Dear Gossips,

What’s your Halloween association? For The Social recently we were asked to share our Halloween memories, like favourite costumes etc. I can’t remember any of my old costumes. I don’t have any photos of them either. When I think of Halloween, I don’t actually think of dressing up. It’s River Phoenix who comes to mind.

Last night I read an article in USA Today that touched on how it would be different if River had lived in the time of the internet. It was a such a shock what happened, partly because it happened – his lifestyle – without the public knowing about it. Without even many of his close friends and family knowing about it. River’s image at the time was totally wholesome. People live double lives all the time in Hollywood, then and still now. But River’s secrets were especially well concealed. Until they weren’t, in just one night.

Naomi Foner (mother of Jake Gyllenhaal) who wrote Running On Empty, for which River was nominated for an Oscar, gave an interview in 1993 after that night.

“It isn’t an accident that young actors like Corey Feldman and River Phoenix and Drew Barrymore and all these kids have struggled with some kind of drug problem. It's what we do with our kids, when we make them movie stars. Very few of them survive.”

The next question is the tricky part: What else would River have done? And how else would we have known him? Also…why River in particular, still?

I’m too stupid to explain it. But Andrew Romano at The Daily Beast hits on something in his article today, observing that River was an era, he was so essentially the 90s, like grunge and Reality Bites, embodying all that is “teenagerish: the angst, the drama, the volume. For some cosmic reason, the age itself was adolescent, in the best possible way—and so was its iconic movie star”.

Yours in gossip,