Part of the acting family that also includes River, Joaquin, Liberty, and Summer, Rain Phoenix has pursued a varied career as both an actor and a musician. Born in Crocket, TX, on March 31, 1973, she began performing at the age of three, when she and her older brother, River, sang and played the guitar for money on the streets.
Phoenix got her professional acting start in gigs on such TV shows as Family Ties and Amazing Stories, and in 1987 made her film debut in the Ally Sheedy comedy Maid to Order. Around this time Phoenix and River formed the band Aleka's Attic and continued to perform together until the latter's untimely death in 1993.
While she continued to lend her musical talents to such bands as R.E.M. and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Phoenix popped up in a variety of films, with one of her most prominent roles in Gus Van Sant's amazingly ill-fated Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (1993), which cast her as the lusty cowgirl Bonanza Jellybean opposite Uma Thurman's equally lusty hitchhiker Sissy Hankshaw. Phoenix again collaborated with Van Sant in To Die For (1995).
Phoenix continued to work onscreen intermittently throughout the 1990s, and in 2001 had one of her more prominent roles to date as Julia Stiles' best friend in O, Tim Blake Nelson's prep school adaptation of Shakespeare's Othello. That same year, the actor shared the screen with Jacqueline Bisset, Martha Plimpton, and Amy Madigan in The Sleepy Time Gal, a drama about family secrets and identity.