What do you think of this take? I had a better listen and I disagree with some of his points. This Manhattan channel, like so many others, seems to go over the top as a way of exhibiting the impotent rage of the author. Still there's enough truth that it's worth a listen.
Here's from River Phoenix's Wikipedia entry:
"Phoenix was born on August 23, 1970 in Madras, Oregon, the first child of Arlyn Dunetz and John Lee Bottom. Phoenix's parents named him after the river of life from the Hermann Hesse novel Siddhartha, and he received his middle name from the Beatles' song "Hey Jude". In an interview with People, Phoenix described his parents as "hippieish". His mother was born in the Bronx, New York to Jewish parents whose families had emigrated from Russia and Hungary. His father was a lapsed Catholic from Fontana, California, of English, German, and French ancestry. In 1968, Phoenix's mother left her family in New York City and travelled across the United States. While hitchhiking in northern California she met John Lee Bottom. They married on September 13, 1969, less than a year after meeting."
He wasn't repulsive looking and the vast majority would have never known his ethnicity was half Jewish.