John Lee Bottom is Joaquin Phoenix’s Father, Meet Him

John Lee Bottom (born April 5, 1946; died 2015), popularly known as John Phoenix, is the father of Oscar-winning actor Joaquin Phoenix and late actor and singer River Phoenix.

Many are not familiar with the name John Lee Bottom, and this is because he is not a prominent figure. Read on to discover more about the late celebrity father.

Summary of John Lee Bottom’s Bio

  • Full Name: John Lee Bottom
  • Nickname: John Phoenix
  • Gender: Male
  • Date of Birth: April 5, 1946
  • Date of Death: 2015
  • Ethnicity: Mixed
  • Nationality: American
  • Zodiac Sign: Aries
  • Sexual Orientation: Straight
  • Religion: Christian
  • Marital Status: Divorced
  • John Lee Bottom’s Ex-Wife: Arlyn Phoenix
  • John Lee Bottom’s Children: River Phoenix, Joaquin Phoenix, Jodean Bottom, Rain Phoenix, Summer Phoenix, Liberty Phoenix
  • John Lee Bottom’s Parents: Robert Merrill Bottom and Beulah Ingram
  • John Lee Bottom’s Height in Inches: 5 feet 6 inches
  • John Lee Bottom’s Weight: 50 kg
  • Body Measurements in Inches: 36-28-34
  • Famous for: Being the father of Joaquin Phoenix and River Phoenix

John Lee Bottom was Born in California, United States

John Lee Bottom was born on the 5th of April 1947 to his parents, Robert Merrill Bottom and Beulah Ingram, in Stanislaus, California, in the United States of America. The celebrity father is an American by nationality and is of mixed ethnicity, with his zodiac sign being Aries.

Information on his family background is very sketchy because details such as his parent’s occupation and ethnicity are not available from any source. It is also not known if John Lee Bottom is an only child or if he has siblings whom he grew up with.

The celebrity father has not disclosed any information about his educational background but judging from his status, John was believed to have gotten a sound formal education from either a private or public school.

He Ran a Landscape Gardening Company and Belonged to a Religious Sect

When it comes to his career, not much detail is known. The celebrity dad is a very private person and has not disclosed much about his professional life. From the information gathered, he was the founder of a landscape and gardening company.

He later took up carpentry work when he relocated to Los Angeles, after which he became a construction worker. From there, he started his own construction company.

John Lee Bottom was also once a member of a religious group named “The Children of God”. He and his ex-wife Aryl had joined the group and traveled around as missionaries to different countries; little did they know that the group promoted sex among adults and minors as well as group sex until an ugly incident occurred.

John Lee Bottom’s first son River Pheonix was sexually assaulted at a very young age by a member of the group. Upon finding out, John and his wife quit the group and moved with their children to the United States of America.

John Lee Got Married to His Ex-wife Arlyn Phoenix in 1969

John Lee Bottom

John Lee Bottom was once married to Arlyn Phoenix. The couple had met each other for the first time in California, and after they had gotten acquainted with each other, they began a romantic relationship which lasted for a while before they took their relationship to the next level by getting married on September 13, 1969.

After their wedding, the duo traveled to different countries as missionaries, sharing the gospel of God in countries like Mexico, South America, and diverse parts of the United States of America.

Sadly in 1997, their marriage came to an end as the couple got divorced after staying married for 27 years. The reason for their divorce remains unknown as they both never disclosed reasons why they both called it quits on their marriage.

Before John Lee Bottom got married to his ex-wife Arlyn, he once dated a lady named Trinity, and their relationship produced a daughter named Jodean Bottom. John Lee, in total, has six children born to him, one child from his affair with his ex-girlfriend, and the other five children were born to him by his ex-wife Arlyn Phoenix.

Moving on from their divorce, John’s ex-wife Arlyn later remarried a man named Jeffrey Weisberg in 2001, while John Lee never got remarried until his demise. It was never revealed if he later dated someone else after his divorce.

John Lee’s Son Joaquin Phoenix is a Popular American Actor

John Lee’s son Joaquin Phoenix – born on October 28, 1974 – is the third child of his father and is a famous actor who made his acting debut in the early 1980s television series titled Seven Brides and Seven Brothers. After that, he was featured in various TV shows such as The Fall Guy, Hill Street Blues, Backwards: The Riddle of Dyslexia, and many others.

John’s son, Joaquin, got his breakthrough in the movie industry in 1986 when he was called to play a supporting role as Max in the family adventure movie titled SpaceCamp.

As Joaquin started gaining popularity in the movie industry, he started getting more roles and was cast in the primetime drama titled Morning/Evening Star. He was also cast in the 1987 movie Russkies and also on an episode of Alfred Hitchcock’s “A Very Happy Ending.”

In the 1989 film directed by Ron Howard titled Parenthood, Joaquin’s performance was top-notch. His portrayal of the character of Dianne West, the disobedient son, was on point, and this brought about more fame for the actor as many began to pick interest in him and his acting skills.

John Lee’s son also played the role of Commodus in the historical film titled Gladiator. His performance was exceptional such that he got lots of praise from viewers and was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 2000.

In 2020, Joaquin Phoenix received an Oscar Award for his role in the movie titled Joker produced in 2020.

Meet John Lee Bottom Other Children

River Phoenix

River Jude Phoenix is the eldest of the children born to John Lee Bottom and his wife, Arlyn Phoenix. He was born on August 23rd, 1970, in Madras, Oregon. A musician and an actor – just like his brother, Joaquin Phoenix, River has performed on different stages and has also featured in various films such as Family Ties, Stand by me, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and many others.

River Phoenix died at the age of 23 after he was shot outside a nightclub, but many believe he died due to a drug overdose.

Jodean Bottom

Born on the 29th of February 1964, in Amadora, Portugal, Jodean Bottom is the daughter born to John Lee Bottom from his past relationship before he got married to Arlyn. Jodean is also an actress and is best known for her role in movies such as Dark Blood, Indiana Jones, The Last Crusade, and many others.

Jodean is the only one bearing the name “Bottom,” unlike her half-siblings, who all bear the name “Phoenix.”

Rain Phoenix

Rainbow Phoenix was born in 1972, and she is the first daughter and second child born to John Lee and his wife, Arlyn Phoenix. Not much is known about her career, as she keeps her life private.

Liberty Phoenix

Liberty Phoenix is the second daughter of John Lee and his wife, Arlyn, and she was born on July 5th, 1976, in Caracas, Venezuela. She is also an actress, just like her brothers, and has been featured in movies such as Kate’s Secret, Plenty of Extra, and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. She was later said to have quit acting in pursuit of other dreams.

Summer Phoenix

Summer Phoenix is a model, fashion designer, and the youngest of the children born to John Lee Bottom. She was born on December 10th, 1978, in Winter Park, Florida. She also took after the footsteps of her brothers as she is also into acting and has been featured in various movies such as Suzie Gold, Dinner Rush, Plenty of Extra, and The Believer.

John Lee Bottom Died of Cancer at the Age of 68

John Lee Bottom died at the age of 68. The celebrity dad was diagnosed with cancer which he battled for some years until his demise in 2015. He was never active on social media as he liked to keep his personal life private and away from the interference of the public and the media.

Hugo Wright
Hugo Wright
Hugo has extensive professional writing experience and has been writing and editing articles on multiple platforms for several years now. Away from work, he is a football addict who loves to catch up on his favourite pastimes.


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