Joaquin Rafael Phoenix (formerly credited as Leaf Phoenix), is a Puerto Rican-American actor, music video director, producer, musician, and social activist, who is well known for his roles as Commodus in the 2000 epic historical drama film, Gladiator, which earned him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor nomination. He also earned an Academy Award for Best Actor nomination for his roles as Johnny Cash in Walk the Line (2005), Freddie Quell in The Master (2012), and Arthur Fleck/Joker in Joker (2019), the 3rd which he won.
For Disney, he voiced Kenai in the 2003 Disney animated feature film, Brother Bear, and portrayed Merrill Hess in the 2002 Touchstone Pictures film, Signs, Jack Morrison in Ladder 49, and Lucias Hunt in The Village.
He is the younger brother of the late actor River Phoenix and actress Rain Phoenix and older brother of actresses Summer Phoenix and Liberty Phoenix.
- Phoenix was considered to play Syndrome in The Incredibles before Jason Lee was chosen.
- Phoenix was replaced by Patrick Dempsey for playing Kenai in the sequel to Brother Bear due to Phoenix having scheduling conflicts. Both Phoenix and Dempsey share Kenai as their only voice acting role to date.
- Contrary to popular belief, the scar on his upper lip is not the result of a repaired cleft lip or palate. It's simply a birthmark. Phoenix has stated in interviews that when his mother was pregnant with him, she felt a sharp pain one day, and he was born with a mark on his lip.
- He was considered for the role as Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. However, Ewan McGregor was cast at the end.