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Meet John Lee Bottom, Joaquin Phoenix’s Father

John Lee Bottom was the founder of a landscape gardening company, and Arlyn “Heart” Bottom (née Dunetz), who was an executive secretary at NBC and whose connection to an agent provided her children with acting work. Moreover, John Lee Bottom is best known as the father of Joaquin Phoenix, who is an American actor. Known for playing dark and unconventional characters in independent films, he has received various accolades, including an Academy Award, a British Academy Film Award, a Grammy Award, and two Golden Globe Awards. In 2020, The New York Times named him one of the greatest actors of the 21st century.

John Lee Bottom, Joaquin Phoenix’s Father

John Lee Bottom was best known as the father of Joaquin Phoenix, one of Hollywood’s most successful actors. The family moved to Puerto Rico in the 1970s, where Bottom worked as a landscaper. In 1976, they relocated to Los Angeles, where Bottom took up carpentry work. He later became a construction worker and eventually started his own construction company.

Bottom has been credited with helping to nurture his son Joaquin’s talent and drive. Joaquin has said that his father “opened my eyes to the possibilities that existed outside of our normal lives.” Bottom currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife. The couple have been married for over 50 years.

John Lee Bottom Age

How old is John Lee Bottom? His exact date of birth is not known. He is in his 80s. He holds American nationality and belongs to mixed ethnicity. In fact, he was of Catholic from Fontana, California and was of English, German and French ancestry. His maternal grandfather, Meyer Dunetz, was Russian Jewish and his maternal grandmother, Margit Lefkowitz, was Hungarian Jewish; they were both Ashkenazi Jews who resided in New York City. Phoenix’s parents met when his mother was hitchhiking in California and got married less than a year after meeting.


Joaquin Phoenix Career Explored

Joaquin Phoenix began his career by appearing in television series in the early 1980s. In 2012, he starred in the psychological drama The Master. In 1984, Phoenix starred as his brother River’s foil in the ABC Afterschool Special Backwards: The Riddle of Dyslexia, for which they won a nod for Best Young Actor in a Family Film Made for Television from the 6th Youth in Film Awards.


He made his cinematic debut in the adventure film SpaceCamp (1986), where he played a young boy who goes to Kennedy Space Center to learn about the NASA space program and is put through amateur astronaut training. In the same year, he played a kid who blackmails a hitman into murdering his father in Alfred Hitchcock Presents’ “A Very Happy Ending.” Phoenix’s first starring part was in the Cold War drama Russkies (1987), about a group of friends who unwittingly befriend a Russian soldier during the Cold War.



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