Dicaprio 'Horrified' By Ledger And Phoenix Deaths

LEONARDO DiCAPRIO has never been tempted to dabble in drugs after growing up on a heroin-riddled neighbourhood - and was left horrified when fellow actors HEATH LEDGER and RIVER PHOENIX died from overdoses.
The Titanic star was brought up by his mother in a Los Angeles suburb that was rife with drugs and prostitution.
And being exposed to substance abuse from an early age put DiCaprio off ever experimenting for himself.
He says, "I knew drugs were bad, even as a little kid. Seeing the effects that drugs had on my block, seeing heroin addicts, it made me think twice about ever getting involved in drugs.
"I was so horrified by what I saw drugs do to people that I never wanted anything to do with them. It's evil. Once you take that step and experiment, drugs take over your life. You are not yourself any more. That's something I never wanted."
And he cites the 1993 death of Phoenix from a heroin and cocaine overdose - and last year's (08) passing of Ledger from an accidental overdose of prescription drugs - as lasting reasons to steer clear of narcotics.
He adds, "Then, when I was a young actor, I saw other actors die of drugs. I watched what happened to River Phoenix, who was such an influence on me as a young actor.
"Now Heath Ledger has died young. It is such a horrifying thought to know that those guys aren't around any more. Every person has demons. We all have horrible fears and insecurities that we need to overcome."


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Tags: Leonardo Dicaprio - Heath Ledger - River Phoenix


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Comments

Anon A. Mouse's picture

Anon A. Mouse

Both losses are terribly tragic and unnecessary. But Heath's passing and River's were nothing alike. Overdose, is a legal term, but Heath did not pass of a real "overdose", as people think of overdose. His was a cumulative combination of meds that mixed badly. River flat out OD's on heroin. _____ The Heath I knew was not only kind, gentle and generous, but clean, sober, and focused. He was also thoughtful and genuine, honest, strong, and so brilliant it could be intimidating. He was so humble that he didn't realize his brilliance outshown everyone else in the room and left them speechless. His enthusiasm was contagious and could make things happen. He really paid attention and engaged you, and was self-effacing and comfortable. ______ At the end of December 2007, from Perth he was calling friends all over the world to send his New Year's wishes. He was preparing to go from that sunny haven with beaches back to a freezing London to shoot Parnassus. He was happy, content, and excited about what he was doing. _____I wish there were something we could to reach those who still do not understand. I have come to expect web-bloggers and commenters and the public to buy into the idea that Heath was troubled, but it was media created for sensationalism. It's even more upsetting to those of us who are still morning, when some other actors make comments based on those assumptions. Having experienced how privately actors guard their business and how the press speculates when they are not given all the information, DiCaprio, a fellow actor, should know better. _____So for DiCaprio and others, yet again: Heath was completely sober, clean, and was not depressed. Heath was full of love and excitement, not only for his life and work, but for people and humanity. He was an amazing actor, but he was a d*mn good man. ______DiCaprio definitely did not know Heath or he would have known that Heath's passing and River's overdose were nothing similar.
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Anon A. Mouse's picture

Anon A. Mouse

Both losses are terribly tragic and unnecessary. But Heath's passing and River's were nothing alike. Overdose, is a legal term, but Heath did not pass of a real "overdose", as people think of overdose. His was a cumulative combination of meds that mixed badly. River flat out OD's on heroin. _____ The Heath I knew was not only kind, gentle and generous, but clean, sober, and focused. He was also thoughtful and genuine, honest, strong, and so brilliant it could be intimidating. He was so humble that he didn't realize his brilliance outshown everyone else in the room and left them speechless. His enthusiasm was contagious and could make things happen. He really paid attention and engaged you, and was self-effacing and comfortable. ______ At the end of December 2007, from Perth he was calling friends all over the world to send his New Year's wishes. He was preparing to go from that sunny haven with beaches back to a freezing London to shoot Parnassus. He was happy, content, and excited about what he was doing. _____I wish there were something we could to reach those who still do not understand. I have come to expect web-bloggers and commenters and the public to buy into the idea that Heath was troubled, but it was media created for sensationalism. It's even more upsetting to those of us who are still morning, when some other actors make comments based on those assumptions. Having experienced how privately actors guard their business and how the press speculates when they are not given all the information, DiCaprio, a fellow actor, should know better. _____So for DiCaprio and others, yet again: Heath was completely sober, clean, and was not depressed. Heath was full of love and excitement, not only for his life and work, but for people and humanity. He was an amazing actor, but he was a d*mn good man. ______DiCaprio definitely did not know Heath or he would have known that Heath's passing and River's overdose were nothing similar. River's loss was horrifying, and Heath's was tragic. But please don't think of Heath in the same category. Heath does not fall into the distructive troubled actor category.
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Georgie's picture

Georgie

I have come across your comments on Heath Ledger before and I have to say that your loyalty and love for Heath shines through in every word you write. I did not know Heath but it is easy to see that he was kind, unaffected and talented. Indeed, I sometimes see Heath in dreams and only wish I had the opportunity to meet him. Alas, that will not happen. It is important that there are people out there like you who defend Heath. Too many people assume that he was a junkie, or troubled, or 'tragic', which was not the case.Thanks for your continued support for this great person.
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