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JOAQUIN PHOENIX (Merrill Hess), born in Puerto Rico, began his acting career as a child. After getting his start in commercials, he starred in his first feature "Space Camp,” followed by "Russkies,” "Parenthood,” "To Die For,” "Inventing the Abbots,” "U-Turn,” "Return to Paradise” and "Clay Pigeons.” Phoenix has earned rave reviews for his performances in three wide ranging films from last year. In an Academy Award® nominated turn, he portrayed Emperor Commodus in Dreamworks and Universal's epic blockbuster "Gladiator.” His intense turn for director Ridley Scott earned him critical acclaim and awards from the National Board of Review, Broadcast Film Critics, and the Blockbuster Entertainment Awards, as well as nominations for the Screen Actors Guild Awards, Golden Globes, Golden Satellite Awards and On-Line Film Critics Awards. Phoenix was also lauded for his performances in James Gray's "The Yards” and in Philip Kaufman's "Quills.” He will next be seen starring in the dark comedy "Buffalo Soldiers” for Film Four/Odeon Films and Thomas Vinterberg's "All About Love” opposite Claire Danes. In addition to his big screen roles, Phoenix, a long-time vegan, is a spokesperson for PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). He was recently honored by this organization for his dedicated involvement.


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