Keanu Charles Reeves (born September 2, 1964) is a Canadian actor. He is best known for his portrayal of Neo in the action film trilogy The Matrix, Ted Logan in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure and Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey and Officer Jack Traven in Speed. Other notable roles include starring as Siddharta Gautama in Little Buddha; as Scott Favor in the drama My Own Private Idaho opposite River Phoenix; as Johnny Mnemonic in the sci-fi film Johnny Mnemonic opposite Dolph Lundgren; as Kevin Lomax in the supernatural thriller The Devil's Advocate opposite Al Pacino; the chevalier Danceny in Dangerous Liaisons; and starring roles in Speed, Chain Reaction, Constantine and the epic surf drama Point Break. He played bass guitar in the grunge band Dogstar during the 1990s, and more recently in the band Becky. In an ETonline survey in 2006, he was included in the "Top Ten of America's Favorite Stars". On January 31, 2005, Reeves received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Reeves has one full sister named Kim (born 1966 in Australia) who was diagnosed with leukemia in the early 1990s. Additionally, through his mother he has a half-sister named Karina Miller (born 1976 in Toronto) and through his father another half-sister named Emma Rose Reeves (born 1980 in Hawaii).
Reeves experienced an unstable childhood moving around the world frequently and living with numerous stepfathers. His parents divorced in 1966. His mother became a costume designer and moved the family to Australia and then to New York City. There she met and married Paul Aaron, a Broadway and Hollywood director. The couple moved to Toronto but divorced in 1971. Reeves' mother then married Robert Miller, a rock promoter, in 1976, but the couple divorced in 1980. Her fourth husband, Jack Bond, was a hairdresser. That marriage broke up in 1994. Grandparents and nannies babysat Reeves and his sisters.
Reeves grew up primarily in Toronto. Within a span of five years, he attended four different high schools, including the Etobicoke School of the Arts, from which he was later expelled. Half-jokingly, Reeves says that he was expelled "because I was greasy and running around a lot. I was just a little too rambunctious and shot my mouth off once too often. I was not generally the most well-oiled machine in the school. I was just getting in their way, I guess."
Reeves excelled more in hockey than in academics, as his educational development was challenged by dyslexia. He was a successful goalie at one of his high schools (De La Salle College "Oaklands"). His team nicknamed him "The Wall," and voted him MVP. Reeves says that he would dream of becoming an Olympic hockey player for Canada. After leaving De La Salle College, he attended a free school (Avondale Alternative), which allowed him to obtain an education while working as an actor; he later dropped out, never obtaining his high school diploma.
Reeves began his acting career at the age of nine. He appeared on stage at a production of Damn Yankees. At 15, he played Mercutio in a stage production of Romeo and Juliet at the Leah Posluns Theatre. Reeves made his screen acting debut in a CBC Television comedy series, Hangin' In. Throughout 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 Wolf Boy in Toronto.
Reeves' first studio movie appearance was in the Rob Lowe ice hockey film Youngblood, which was filmed in Canada. In it, he played a Quebecois goalie. Shortly after the movie's release, Reeves drove to Los Angeles in his 1969 Volvo. His ex-stepfather Paul Aaron, a stage and television director, had convinced Erwin Stoff to be Reeves' manager and agent before he even arrived in Los Angeles. Stoff has remained Reeves' manager, and has coproduced many of his films.
After a few minor roles, Reeves received a more sizable role in 1986's River's Edge. Following the film's success, he spent the late 1980s appearing in a number of movies aimed at teenage audiences, including Permanent Record, and the unexpectedly successful 1989 comedy, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, which, along with its 1991 sequel, Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, typecast Reeves as a sweet-natured buffoon. Much of his subsequent portrayal in the press and much of the response to his acting has been influenced by his portrayal of the airheaded Ted. Reeves has said that "I used to have nightmares that they would put 'He played Ted' on my tombstone".
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 also involved in various lower-budget independent films, including the well-received 1991 film, My Own Private Idaho with his close friend, River Phoenix.
In 1994, Reeves' career reached a new high as a result of his starring role in the action film Speed. His casting in the film was controversial since, except for Point Break, he was primarily known for comedies and indie dramas. He had never been the sole headliner on a film. The summer action film had a fairly large budget and was helmed by novice cinematographer-turned-director Jan de Bont. The unexpected international success of the film made Reeves and co-star Sandra Bullock into A-List stars.
