MOVIES

Actors Who Only Made It To Hollywood Because Of Their Parents’ Sacrifices

The journey that the Phoenix children — including actors River, Joaquin, Rain, Summer, and Liberty Phoenix — took to get to Hollywood was far more treacherous than most. In fact, it involved literally having to escape from a dangerous cult. Their parents, Arlyn Phoenix and John Lee Bottom, realized that Venezuela-based religious group The Children of God was no longer the right place for them and their children, and they fled the group’s compound in 1977. The family had to ride a freight ship as stowaways in order to get from Venezuela to the U.S., and it was during that trip that Joaquin celebrated his third birthday.

Even though they were already struggling in their new life in Florida, Arlyn and John Lee could tell that their children — particularly River and Rain — were natural-born performers. So they scraped together every dime they could to relocate the family to Los Angeles and give the kids their best shot at stardom. River, Rain, and Joaquin would busk on the streets to help support the family, and River and Joaquin soon both began to book acting gigs. 

In just a few short years, River was one of the hottest young actors in Hollywood, although his life would be tragically cut short. As for Joaquin, he went on to become one of the most acclaimed actors of his generation with four Oscar nominations and counting, including his 2020 win for “Joker.” 

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