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Leonardo DiCaprio Remembers Seeing River Phoenix Before He Died: "He Disappeared in Front of My Very Eyes"

Leonardo DiCaprio remembers seeing River Phoenix before he died
May 7, 2020 - 10:17 / Sarah Schulz

River Phoenix who starred in Stand By Me, died in 1993 at just 23 years old in front of the famous Los Angeles landmark, The Viper Room. Leonardo DiCaprio was one of the last people in Hollywood to see the late River Phoenix... 

Leonardo DiCaprio has recently opened up to Esquire Magazine about one of the most "ominous and sad" experiences he has had in the entertainment industry, according to People Magazine.

RELATED: These celebrities have had a near death experience

"I grew up revering River Phoenix as the great actor of my generation, and all I ever wanted was to have just an opportunity to shake his hand," DiCaprio told Esquire

Leonardo DiCaprio at the Japan premiere of Once Upon A Time.. in Hollywood, Tokyo, 2019

River Phoenix died outside The Viper Room

DiCaprio described the night that Phoenix died where he saw him from a distance at a party in Silver Lake. He saw him go up some stairs and then people got in the way and he was gone. That didn't stop Leonardo from going after his idol to at least shake his hand. "I walked back up the stairs and back down, and I was like 'Where did he go?' And he was... on his way to The Viper Room," DiCaprio explained according to People.

READ MORE: Through The Years With The 'Stand By Me' Cast 

It was there that the actor died of a drug overdose, in front of The Viper Room. Being so close to River Phoenix before his death really shook Leonardo DiCaprio. "It was almost as if - I don't know how to describe it, but it's this existential thing where I felt like... he disappeared in front of my very eyes, and the tragedy that I felt afterward of having lost this great influence for me and all of my friends," DiCaprio stated. 

Leonardo DiCaprio's Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood was a big success

Leonardo DiCaprio recently starred in Quentin Tarantino's movie Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood alongside Brad Pitt and Margot RobbieThe film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last year and won two Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor and Best Production Design!

River's brother Joaquin Phoenix had a phenomenal awards season for his role in Joker. He made sure to pay tribute to his late brother in his acceptance speech for Best Actor at the 2020 Oscars.