The Life of Keanu Reeves

Life of a Hollywood star is not as easy as it seems and we can assume the same looking and learning from Keanu Reeves.

An actor that is praised for being one of the most humble human beings in the movie industry, Keanu’s film journey started early

.At the tender age of 9, Keanu started his acting journey but for him, his breakthrough came in 1986 after appearing in a drama film River’s Edge.

However, getting there wasn’t an easy job for Reeves, for his life is filled with so many turmoils. One might wonder how he remains calm and humble albeit he went through a lot in life.

Let’s take a look at the journey and the life of Keanu Reeves.

Early Life.

Keanu Charles Reeves was born on September 2, 1964, in Beirut, Lebanon. He is a Canadian-American actor and musician.

His mother, Patricia Taylor was a performer and a costume designer.

His biological father Samuel Nowlin Reeves, Jr. was a geologist.

Keanu’s father was was of Native Hawaiian, Chinese, British, and Portuguese descent. Whereas his mother was originally from England.

At the age of 3, Keanu’s father abandoned him and his mother. The two met when Reeve’s mother was working in Beirut.

Keanu’s name actually means “cool breeze over the mountain” in Hawaiian.

After his parents got divorced he did a lot of moving around with his mother. They shifted to Sydney where his mother worked as a costume designer.

They again moved to New York after his mother gave birth to his sister Kim Reeves.

His mother married a second time in New York with director Paul Aaron and they moved to Toronto, Canada. Thus, this is how he got his Canadian citizenship.

Only after a year, his mother got divorced with her director husband. And in 1976, she got married to a rock promoter Robert Miller for the third time.

His mother gave birth to his second half-sister Karina but soon after got divorced with her third husband.

In 1994, Reeve’s mother got married for the fourth time to Jack Bond, a hairdresser.

Keanu went to four different high schools due to the constant moving around. And he and his sisters were mostly raised by their grandparents and babysitters.

Keanu Reeves was dyslexic as a child and struggled with academics all his life. He even got expelled from one of the schools he attended.

While academics weren’t his forte, Keanu had a keen interest in ice-hockey and theatre.

However, he dropped out of college at 17 and moved to L.A. to pursue his acting career.


Keanu began acting at the age of nine when he appeared in a theatre production of Damn Yankees.

He played Mercutio in a stage production of Romeo and Juliet at the age of 15.

However, his screen debut was appearing in an episode of Hangin’ In.

Before becoming a megastar, Keanu appeared in a number of commercials including a Coca-Cola ad, short films, and stage works.

But Reeve’s career had a breakthrough after appearing in critically acclaimed 1986 drama River’s Edge. However, his breakout role was in

1991 with the movie Parenthood.

Reeve’s career reached a new height after he starred in the 1994 action film Speed opposite Sandra Bullock.

Despite major success, he continued playing supporting roles and appearing in experimental films.

He bagged another hit after appearing in the romantic film A Walk in the Clouds.

However, he shunned the whole industry after rejecting to be a part of Speed 2: Cruise Control. What was more surprising than the sequel was the paycheck of $11 million.

But, he happily turned it down so he could tour with his alternative rock band Dogstar, for whom he played the bass guitar.

After a few years of what you can call bad luck in the film industry, Keanu Reeves made a comeback scoring a lead role in the sci-fi-action movie The Matrix.

It became both commercially and critically successful.

He went ahead to give hits after hits with films like The Gift, The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolution, Something’s Gotta Give, Constantine, John Wick, etc.

Reeves received a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2005.

Personal Life.

Keanu Reeves has always tried keeping away from the media. However, there are a few things that he couldn’t avoid.

His harsh childhood and his battle with dyslexia is something he has never shied away from.

Apart from that, he had to go through a lot even after achieving fame.

The first form of a tragedy he experienced as a successful actor was when his friend and co-star River Phoenix passed away of a drug overdose in 1993.

In 2000 his longtime girlfriend, actress, and product assistant Jennifer Syme gave birth to their daughter.

However, the tragedy was that the baby that they planned to name Ava Archer Syme-Reeves was stillborn.

After the tragedy, the two decided to part ways, however, both remained good friends.

Until 2001 when his estranged girlfriend was tragically killed in a car accident.

He has been linked to a number of people ever since, however, hasn’t really had a long term relationship with anyone.

Why everyone loves Keanu Reeves.

As mentioned earlier, Keanu Reeves is one of the most humble and loved Hollywood actors.

The reason behind this has to mostly do with this giving nature.

He willingly turned down $11 million paycheck, which could’ve been the highest for him just so he could tour with his band.

Keanu set up a cancer charity but decided not to attach his name to the foundation.

He gave $80 million of his $114 million earnings from The Matrix Trilogy to the special effects and makeup. This was denied by the special effects team because his share actually went to the total budget despite him giving up for the special effects team.

He took a $1 million pay cut from The Devil’s Advocate just so the producers could cast Al Pacino in the film.

He also took a 90% pay cut from The Replacements to guarantee the casting of Gene Hackman.

“Money is the last thing I think about. I could live on what I have already made for the next few centuries.” – Keanu Reeves.

About the author


Talks to self, more than others. Watches "the Office" all night and quotes Michael Scott all day.
"I am Beyoncé, always."