Born in Puerto Rico and raised in Los Angeles and Florida, Phoenix began his career by appearing in television series in the early 1980s with his brother River and sister Summer. His first major film roles were in SpaceCamp (1986) and Parenthood (1989). During that period, he was credited as Leaf Phoenix, a name he gave himself. Phoenix took back his birth name in the early 1990s and received critical acclaim for his supporting work in the comedy-drama film To Die For (1995) and the period film Quills (2000). He received international attention and acclaim for his portrayal of Commodus in the historical drama film Gladiator (2000), for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. He subsequently earned Best Actor nominations for portraying musician Johnny Cash in Walk the Line (2005) and an alcoholic war veteran in The Master (2012) and won for his lead performance as the title character in Joker (2019). His other films include the horror films Signs (2002) and The Village (2004), the historical drama Hotel Rwanda (2004), the romantic drama Her (2013), the crime satire Inherent Vice (2014), and the psychological thriller You Were Never Really Here (2017), for which he won the Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actor.
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