John Lee Bottom

Many of us, the modern youth, and adults, know about the Oscar-winning actor Joaquin Phoenix. However, after so many years, we still do not know much about his family. So, here, we will be discussing the father of the well-established Phoenix family, John Lee Bottom. Without any further ado, let’s get started.

John Lee Bottom’s Bio

John Lee Bottom


John Lee Bottom, also known as John Phoenix, was born in 1947, to Beulah Ernstine Ingram and Robert Merril Bottom. His birthplace was Fontana, California and he was brought up there as well.

However, his childhood was quite erratic. He belonged to a poor family and, thus, had to suffer from hunger. Moreover, the neighborhood was not good enough either. It had also contributed to affecting his childhood.

Due to living such a stressful life, John Lee Bottom decided to give up on education and began working. He was good with his hands. Thus, he decided to become a gardener. Nevertheless, due to his restlessness, he could not work in that department for long.

So, instead of sticking with it, he went out and hit the road. He became a directionless traveler and tried to visit almost any and every location he could get to. Nonetheless, the whole thing turned out to be an utter blessing for him.

During such a trip to nowhere, he met his future wife-to-be, Miss Arlyn Dunetz, who was hitchhiking near California state at the time. During such a time, the two, who made a perfect couple, met and decided that they would go on the journey of life together.

They got married in September 1969, less than twelve months after meeting each other. Right after getting together, they decided to travel together to the West Coast, while picking vegetables and fruits along the road.

Their first child was born in 1970 and was named River Jude. They had their first daughter, Rain, soon after River, in 1972. And, since then, the other members of the family followed one by one. After having their first daughter, they had also joined a religious group called The Children of God and went on a tour to Puerto Rico and Mexico.

They had left the group in 1977, after the birth of their youngest kid, Summer. According to John Lee Bottom, the group had become disillusioned recently and, thus, offered nothing of interest any longer.

Life after Marriage

The wedding between John Lee Bottom and Arlyn was unplanned. Therefore, it almost came to naught when they got away from the troupe. However, they had a proper plan to deal with it after they left, and so got married.

John and Arlyn decided to enter their kids into the world of entertainment in California. However, there was no way they could get into this without any achievement or skill. So, the kids began performing in front of the people on the street.

Moreover, John also began his own gardening company and tried to get as much revenue as possible to feed the kids.

It, in turn, increased their overall confidence, massively, and helped them in honing their acting skills. His wife was not sitting around either. She decided to take a job at NBC and soon found excellent agents for each of her children.

River, the eldest Phoenix son, already became a hit due to his remarkable talent and excellent appearance. He began to rise during the 1980s, especially due to his charismatic performance in the movies and acts he had participated in.

So, everything was going according to the plan of the Phoenix family. However, things were not looking good for John Lee Bottom at all. He constantly felt like he was being mostly ignored by his wife, as well as his children.

For example, he did not want River to get into the movie “A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reordan.” However, his plea was directly overruled by his wife. According to River, John was happy that his sons were doing so well in the business.

However, he was worried that Hollywood might affect the mentality of his children. He thought that they would become much more materialistic and forget all the views that the family previously held. He also wanted them to move onto a farm and live closer to the earth.

Nonetheless, it did not happen as he wanted. So, in 1993, John became quite vocal about the whole thing. He decided to persuade his children and opened a vegan restaurant. Besides, the eldest son, River, had agreed to it as well.

Nevertheless, he still had two movies to complete. So, he asked his father to wait for him. However, River did not return. Thus, the dream of John having all his family together had broken down severely.

In 1997, John decided to get divorced from his wife through mutual consent. And, after that, he began to stay out of the limelight and began working as a carpenter to keep on going.

However, he died of cancer in 2015. He was only 68 years old during that period. Since the beginning, John Lee Bottom had led a tragic life and he passed away like that as well!

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