Top headlines :

Home celebrity John Lee Bottom - Joaquin Phoenix's Father Who Was Once in a Cult

John Lee Bottom - Joaquin Phoenix's Father Who Was Once in a Cult

chand Published On Mon Aug 30 2021   Modified On Mon Aug 30 2021
John Lee Bottom - Joaquin Phoenix's Father Who Was Once in a Cult

John Lee Bottom aka John Phoenix was a member of the cult called 'The Children's of God' and he also had worked as a gardener and Carpenter.

John Lee was also known as the father of Joaquin Pheonix and late actor and singer River Phoenix. There is so much for you to find about John Lee Bottom, so keep scrolling! 

Who is John Bottom?

John Phoenix was born in 1947 to his father Robert Merill Bottom and his mother Beulah Ernestine Ingram. He was born and raised up in Fontana, California.

John Lee Bottom.
John Lee Bottom.
Source: Instagram/@joaquinlphoenix



He belonged to a poor family because of which his childhood wasn't very merry. His family could hardly afford food to eat, so he decided to give up his studies and started working. 

How he met his wife?

John Lee Bottom met his wife Arlyn Sharon Dunetz while hitchhiking as a directionless traveler in California. His trip turned out to be a blessing for him as he met the love of his life and had so many lovely children.

John Lee Bottom's wife Arlyn Sharon Dunetz.
Source: Instagram/@joaquinlphoenix


John Lee Bottom married Arlyn Dunetz in Sep 1969. They dated a little and got married in less than a year of meeting each other.


After a year of marriage with Arlyn, John was blessed with their first child River Jude. In 1972 the second child arrived whom they named Rain. Then Joaquin Phoenix (1974), Liberty Phoenix (1976), and Summer Phoenix (1978) were born. 

He also had a daughter named Jodean Bottom who was born in 1964 to a woman named Trinity. Lee Bottom didn't know he had a daughter with Trinity, but when he discovered Jodean he took all the responsibility as a father. 

John Lee Bottom with his wife and children ( Summer, River, Rain, Liberty, Joaquin).
Source: Instagram/@joaquinlphoenix


In 1997 after almost 3 decades together they decided to part their ways and divorced with mutual consent.
After their divorce in 2001, Arlyn married Jefferey Weisberg who was a producer.

Death of his firstborn child.

In 1993 at the age of 23, John's son River Phoenix died because of a drug overdose. He had a great career as an actor and musician, but he couldn't get out of his addiction and he died at a young age.

River Phoenix in his blonde hair.
River Phoenix in his blonde hair.
Source: Instagram/@riverphoenixarchive.

His Son is a Grammy-winning actor.

Lee Bottoms's son Joaquin Phoenix is one of the most talented actors in Hollywood who has genuine acting skills. Joaquin has won awards like Grammy, Golden Globe Award, Academy Awards. In 2020 he was even listed on the list of 25 Greatest Actors of the 21st Century by The New York Times.

Joaquin Phoenix in a Black Tuxedo.
Joaquin Phoenix in a Black Tuxedo.
Source: Instagram/@joaquinlphoenix


Lee Bottom worked as a gardener before meeting his former wife, and later he became a member with her wife in a cult called 'The Children of God'. While they were in the cult their eldest son River was sexually assaulted by a member of the cult.

When John found out that in the cult children were abused by adults for their own physical desires they left the cult and settled in Winterpark, Florida. Then Lee Bottom worked as Carpenter for many years before dying.

Changed his last name to Phoenix

After getting out of the cult, the Bottom family changed their surname after a bird named 'Phoenix' a mythical bird that rises from its own ashes which symbolizes a new beginning.


In the '70s estimated net worth of John Lee Bottom was $105k. As a carpenter, his earned income was enough for his family to live and eat. 

How and When did he die?

Lee Bottom suffered from Cancer for many years. Later on, in 2005, he died, at the age of 68.

To know more about your fav celebs visit Glamourbreak.