Reeves' career choices after Speed were eclectic: despite his successes, Reeves has never stopped accepting supporting roles, and he has always been willing to support experimental efforts. He scored a hit with a romantic lead role in A Walk in the Clouds. He made news by refusing to take part in Speed 2: Cruise Control and choosing to play the title role in a Manitoba Theatre Centre production of Hamlet in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Reeves got surprisingly good reviews for his interpretation of one of Shakespeare's most famous characters. Roger Lewis, the Sunday Times critic, wrote that "He quite embodied the innocence, the splendid fury, the animal grace of the leaps and bounds, the emotional violence, that form the Prince of Denmark...He is one of the top three Hamlets I have seen, for a simple reason: he * is* Hamlet."
Reeves' other choices after A Walk in the Clouds, however, failed with critics and audiences. Big-budget films such as Johnny Mnemonic and Chain Reaction were critically panned and failed at the box office, while indie films like Feeling Minnesota were also critical failures.
Reeves started to climb out of his career low after starring in the horror/drama The Devil's Advocate alongside Al Pacino and Charlize Theron. Reeves deferred his salary for The Devil's Advocate so that Pacino would be cast, as he would do later for the less successful The Replacements, guaranteeing the casting of Gene Hackman. The Devil's Advocate did well at the box office, received good reviews, and proved that Reeves could play a grown-up with a career.
The 1999 science fiction hit, The Matrix, solidified Reeves's place as an international superstar. In between the first Matrix film and its sequels, Reeves received positive reviews for his portrayal of an abusive husband in The Gift. Aside from The Gift, Reeves appeared in several films that received mostly negative reviews and unimpressive box office grosses, including The Watcher, Sweet November and The Replacements. However, the two Matrix sequels, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, Something's Gotta Give, and the 2005 horror-action film, Constantine, proved to be box office successes and brought Reeves back into the public spotlight. His 2006 film, A Scanner Darkly, based on the science fiction novel by Philip K. Dick, received favorable reviews, and The Lake House, his romantic outing with Sandra Bullock, did well at the box office.
In regards to his citizenship, Reeves is a naturalized Canadian citizen who also holds American and British citizenship through the principle of Jus sanguinis. Regardless of his triple citizenship, Reeves maintains Canadian citizenship & passport and identifies himself as a Canadian.
Reeves has never been married. 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 a car accident. She was buried next to their daughter in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, California. Though these events happened soon after the release of the first Matrix movie, he has only once spoken about them publicly, saying that he doesn't believe that things happen "for a reason.
|1986||Babes in Toyland||Jack|
|1988||Permanent Record||Chris Townsend|
|The Prince of Pennsylvania||Rupert Marshetta|
|The Night Before||Winston Connelly|
|Dangerous Liaisons||Le Chevalier Raphael Danceny|
|1989||Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure||Ted "Theodore" Logan|
|1990||I Love You to Death||Marlon James|
|Tune in Tomorrow||Martin Loader|
|1991||Point Break||FBI Special Agent John 'Johnny' Utah|
|Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey||Ted "Theodore" Logan/Evil Ted|
|My Own Private Idaho||Scott Favor|
|1992||Bram Stoker's Dracula||Jonathan Harker|
|1993||Much Ado About Nothing||Don John|
|Little Buddha||Prince Siddhartha/Lord Buddha|
|Poetic Justice||Homeless Man (Uncredited)|
|Freaked||Ortiz the Dog Boy (Uncredited)|
|1994||Even Cowgirls Get the Blues||Julian Gitche|
|Speed||Officer Jack Traven|
|A Walk in the Clouds||Sgt. Paul Sutton|
|1996||Chain Reaction||Eddie Kasalivich|
|Feeling Minnesota||Jjaks Clayton|
|1997||The Last Time I Committed Suicide||Harry|
|The Devil's Advocate||Kevin Lomax|
|1999||The Matrix||Thomas Anderson/Neo|
|2000||The Replacements||Shane Falco|
|The Watcher||David Allen Griffin|
|The Gift||Donnie Barksdale|
|2001||Sweet November||Nelson Moss|
|2003||The Matrix Reloaded||Thomas Anderson/Neo|
|The Animatrix||Thomas Anderson/Neo|
|The Matrix Revolutions||Thomas Anderson/Neo|
|Something's Gotta Give||Dr. Julian Mercer|
|2006||The Lake House||Alex Wyler|
|A Scanner Darkly||Bob Arctor|
|2008||Street Kings||Detective Tom Ludlow|
|The Day the Earth Stood Still||Klaatu|
|2009||The Private Lives of Pippa Lee||Chris|