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A teenaged River Phoenix came to the world's attention in the 80s with an acclaimed performance in the classic film Stand By Me, and soon followed up with an Oscar mination for Running on Empty. Praised by his peers as the most talented actor of his generation, River came-of-age in the spotlight - first a child star, then a teen idol on the fast-track to Hollywood royalty. Yet at the age of 23, he died of a drug overdose in front of West Hollywood's storied Viper Room, shocking fans all over the world and shattering his clean-living image. Interspersed with an exploration of 80s and 90s Hollywood, this detailed biography examines both River's life and his career, revealing the true story of a young man whose private life was far more complex than his public teen idol persona.
Gavin Edwards is a contributing editor for Rolling Stone and has written for Details, Spin, and the New York Times. He is the author of six books including the forthcoming VJ, IS TINY DANCER REALLY ELTON'S LITTLE JOHN?: MUSIC'S MOST ENDURING MYSTERIES, MYTHS, AND RUMORS REVEALED and 'SCUSE ME WHILE I KISS THIS GUY AND OTHER MISHEARD LYRICS. He lives in Los Angeles, CA.