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John Phoenix

John Lee Bottom

John Lee Bottom dropped out of high school in Fontana, California to become a gardener. In his twenties he became restless and a hippie. He met his future wife as he picked her up hitch-hiking. In 1970, John and pregnant wife Arlyn found their way in Oregon, working in the local mint crops for the harvest, where he was blessed with his first child, River Jude Phoenix. The family started to travel a year later finding haven in the christian cult, The Children of God. The family travelled from Mexico, Venezuela and Puerto Rico with their quickly expanding brood.

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John Phoenix with his son River Phoenix

Born: June 14th, 1947
 


After quitting the religious cult, and changing the family surname to Phoenix to symbolise a new start, the Phoenix children's acting careers had begun. Throughout the filming of the Mosuito Coast, John was supervising his fifteen year old on the set and soon began to feel his son slipping away from him. John frequently tried to get his son away for a trip to Guatemala but River Phoenix excused himself with learning lines and and responsibility for the movie.

For River Phoenix, R.I.P brother.