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Joaquin Phoenix, Rooney Mara welcome first child, says filmmaker

Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara reportedly have named

Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara reportedly have named their son River, after the actor's late brother. Credit: Getty Images for The Art of Elysium / Rich Polk

"Joker" Academy Award winner Joaquin Phoenix and his fiancee, two-time Oscar nominee Rooney Mara, have welcomed their first child, according to the documentary filmmaker behind Phoenix's most recent project.

"He just got baby, by the way," Russian documentarian Viktor Kossakovsky, 59, said on a video shot during a presentation of his film "Gunda" at the Zurich Film Festival in Switzerland, at which he spoke Saturday and Sunday. Phoenix is an executive producer of the production, which follows the ultimately doomed life of a sow, Gunda, on a Norwegian farm. "His name was — beautiful son called River," Kossakovsky said haltingly.

The name appears to honor Phoenix's late brother, the rising star River Phoenix, who died Oct. 31, 1993, at age 23 from what the Los Angeles County coroner's office determined was "acute multiple drug intoxication" involving cocaine and morphine. River Phoenix's films had included "Running on Empty" (1988), "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" (1989), "My Own Private Idaho" (1991) and "Sneakers" (1992).

Neither Mara, 35, nor Joaquin Phoenix, 45, both highly private, have any evident social media accounts, and have not publicly confirmed Kossakovsky's statement.

Multiple media outlets said in July 2019 that they had confirmed Phoenix and Mara's betrothal, following reports that the actress had been seen the previous month wearing an apparent engagement ring.

Mara had appeared with Phoenix in the 2013 film "Her" and the two became a couple three years later during production on the movie "Mary Magdalene," released in 2018. The couple made their red-carpet debut at the Cannes Film Festival, in May 2017. Phoenix revealed to The New York Times Style Magazine around that time that the couple lived together in Los Angeles' Hollywood Hills neighborhood.

He told Vanity Fair in its November 2019 issue that Mara was "the only girl I ever looked up on the internet," adding, "We were just friends, email friends. I'd never done that. Never looked up a girl online." Rooney Mara, a scion of longtime New York Giants owners the Mara family, also starred with Phoenix in director Gus Van Sant's "Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot" (2018), and the two were among the narrators of the animal-agriculture documentary "Dominion" (2018).

Prior to "Joker," directed by the Huntington-raised Todd Phillips, Phoenix had received Oscar nominations for "Gladiator" (2000), "Walk the Line" (2005) and "The Master" (2012).

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