01:26 AM EDT 04/14/2013
Originally posted 11/01/2012 08:40AM
Halloween marked the 19th anniversary of River Phoenix's death from a drug overdose in Los Angeles. Now, the final chapter of his professional career is being written, as his last film – left unfinished for almost two decades – has been completed.
The beloved young actor, who was 23 when he collapsed outside the Viper Room in the early morning hours of Oct. 31, 1993, had flown to L.A. the previous day straight from the Utah set of Dark Blood – his hair dyed dark brown for the role.
The film was only 80 percent finished when he died. But now, Danish director George Sluizer has completed it, shown it at one film festival, and is seeking a wider release for it.
Originally posted 12/15/2008 10:15AM
Don't glorify Heath Ledger as another iconic Hollywood burnout, says the director of his last movie.
Terry Gilliam – who worked with Ledger just days before the January tragedy – says, "When he died, there were all these nonsensical stories coming out about Heath Ledger, James Dean and River Phoenix, all destroyed by the system."
But, in a tribute published in Britain's Observer Magazine, Gilliam insists the actor's demise was simply "an absurd accident." (His death was ruled an accidental overdose of prescription drugs.)
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