Before They Were Stars: 11-Year Old Joaquin Phoenix on “Alfred Hitchcock Presents”

It’s become a fun tradition here at The Back Row for me to do “Before They Were Stars” features on the Academy Award nominees shortly after they’ve been announced. Considering his well-publicized bouts of batshit insanity a few years ago, I don’t think many people thought Joaquin Phoenix would get near an Academy Award ever again, but the guy made quite a comeback by earning a “Best Actor” nod for his performance in The Master. As you probably know, Joaquin used to go under his birth name, Leaf Phoenix, during his time as a child actor in the 1980s. Here he is at age 11 in a 1986 episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents as a bitter rich kid who tries to blackmail a hitman into murdering his father.

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