In Last Night at the Viper Room, acclaimed author and journalist Gavin Edwards vividly recounts the life and tragic death of acclaimed actor River Phoenix—a teen idol on the fast track to Hollywood royalty who died of a drug overdose in front of West Hollywood’s storied club, the Viper Room, at the age of 23.
Last Night at the Viper Room explores the young star’s life, including his childhood in Venezuela growing up under the aegis of the cultish Children of God. Putting him at the center of a new generation of leading men emerging in the early 1990s— including Johnny Depp, Keanu Reeves, Brad Pitt, Nicolas Cage, and Leonardo DiCaprio—Gavin Edwards traces the Academy Award nominee’s meteoric rise, couches him in an examination of the 1990s, and illuminates his lasting legacy on Hollywood and popular culture itself.
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“Twenty years after his death, River Phoenix remains as enigmatic and elusive as ever. Last Night at the Viper Room tells the heart-shredding story of how this haunted actor left such a big impression in such a brief time.” (Rob Sheffield, New York Times bestselling author of Love Is a Mix Tape)
“What Edwards does do impeccably is reveal the life of an extraordinary young man, whose idealism and dedication to his family, despite crippling childhood conditions, set him apart from the rest of the rising star pack.” (USA Today)
Hollywood was built on beautiful and complicated matinee idols: James Dean and Marlon Brando are classic examples, but in the 1990s, the actor who embodied that archetype was River Phoenix. As the brightly colored 1980s wound down, a new crew of leading men began to appear on movie screens. Hailed for their acting prowess and admired for choosing meaty roles, actors such as Johnny Depp, Nicolas Cage, Keanu Reeves, and Brad Pitt were soon rocketing toward stardom while an unknown Leonardo DiCaprio prepared to make his acting debut. River Phoenix, however, stood in front of the pack. Blessed with natural talent and fueled by integrity, Phoenix was admired by his peers and adored by his fans. More than just a pinup on teenage girls' walls, Phoenix was also a fervent defender of the environment and a vocal proponent of a vegan lifestyle—well on his way to becoming a symbol of his generation. At age eighteen, he received his first Oscar nomination. But behind his beautiful public face, there was a young man who had been raised in a cult by nonconformist parents, who was burdened with supporting his family from a young age, and who eventually succumbed to addiction, escaping into a maelstrom of drink and drugs.
And then he was gone. After a dozen films, including Stand by Me and My Own Private Idaho, and with a seemingly limitless future, River Phoenix died of a drug overdose. He was twenty-three years old.
In Last Night at the Viper Room, bestselling author and journalist Gavin Edwards toggles between the tragic events at the Viper Room in West Hollywood on Halloween 1993 and the story of an extraordinary life. Last Night at the Viper Room is part biography, part cultural history of the 1990s, and part celebration of River Phoenix, a Hollywood icon gone too soon. Full of interviews from his fellow actors, directors, friends, and family, Last Night at the Viper Room shows the role he played in creating the place of the actor in our modern culture and the impact his work still makes today.
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Book Description 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 154mm x 235mm x 23mm. Paperback. 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 nomination for Running o.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 288 pages. 0.404. Bookseller Inventory # 9780062313867
Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 15.4 x 23.5 cm. A detailed examination of the brilliant but complicated River Phoenix and the impact he made on Hollywood. 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 nomination 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. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # MM-41016937
Book Description 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 154mm x 235mm x 23mm. Paperback. 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 nomination .Shipping may be from our Sydney, NSW warehouse or from our UK or US warehouse, depending on stock availability. 288 pages. 0.404. Bookseller Inventory # 9780062313867