Arlyn Phoenix is earthy, dynamic, and direct-a compact woman with short, no-nonsense graying hair who exhibits none of the flakiness the family's history might suggest. On the Phoenix team, she is the center, if not the leader. John is dreamier, less grounded, and his past includes juvenile homes and a drinking problem. His eyes seem hurt and have a slight messianic glitter.
                                                                        PREMIERE April 1988

"We were flower children," says John, 39, who with Arlyn, 40, now manages River's career. "We were full of faith and we loved everybody. I think the kids have learned that. I don't think there is any prejudice in their bones."

As mom Arlyn points out, "River's name fits his personality. It's gentle and earthy just like him."

They still have a strong code of ethics that they're very loyal to, and it's one that we can share. They're very spiritual, but it's not organized religion like it was before. My father still reads the Bible a lot and applies it to everyday life. He's a very practical, logical man, and then there's this other side of him that's completely way out. He's an interesting character.

                           River Phoenix

“River was born grown up.  He’s always known what he wants out of life and where he’s going in the future.”

          John Phoenix

“River truly worked hard for this success since he was a little guy.  He wouldn’t go out and play until he had a song that he was writing fully arranged on his guitar.  He’s been a good example to his sisters and brother.”

                        Arlyn Phoenix

“River was my first born. He introduced me to motherhood and has been the strongest influence on my life. I feel blessed to have been the woman who held him deep within my being as he grew from a tiny seed. I birthed him at home, suckled him to a chubby two-year-old and then held him in love and awe until his safe passage on October 31.”
   Heart Phoenix

“River was a very brilliant, beautiful child who would do no harm to anyone. But he was rather gullible.  He wanted to please everyone.”

              John Phoenix


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