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Keanu Reeves
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Reeves at the Deauville American Film Festival, 2015
Born
Keanu Charles Reeves

September 2, 1964 (1964-09-02) (age 55)
Beirut, Lebanon
Citizenship Canadian
Occupation Actor, director, producer, musician
Years active 1984–present
Partner(s) Jennifer Syme (1998–2000)
Children 1 (deceased)

Keanu Charles Reeves (born September 2, 1964) is a Canadian, though born in Lebanon to an English mother and American father. Reeves grew up in Canada, identifies as Canadian, and is Canadian by naturalization. He is an actor, director, producer, and musician. He gained fame for his starring role performances in several blockbuster films, including comedies from the Bill and Ted franchise (1989–1991); action thrillers Point Break (1991), Speed (1994), and the John Wick franchise (2014–2019); and science fiction/action series The Matrix (1999–2003). He has also appeared in dramatic films, such as Dangerous Liaisons (1988) and Little Buddha (1993), as well as the romantic horror Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992).

Reeves has earned critical acclaim for his acting. One New York Times critic praised Reeves' versatility, saying that he displays considerable discipline and range. However, Reeves has spent much of his later career being typecast. A recurring character arc in many roles he has portrayed is one of saving the world, as can be seen in the characters of Ted Logan, Buddha, Neo, Johnny Mnemonic, and Klaatu.

His acting has garnered several awards, including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2005.

During his film career, Reeves has engaged in several forms of artistic expression. He is a musician and played bass guitar for the bands Dogstar and Becky. Acting onstage, he performed as Prince Hamlet for the Manitoba Theatre Centre's production of Hamlet. He wrote the text for a picture book, Ode to Happiness, illustrated by Alexandra Grant. He has also produced a documentary, Side by Side, and directed the martial arts film Man of Tai Chi.

Early life

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Keanu in China March 2012

Keanu Charles Reeves was born in Beirut the son of Patricia (née Taylor), a costume designer and performer, and Samuel Nowlin Reeves, Jr. His mother is English and hails from Essex. His father, an American from Hawaii, is of Chinese-Hawaiian, English, Irish and Portuguese descent.

Reeves moved around the world frequently as a child. After his parents divorced in 1966, his mother became a costume designer and moved the family to Sydney, and then to New York City, where she married Paul Aaron, a Broadway and Hollywood director, in 1970. The couple moved to Toronto, Ontario, and divorced in 1971. When Reeves was 15, he worked as a production assistant on Aaron's films. Reeves' mother then married Robert Miller, a rock music promoter, in 1976; the couple divorced in 1980. She subsequently married her fourth husband, a hairdresser named Jack Bond. The marriage ended in 1994. Grandparents and nannies babysat Reeves and his sisters, and Reeves grew up primarily in the Yorkville neighbourhood of Toronto.

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Keanu Reeves in Mexico on promotion "The Day the Earth Stood Still" in 2008

Within five years, Reeves attended four high schools, including the Etobicoke School of the Arts, from which he was expelled. Reeves excelled more in sports than in academics, as his educational development was challenged by dyslexia. He was a successful ice hockey goalkeeper at De La Salle College, earning the nickname "The Wall". He dreamed of playing ice hockey for Canada, but an injury forced him to consider other career paths. After leaving De La Salle College, he attended Avondale Secondary Alternative School, which allowed him to obtain an education while working as an actor. He did not obtain a high school diploma.

Career

Reeves began his acting career at the age of nine, appearing in a theatre production of Damn Yankees. At 15, he played Mercutio in a stage production of Romeo and Juliet at the Leah Posluns Theatre. Reeves dropped out of high school when he was 17. He obtained a green card through his American stepfather and moved to Los Angeles three years later. He lived with his ex-stepfather, Paul Aaron, who was a stage and television director. Reeves made his screen acting debut in an episode of Hangin' In. In the early 1980s, he appeared in commercials (including one for Coca-Cola), short films including the NFB drama One Step Away and stage work such as Brad Fraser's cult hit Wolfboy in Toronto. In 1984, he was a correspondent for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation TV youth program Going Great.

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Keanu Reeves at the premiere of Man of Tai Chi, Toronto Film Festival 2013

His first studio movie appearance was Youngblood (1986) in which he played a Québécois goalie. Shortly after the movie's release, Reeves drove to Los Angeles in his 1969 Volvo. His stepfather had convinced Erwin Stoff in advance to be Reeves's manager and agent. Stoff has remained Reeves's manager, and has co-produced many of his films.

After a few minor roles, Reeves received a sizable role in the 1986 drama film River's Edge, which depicted how a murder affected a group of teens. Following this film's critical success, he spent the late 1980s appearing in a number of movies aimed at teenage audiences, including the lead roles in Permanent Record and the unexpectedly successful 1989 comedy, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, along with its 1991 sequel, Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey. The same year he had a breakout role in the movie Parenthood.

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Keanu Reeves on the set of Exposed 2014

During the early 1990s, Reeves started to break out of his teen-film period. He appeared in high-budget action films like Point Break, for which he won MTV's "Most Desirable Male" award in 1992. He was involved in various lower-budget independent films, including the well-received 1991 film, My Own Private Idaho with River Phoenix. In 1994, Reeves's career reached a new high as a result of his starring role in the action film Speed.

The 1999 science fiction-action hit The Matrix, a film in which Reeves had a starring role, was a box office success, as were the following two Matrix sequels, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions.

In May 2018 "Bill and Ted 3" known as Bill and Ted Face the Music was officially confirmed.

Personal life

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Keanu Reeves at The Lake House London premiere 2006

Reeves is entitled to British citizenship through his English mother. He holds Canadian citizenship by naturalization. He holds an American green card. Reeves' biological father was born in the United States but Reeves required a green card because he was not eligible to claim automatic citizenship by birth abroad to one United States citizen.

While often described as a Buddhist or atheist, Reeves is non-religious and has occasionally expressed a belief in God or some other higher power. He has clarified that he has a lot of interest in and respect for Buddhism.

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Goodwood Festival Of Speed 2016

In 2010, an image of Reeves became an internet meme after photos of him, seemingly depressed while sitting on a park bench eating alone. The images were soon distributed via several blogs and news sites. These pictures led to the "Keanu is Sad" or "Sad Keanu" meme being spread on internet forums. An unofficial holiday was created when a Facebook fan page declared June 15 as "Cheer-up Keanu Day". On the first anniversary of "Cheer-up Keanu Day", Reeves was interviewed for an article in the British newspaper The Guardian.

Philanthropy and business

ARCH Motorcycle logo
ARCH Motorcycle logo

Reeves set up a cancer charity, choosing not to attach his name to the organization; he has also supported PETA, the SickKids Foundation and Stand Up to Cancer. In 2014, he said in an interview that his sister Kim had battled leukemia for more than a decade.

Reeves co-founded a production company, Company Films. The company helped produce Henry's Crime, a film in which Reeves stars. An avid motorcyclist, Reeves co-founded Arch Motorcycle Company, which builds and sells custom motorcycles.

Movie Gallery

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