Film trivia: When it came to casting the role of the Vampire Lestat in the much anticipated screen adaptation of Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire, River Phoenix was the author's first choice. She felt that Phoenix, with his mysteriously haunted yet fragile quality was perfect to play the Vampire Lestat and fought for him to get the part. Director Neil Jordan agreed with the author's choice but was at the mercy of the studio, who wanted Tom Cruise in the starting role. 1/2
River Phoenix, at home, Gainesville, 1987 Born River Jude Bottom August 23, 1970 Metolius, Oregon, United States Died October 31, 1993 (aged 23) Los Angeles, California, United States Cause of death Drug overdose
River Phoenix died on October 31, 1993 at age 23. He died of a cardiac arrest that was caused by having large amounts of heroin and cocaine in his system. His brother Joaquin, sister Rain, Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers) and Samantha Mathis were all present at the time of his death.