JOAQUIN PHOENIX (Theodore) earned Best Actor nominations in
2013 for the Academy, BAFTA, Golden Globe and Critics Choice Awards, to name
only a few, for his critically acclaimed performance as Freddie Quell in "The
Master." He will next be seen starring opposite Marion Cotillard and Jeremy
Renner in the James Gray film "The Immigrant," and has just completed work on
Paul Thomas Anderson's "Inherent Vice."
Phoenix was born in Puerto Rico and began his acting career at the age of
eight. As a boy, he made numerous episodic television appearances, on such hit
television shows as "Hill Street Blues," "The Fall Guy" and "Murder, She Wrote."
He was a regular on the short-lived 1986 CBS series "Morningstar/Eveningstar,"
and followed, that same year, with his first feature film role in "Spacecamp."
The following year, he starred in "Russkies," with sister Summer and Carole
King. Two years later, director Ron Howard cast the teenager as Dianne Wiest's
son in his popular family comedy "Parenthood." It wasn't until 1996 that the
young actor returned to the fold with a stunning and critically acclaimed
performance opposite Nicole Kidman in Gus Van Sant's "To Die For." He next
co-starred with Liv Tyler, Billy Crudup and Jennifer Connelly in "Inventing the
Abbotts," in 1997; and with Claire Danes, Sean Penn and Jennifer Lopez in Oliver
In 1998, Phoenix co-starred opposite Vince Vaughn in two very different
roles: as an American jailed in Malaysia for drug possession in "Return to
Paradise," and as a dupe to Vaughn's smooth-talking serial killer in the black
comedy "Clay Pigeons." He next won acclaim for his role in Joel Schumacher's
dark thriller "8mm," with Nicolas Cage.
In 2000, a banner year for the actor, Phoenix earned his first Academy Award
nomination, co-starring opposite Russell Crowe in Ridley Scott's Oscar-winning
Best Picture, "Gladiator." In addition to nominations for the Oscar, the Golden
Globe and the BAFTA Award, he received awards as Best Supporting Actor from the
National Board of Review and The Broadcast Films Critics Association. He
followed with Philip Kaufman's Oscar-nominated "Quills," opposite Kate Winslet
and Geoffrey Rush, based on Douglas McGrath's play about the Marquis de Sade,
for which he won the Broadcast Film Critics Award as Best Supporting Actor. That
same year, he also starred with Mark Wahlberg, James Caan, Faye Dunaway, Ellen
Burstyn and Charlize Theron in James Gray's "The Yards."
Phoenix continued his busy career as Mel Gibson's brother in the M. Night
Shyamalan blockbuster "Signs," which earned nearly half a billion dollars
worldwide. He reteamed with Shyamalan two years later on his gothic thriller
Phoenix went on to star in the dark comedy "Buffalo Soldiers," opposite Ed
Harris; took the lead in the firefighting drama "Ladder 49," opposite John
Travolta; and, in 2004, earned high praise for his turn as a cynical journalist
witnessing the horrific genocide of the Tutsis in Terry George's "Hotel Rwanda."
In 2006, Phoenix was hailed for his mesmerizing performance as legendary
singer-songwriter Johnny Cash, opposite Reese Witherspoon, in James Mangold's
riveting biopic "Walk the Line." For his performance, he collected his second
Academy Award nomination (this time, as Best Actor) and won the Golden Globe
for Best Actor in a Musical as well as earning nominations for BAFTA, SAG,
Critics Choice and Chicago Film Critics Awards.
In October 2007, Phoenix starred in two films: "We Own the Night," for which
he reteamed with Mark Wahlberg and director James Gray, and the deeply moving
"Reservation Road," which reunited him with director Terry George and Jennifer
Connelly. He later reteamed with director Gray for "Two Lovers," opposite
Gwyneth Paltrow and Isabella Rossellini.
On October 27, 2008, Phoenix reportedly announced his retirement from film in
order to focus on his rap music, but the announcement turned out to be part of
his acting role in the mockumentary "I'm Still Here," directed by his
brother-in-law, Casey Affleck. The film debuted at the Venice Film Festival and
the Toronto International Film Festival in 2010 and was released in the summer
A social activist, Phoenix has lent his support to a number of charities and
humanitarian organizations, notably Amnesty International, The Art of Elysium,
HEART, and The Peace Alliance, an organization which campaigns for a United
States Department of Peace; and is on the board of directors for The Lunchbox
Fund. In 2005, he received the Humanitarian Award at the San Diego Film Festival
for his work and contribution to "Earthlings," a video about the investigation
of animal abuse in factory farms, pet mills, industry and research, that he
narrated for Nation Earth. Also in 2005, he lent his voice to the documentary
"I'm Still Here: Real Diaries of Young People Who lived during the Holocaust."
Phoenix has also directed music videos for Ringside, She Wants Revenge,
People in Planes, Arckid, Albert Hammond, Jr. and the Silversun Pickups.