Great actor but stupid enough to take speedballs from a stranger in a nightclub toilet.
Darwin was right.
It wasn't a stranger, it was a friend.
I know River wanted the role in Basketball Diaries... and I too heard about James Cameron thinking of River for Titanic.
River is my favourite actor, but Leo' is outstanding too. You can tell Leo looked upto River. He said he saw him the night he died and wanted to meet him but it never happened. I think they would have been good together in a movie or two. They always seem to be compared to each other, so them playing brothers wouldn't be too far off.
If River lived I do think Leonardo would have had a career still... but if River took Titanic... it would have meant Leonardo would probably need a few more major movie roles to live upto the fame and celebrity him taking Titanic gave him... Titanic pretty much made Leo a household name, so he might not be as popular but I do think he would still be a respected actor, because he has the talent.
River was already a well known actor before he died, Stand By Me is a cult classic and he was nominated for an Oscar for Running on Empty. Leonardo too had some great roles while River was living. This Boy's Life, Gilbert Grape... so it's not fair to say River's death gave Leo a career. Especially since Leo looked upto River.
But really, if River lived, I don't know if he would have taken Titanic... River was into his music, and who knows if he would have continued doing major pictures in the mid 90s. His father wanted him to take a break before he died... and River wanted to get away from Hollywood too, he said to his dad just one more movie for now (Dark Blood) or something like that.
He probably would have taken a break for a couple of years, focused on his music, animal charities, a few independent movies, and then perhaps a major picture in 1996 or something. Also... he was into directing, he was getting into that. :