WENN.com 1 / 50
When you consider Joaquin Phoenix was raised vegan by hippie missionaries turned stage parents with five siblings all over the world and was responsible for making the 911 call on the night brother River Phoenix overdosed in 1993, it is no surprise that he became a brilliant character actor Hollywood calls whenever a lead role is a little moody, weird, intense or demented. He's an insider who prefers playing an outsider aided by his dark eye circles, husky voice and upper lip scar. He acted opposite his brother in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1982) and an afterschool special, before he appeared in classic '80s films SpaceCamp, Russkies and Parenthood. He took his first Hollywood break, dissatisfied with roles for people his age and traveled with his dad in Mexico after his parents separated, in the early '90s and didn't return until Gus Van Sant cast him in To Die For. After a stint in rehab for alcoholism in 1995, Inventing The Abbotts (1997) earned him more critical kudos and introduced him to his future fiancée Liv Tyler. Since then, he pops up almost once of twice a year on the big screen with highlights being U Turn, Quills, Signs and Hotel Rwanda. The Grammy winner and music video director has been nominated for an Oscar three times (Gladiator (2001), Walk The Line (2006) and The Master (2013). In 2010, he made headlines by declaring he was retiring from acting to pursue rap and for a bizarre appearance on Letterman, which turned out to be a hoax his brother-in-law Casey Affleck was filming for a mockumentary called I'm Still Here.