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THE YARDS

JOAQUIN PHOENIX, born in Puerto Rico, began his acting career as a child. Growing up in a large family, Phoenix spent his childhood on the move, living in Oregon, Mexico, Central America and Florida. By the time he left high school in 11th grade, he had already landed a guest-starring role on television with his sister, Liberty. His first feature role came in 1986, at the age of ten, in ABC's "Spacecamp." In 1987, he starred in "Russkies" with his sister Summer Phoenix and Carol King, and then went on to play Dianne Weist's teenage son in Universal's "Parenthood," for Ron Howard in 1989.

In 1995, after taking a multiyear hiatus, Phoenix gave a stunning and critically- acclaimed performance in Gus Van Sant's "To Die For," starring Nicole Kidman. Phoenix then co-starred with Liv Tyler and Billy Crudup in Pat O'Connor's "Inventing the Abbots." Phoenix was also seen in Joel Schumacher's "8 MM," Oliver Stone's "U Turn," "Clay Pigeons" with Vince Vaughn and "Return to Paradise," which re-teamed him with Vaughn, and also starred Anne Heche.

This year Phoenix stars in the epic drama "Gladiator," opposite Russell Crowe and directed by Ridley Scott. This fall, he will star opposite Kate Winslet and Geoffrey Rush in "Quills." The film is based on Douglas Wright's Obie Award- winning play about the Marquis de Sade.

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