Director Casey Affleck Confirms Joaquin Phoenix 'Documentary' Isn't Real"] from [[Yahoo! News]|publisher=}}
  9. ^ Waxman, Sharon (September 8, 2012). "'Pieta,' 'The Master' Win Top Venice Prizes – Jury Shifts Votes". The Wrap. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
  10. ^ "Oscar 2013: The nominations revealed..." Entertainment Weekly. January 10, 2013. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
  11. ^ "Joaquin Phoenix". IMDb. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
  12. ^ "Spacecamp". Roger Ebert. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
  13. ^ "Russkies". Roger Ebert. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
  14. ^ "Joaquin Phoenix – Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved July 3, 2013.
  15. ^ Mancuso, Vinnie (September 16, 2018). "Todd Phillips Reveals First Look at Joaquin Phoenix in 'Joker' Movie". Collider. Retrieved September 16, 2018.
  16. ^ Anderson, Jenna (December 3, 2018). "Joaquin Phoenix's 'Joker' Wraps Production". Retrieved December 4, 2018.