Leonardo DiCaprio has lost his opportunity to introduce himself to his hero River Phoenix whom he met hours before the 'Stand by Me' actor died.
Leonardo DiCaprio regrets failing to introduce himself to River Phoenix at a Halloween party - because just hours after their chance encounter the young actor lost his life outside a Los Angeles nightclub. DiCaprio was at the beginning of his Hollywood career when he spied his longtime hero Phoenix at a party on October 31, 1993.
The "Titanic" star, who was 18 at the time, was desperate to corner his idol for a chat but didn't have time to approach Phoenix before he left the party. And DiCaprio will always remember the missed opportunity, because 23-year-old Phoenix collapsed and died from a drug overdose outside the Viper Room just hours later.
He tells Esquire magazine, "When I was eighteen, River Phoenix was far and away my hero. Think of all those early great performances - 'My Own Private Idaho', 'Stand by Me'. I always wanted to meet him."
"One night, I was at this Halloween party, and he passed me. He was beyond pale - he looked white. Before I got a chance to say hello, he was gone, driving off to the Viper Room, where he fell over and died."