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Graduation: For two decades, we've watched Phoenix grow from a boy called Leaf who held his own in Parenthood into a 21-year-old who watched his older brother, River, die from a drug overdose and yet managed to make charismatic contributions to a variety of films. In 2000, Phoenix branched into the big time with a trio of successful movies: Gladiator, The Yards, and Quills. The National Board of Reviewers recently awarded the blue-eyed man-boy with Best Supporting Actor honors for his portrayals in those films — simpering emperor Commodus, career criminal Willie Gutierrez, and earnest, conflicted Abbé de Coulmier, respectively.

Relationship Status: Phoenix has emerged from the ashes of his three-year coupling with Liv Tyler. The two starred in the 1997 romantic drama Inventing the Abbotts.

Did You Know ...?: Phoenix doesn't want ladies to be frightened off by his unique moniker (pronounced "Wah-KEEN" and meaning "one who is prepared" in Spanish). "When I go out … I don't force them to try to pronounce my first name," Phoenix told US magazine. "I tell them I like to go by the nickname 'Kitten.'"

See You Next Year: Phoenix will lend his brooding looks and smoldering presence to the historical crime flick Buffalo Soldiers, which reveals the drug culture among U.S. Army men stationed at the Berlin Wall in 1989. The engaging Ms. Anna Paquin plays Phoenix's love interest.

Voted Most Likely To: Thank brother River in his first Oscar acceptance speech.

Five-Year Reunion: Phoenix causes amazed audiences to howl with laughter at Woody Allen's final comedy.

25-Year Reunion: Blows his own horn … his trumpet, that is, which he's been playing off and on since the '90s. His long-awaited solo album, Just Joaquin Around, is released to critical raves.