Remembering River Phoenix: Five Unforgettable Moments in His Short-Lived Career

River Phoenix

George Rose/Getty

updated 11/01/2013 AT 10:00 AM ET

originally published 10/31/2013 AT 4:25 PM ET

Thursday marks the 20th anniversary of River Phoenix’s untimely death on Oct. 31, 1993.

The actor was just 23 when he died outside the Viper Room in West Hollywood due to a drug overdose, but made his mark on the world after starring in beloved films Stand By Me (1986), Running on Empty (1988) and My Own Private Idaho (1991). His final film, Dark Blood, was completed in 2012.

In Phoenix’s honor, we’re taking a look back at a few of our favorite clips of the gone-but-never-forgotten star.

Watch the clips below and share your favorite memories in the comments below.

CLASSIC: Check out this Stand By Me tribute.

PIN-UP: Phoenix romanced costar (and close friend) Martha Plimpton in Running on Empty.

MUSICAL: Phoenix sang to his then-girlfriend and costar Samantha Mathis in The Thing Called Love.

INDY: George Lucas and Phoenix discuss his performance as the young titular character in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

ACTIVIST: In addition to his work on-screen, Phoenix was known for his commitment to animal rights and environmental causes. Check out this vintage PETA PSA.


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