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Wil Wheaton: 'I feel guilt for River Phoenix's death'

Wil Wheaton in 'The Big Bang Theory'


Wil Wheaton has admitted that he feels "a little bit of guilt" over the death of his Stand By Me co-star River Phoenix.

Phoenix died of a drug overdose at the age of 23 in 1993 outside the Viper Room nightclub in Hollywood.

Wheaton told ShortList: "Around the time River died I hadn't talked to him for years, so I carry a little bit of guilt.

"But we do what we can and enough time has elapsed now that when I watch [Stand By Me], I recall, with tremendous fondness, the experiences we had shooting it. But honestly, mostly I just enjoy the story."

The 1986 film's director Rob Reiner added: "It's so sad. Every time I see that scene when he disappears at the end of the movie, it's chilling.

"I never thought River was going to be the one who would struggle - he was a good kid and he was so talented. He would've been [like] Johnny Depp or Leonardo DiCaprio. It was such a tragic loss."

> Leonardo DiCaprio: 'River Phoenix was my hero'
> Ledger, Phoenix warned DiCaprio off drugs

Watch the Stand By Me trailer below:

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