JOAQUIN Phoenix and fiancée Rooney Mara have just welcomed their first child into the world – a boy they’ve named River in honour of Joaquin’s brother.
But behind their baby’s sweet name lies painful memories for Joaquin, who lost his big brother to a horrific drug overdose in 1993.
The Joker star has long lived with the trauma of his brother’s death, which happened outside the The Viper Room nightclub in Hollywood. Joaquin even made the desperate 9-1-1 call when his brother was found collapsed and convulsing – a recording of which was widely shared in the media. “I feel like in virtually every movie that I made, there was a connection to River in some way,” Joaquin told 60 Minutes this year.
Baby River was born in 1970 and he would eventually become the older sibling to Rain, Joaquin, Liberty and Summer – all of whom went on to become actors.