Keanu Reeves (born September 2, 1964) is a Canadian
Hollywood actor and musician (bassist). He is perhaps best known for his
roles in comedies like Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, as well as in
several successful action films, including Speed and The Matrix film
trilogy. He was also a member of a grunge band, Dogstar, during the
Keanu Reeves was born in Beirut, Lebanon to Samuel Nowlin Reeves, Jr., an American
geologist, and Patricia Taylor, an English showgirl and costume designer who was
working in Beirut when she met Reeves' father at a local nightclub.
Keanu Reeves's paternal grandfather, Samuel Nowlin Reeves, was born in Hawaii to Charles Armistead Reeves, a Tennessee-born Irish American, and Rose Lokalia Miguel, who was of Portuguese and Hawaiian descent. His paternal grandmother, Sarah M. Victor, was of part Chinese descent. The name "Keanu" means "cool breeze over the mountains" in Hawaiian. Reeves was named after his uncle Henry Keanu Reeves, and the name is a short form of the name of Reeves' great-great uncle Keaweaheulu.
When Keanu first arrived in Hollywood, his agent thought his first name was too exotic, so during the early days of his film career he is sometimes credited as K.C. Reeves, Norman Kreeves or Chuck Spadina
Keanu Reeves has a sister, Kim (born 1966 in Beirut, Lebanon), a half-sister named Karina Miller (born 1976 in Toronto, Canada) and another half-sister named Emma Rose Reeves (born 1980 in Hawaii). Kim Reeves is a devoted horse breeder, as well as an actress. She presently lives in Anacapri, in the north of the island of Capri.
Keanu Reeves's parents divorced in 1966; his mother, along with him, left for New York City in 1969, where she met and subsequently married Paul Aaron, a Broadway and Hollywood director. The couple, who divorced in 1971, moved to Toronto, Canada, where Keanu grew up. Reeves' mother was later married to Robert Miller (between 1976 and 1980, and from whom he has a half-sister, Karina) and Jack Bond. Reeves grew up in Toronto, and as such he has dual Canadian and British citizenship. He worked at a pasta shop, sharpened skates at an ice rink, and was voted MVP on his high school ice hockey team. Within a span of five years, Reeves attended four different high schools in total, including a performing-arts school from which he was expelled. Reeves began his acting career at the age of 15, appearing in a stage production at a local Jewish community center. After leaving the Catholic boys' high school where he played hockey, he attended a free school which allowed him to obtain an education while working as an actor. He later dropped out, never obtaining his high school diploma.
Reeves made his screen acting debut in Canada, in a 1979 CBC production, Hanging In. Throughout the early 1980s, he appeared in commercials (including one for Coca-Cola), short films and stage work in Toronto. His first studio movie appearance was in the Rob Lowe hockey flick Youngblood which was filmed in Canada. In it he played a Hockey goalie. Shortly after the movie release Keanu got a green card and drove from Toronto to Los Angeles in his 1969 Volvo. His Ex-Step father Paul Aaron who was a stage and tv director gave Keanu a place to stay and got him a manager - Erwin Stoff and agent before he even arrived in LA.
After a few minor roles gained the notice of the critics in 1986's River's Edge, a teenage drama which received positive reviews. Following the film's success, he spent the late 1980s appearing in a number of movies aimed at teenage audiences, including Permanent Record, a dark film about teenage suicide, and the successful 1989 comedy, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, which typecast Reeves somewhat during the next few years, as much of his subsequent portrayal in the press has been influenced by his portrayal of the comically airheaded character, "Ted". Keanu was originally offered the role of Pvt. Chris Taylor in Platoon (1986). Keanu turned it down because he didn't like the violence involved and the role went to Charlie Sheen.
During the early 1990s, Reeves appeared in both high-budget action films like Point Break and lower-budget independent films, including the well-received 1991 film, My Own Private Idaho, and the critically-hated 1994 film, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues. In 1994, Reeves also starred in the action film Speed, which was a commercial success and raised his profile, leading to his casting in films like Johnny Mnemonic and Chain Reaction, both of which failed at the box office.
Hitting a low in his career, Keanu then did the unthinkable and turned down the role of Jack Tavern in the Speed sequel. He was reportedly offered $11 million dollars for the sequel but opted instead to star in the horror/drama The Devil's Advocate with Al Pacino and Charlize Theron. Reeves deferred his salary for The Devil's Advocate so Al Pacino would be cast, and did the same for The Replacements, guaranteeing the casting of Gene Hackman.
His 1999 science fiction hit, The Matrix, re-established him as a Hollywood leading man, after a few years of films that received only moderate box office and mixed critical reception.
In between the first Matrix film and its sequels, Keanu Reeves appeared in several films that received mostly negative reviews and average box office grosses, including The Watcher, Sweet November and Hardball. However, the two "Matrix" sequels, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, as well as the 2005 horror-action film, Constantine, proved to be box office successes, and brought Reeves back into the public spotlight.
On January 31, 2005, Keanu Reeves received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Keanu accompanied Sandra Bullock to the 2006 Academy Awards. It caused a great deal of controversy because Bullock is married to bike builder Jesse James. However it was only a publicity stunt because Bullock and Reeves have a movie rolling out that same year.
In December 1999, Reeves' girlfriend, Jennifer Syme, gave birth to a stillborn daughter who was named "Ava Archer Syme Reeves". In April 2001, Syme was killed in an automobile accident. She was buried next to their daughter in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, California. Reeves dated actress Carrie-Anne Moss during the filming of The Matrix.
Keanu likes to ride motorcycles. He coined the term "demon ride" to describe how he often rides with no headlights at night. On one of his demon rides in 1988 he crashed near Topanga Canyon. He broke several ribs and ruptured his spleen. He has had an abdominal scar ever since. When the paramedics came to get him, an emergency medical technician trainee picked up one end of the stretcher ... then dropped it by mistake!
For nearly a decade following his initial rise to stardom, Keanu has lived a vagabond existence, living in hotels, opting not to buy a house or finding a permanent place of residence despite earning millions.
Keanu Reeves has lived in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles since 2003, but also has an apartment in New York City. He does not officially belong to any religion, although he has a Christian background and is interested in Buddhism.
Keanu Reeves is fond of chess, motorcycles, ice hockey, and ping-pong. He is left-handed, but plays the bass guitar right-handed and loves punk rock bands such as The Ramones, The S-- Pistols, and The Clash. In a 1992 New Year's Eve party show, Reeves filled in on bass for The Vandals, while bassist Joe Escalante was at a wedding.
He began playing bass with the rock band Dogstar, which has now gone "into hibernation". More recently, he played bass in a band called Becky with former Dogstar drummer Rob Mailhouse, guitarist Paulie Costa and singer Rebecca Lord. In early 2005, he announced that he is leaving the band and his musical career for good.
Reeves is reported to be very generous with his time and money, lending both to a variety of causes. He took a significant amount of the profits from his Matrix series and treated the twelve stuntmen who worked on the films to motorcycles, among other things.
Keanu never reconnected with his estranged biological father, who served time in prison; paroled after serving two years of a 10 year sentence for selling heroin at Hilo Airport in 1992.
Keanu has a tendency to work with the same actress more than once. He worked with Charlize Theron in the The Devil's Advocate and Sweet November. With Uma Thurman in Dangerous Liaisons and Even Cowgirls get the Blues . With Winona Ryder in Bram Stoker's Dracula and A Scanner Darkly, With Sandra Bullock in Speed and the Lake House and with Rachel Weisz in Chain Reaction and Constantine.
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