Earned Academy Award nominations for his portrayals of the evil Commodus in Gladiator, country star Johnny Cash in Walk the Line and Freddie Quell in The Master. He also delivered memorable performances in Her and Inherent Vice. He is the brother of the late actor River Phoenix.
As a child actor, he and his siblings were featured on a variety of commercials and television shows. He and his siblings provided for the family by performing on the street and playing musical instruments.
After filming Two Lovers, he formulated a hoax that he was giving up acting to pursue a career as a rapper, then he returned to screens in the 2012 film The Master.
His siblings are River, Rain, Liberty and Summer Phoenix. His mother Arlyn Phoenix named him Leaf Phoenix. His father John identified himself as a lapsed Catholic. He began dating Rooney Mara late in 2016. He was previously in relationships with Liv Tyler, Topaz Page-Green and Allie Teilz.
He starred opposite Reese Witherspoon in the film Walk the Line.