Keanu Charles Reeves, born September 2, 1964, is a Canadian actor, director, producer and musician. He gained fame for his starring role performances in several blockbuster movies, including comedies from the Bill and Ted franchise; action thrillers Point Break, Speed and the John Wick franchise. Take a look below for 30 more fun and interesting facts about Keanu Reeves.
1. Reeves has earned critical acclaim for his acting. One New York Times critic praised his versatility, saying that he, “displays considerable discipline and range… he moves easily between the buttoned-down demeanor that suits a police procedural story and the loose-jointed manner of his comic roles.”
2. He is a musician and played bass guitar for the bands Dogstar and Becky.
3. Acting onstage, he performed as Prince Hamlet for the Manitoba Theater Center’s production of Hamlet.
4. He wrote the text for a picture book, Ode to Happiness, illustrated by Alexandra Grant.
5. Reeves produced a documentary, Side by Side, and directed the martial arts movie Man of Tai Chi.
6. Reeves was born in Beirut, the son of Patricia, a costume designer and performer, and Samuel Nowlin Reeves, Jr.
7. His mother is English and comes from Essex. His father, an American from Hawaii, is of Chinese, English, Irish, Native Hawaiian, and Portuguese descent.
8. He has spoken of his English ancestry, mentioning watching comedy shows such as The Two Ronnies during his childhood, and how his mother imparted English manners that he has maintained into adulthood.
9. Reeve’s father earned his GED while imprisoned in Hawaii for selling heroin at Hilo International Airport.
10. His father abandoned his wife and family when Reeves was three years old, but Reeves knew him until he was six years old.
11. Reeves moved around the world frequently as a child, and lived with various stepfathers.
12. 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.
13. When Reeves was 15 years old, he worked as a production assistant on Aaron’s movies.
14. After Aaron, Reeve’s mother married Robert Miller, a rock music promoter, in 1976. They divorced in 1980. She subsequently married her fourth husband, a hairdresser named Jack Bond. They divorced in 1994.
15. Grandparents and nannies babysat Reeves and his sisters, and Reeves grew up primarily in the wealthy Yorkville neighborhood of Toronto.
16. Within five years, Reeves attended four high schools, including the Etobicoke School of the Arts, from which he was expelled. Reeves said that he was expelled because he was, “just a little too rambunctious and shot [his] mouth off once too often.”
17. He excelled more in sports than in academics, as his educational development was challenged by dyslexia.
18. 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.
19. 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 later dropped out and didn’t obtain a high school diploma.
20. He owns at least two Norton Commando motorcycles, whose engines were available in both 750cc and 850cc capacities, the high-compression version being the Combat Commando.
21. He’s named after his uncle Henry Keanu Reeves. Keanu is a derivation of Reeves’ great-great-uncle Keaweaheulu, whose name means “the soft breeze raising” in Hawaiian.
22. Reeves was a manager of a pasta shop in Toronto, Ontario.
23. Reeves got his abdominal scar from a motorcycle wreck in Topanga Canyon. He was on a “demon ride”, meaning no headlights at night, when he crashed into the side of a mountain. He was hospitalized for a week with broken ribs and a ruptured spleen. When the paramedics came to get him, an emergency medical technician trainee picked up one end of the stretcher then dropped it by mistake.
24. In November 1999, the baby girl he was expecting with girlfriend Jennifer Syme was stillborn, just a few weeks shy of the actual delivery date. They had planned to name her Ava Archer Syme-Reeves.
25. His estranged girlfriend Jennifer Syme was killed when her Jeep Cherokee careened onto the wrong side of a Los Angeles road near Highway 101 and smashed into three parked cars. The force of the crash flipped the car over and she was thrown through the windshield. She was killed instantly.
26. He took a 90% pay cut on his salary on The Replacements so that Gene Hackman could be cast. Previously, he had deferred $2 million of his salary so that Al Pacino could be cast on The Devil’s Advocate.
27. Reeves learned over 200 martial arts moves for The Matrix Reloaded.
28. He is very good friends with his Bill & Ted co-star, Alex Winter and has remained in contact with him. Keanu has also contributed cameo appearances and helped with a number of Winter’s movie projects.
29. He has recently left the band Becky with former Dogstar bandmate Robert Mailhouse, due to scheduling conflicts.
30. When Reeves first arrived in Hollywood, his agent thought his first name was too exotic, so during the early days of his film career he’s sometimes credited as K.C. Reeves, Norman Kreeves or Chuck Spadina.