Keanu Reeves is a well-known actor, musician, director, and producer of Canadian origin. Over the years, he has acted in a wide variety of genres, e.g. drama, sci-fi, action-thrillers, and comedies. He is best known for his work in The Matrix trilogy, The Devil’s Advocate, and Constantine, among others. Keanu is known for his honest and humble character in Hollywood and he has been one of the highest-ranking stars in the industry for the past few decades. Cheers to the Black Sheep of the Year – Keanu Reeves
Keanu Reeves was born on September 2, 1964 in Beirut, Lebanon. His father, Samuel, is a Portuguese/Hawaiian descent and his mother, Patricia Bond, has Irish and English roots. Samuel had no higher education. He was an unconventional man and was in jail for selling heroin. About three years after Keanu’s birth, he abandoned his family.
After this mishap, the Reeves family relocated to Sydney and later moved to New York, where Patricia, who was a showgirl, turned to costume design and married Paul Aaron – a Broadway director. Afterwards, the family settled in Toronto, a place which Keanu refers to be his homeland.
Within five years, Keanu attended four high schools for education. One of them was an acting school from which he was eventually expelled. He then went to a Catholic school for boys and after this, he enrolled in a public school and started playing hockey. He was called “the wall” by his teammates because he was a great goaltender. However, he soon dropped out of that school too and didn’t get a GED.
The reason Keanu couldn’t really study was that he struggled in most of his classes because of his dyslexia. His perception of written and oral information was distorted and he struggled with reading and writing. Despite this, he used to play chess at a decent level. After he relocated to his then-girlfriend Pam, Keanu started working part-time at three different places simultaneously.
The first acting role Keanu Reeves got was in a local theater play called “Wolfboy”. Because of the feature’s “homosexual motifs”, the play was heavily criticized. Keanu made his first TV appearance in 1983 in a Coca-Cola ad and also debuted the same year in an episode of “Hangin’ In” – a teen series. His first film role was in the movie “Youngblood” in 1986. After this film’s release, the actor got his Green Card and relocated to Los Angeles.
Keanu’s work in “River’s Edge” in 1986 got good reviews but the actor got his big break in 1994 when he was casted for the blockbuster film “Speed”. This movie made him a big-budget action star. Afterwards, the actor continued to take on experimental roles and accepted offers for supporting roles as well.
Throughout the late 90s, Keanu did several films, including “A Walk in the Clouds”, “Feeling Minnesota”, and more. However, all these films didn’t do as well as “Speed”. In 1997, the actor regained his fame with “The Devil’s Advocate” and with “The Matrix” in 1999, he became an international star as his character “Neo” instantly became a massive hit with the film critics as well as the audience. Thanks to the success of the movie, sequels were created. Overall, the Matrix trilogy did wonders for his career.
In between completing “The Matrix” trilogy, Keanu did films like “Sweet November”, “The Watcher”, and “The Gift”. However, none of these films could really leave a mark in the Hollywood industry. Keanu Reeves is globally recognized for his iconic movies like “The Matrix” and its sequels, “The Devil’s Advocate”, “Constantine”, “Bill and Ted” films, and “John Wick” and its sequels.
Awards and Achievements
Keanu’s professional career has seen him earn more than 90 award nominations over the years. He has won many awards and achievements, including 4 MTV Movie Awards, Bambi Award for Best International Actor, a Csapnivalo Award, and a Blockbuster Entertainment Award. His continuing success in the industry also earned him a ‘star’ on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Keanu Reeves’ Tragedies and Setbacks
The personal life of Keanu Reeves has been quite tragic. At his early age, his father walked out on his family. In school, his studies were a huge challenge due to his struggles with dyslexia. In 1993, River Phoenix, who was his best friend, died of a drug overdose at the age of 23. Five years after Phoenix’s death, Keanu met Jennifer Syme and they both fell in love with each other. One year later, they were eager to welcome a child and when the time came, she was born lifeless. The grief of losing her strained the couple’s relationship and they eventually broke up later. Unfortunately, the tragedy didn’t end there. About a year and a half later, Syme died in a car accident, leaving Keanu devastated.
In addition to the tragedies in his personal life, Keanu Reeves also had several setbacks in his career. After the movie “Speed”, his acting career didn’t progress as expected. When he was offered the role of Jack Traven in the sequel of the film, he turned it down. In between “The Matrix” and its sequels, he appeared in many movies that received average box office grosses and even negative reviews. However, the Matrix sequels, i.e. “The Matrix Reloaded” and “The Matrix Revolutions”, as well as ‘Constantine’ that was released in 2005, were all box office hits, and restored Keanu’s international fame.
Philanthropy and Humanitarian Efforts
Keanu Reeves is known to be very generous with his money and time, which he lent to a wide range of causes. It has been reported that he gave about $80 million of his earnings from “The Matrix” sequels to the makeup and special effects staff. He has also been secretly donating millions of dollars to help fund children’s hospitals and cancer research. He set up a cancer charity and deliberately chose not to attach his name to the organization. Over the years, the actor has also supported Stand Up to Cancer, the SickKids Foundation, and PETA.
Black Sheep of the Year – Keanu Reeves is a well-established actor who continues to contribute to the Hollywood industry through his tireless passion for acting and his amazing roles. And he is not just a terrific actor, he is also a caring, vulnerable, and considerate person who deserves the spotlight he gets. We hope you enjoyed our Black Sheep of the Year – Keanu Reeves – “Till Next Time”– The Black Sheep