Keanu Reeves

Keanu Reeves

Keanu: at first the name seemed a liability but it became a magnet. As he nudged into the public eye, magazine profiles endlessly supplied handy pronunciation guides (Kee-AH-noo) and explained that it was Hawaiian for " a cool breeze over the mountains" .

Keanu Charles Reeves was born on September 2nd, 1964 in Beirut, Lebanon, to Samuel Nowlin Reeves (half-Hawaiian, half-Chinese) and Patricia Taylor (English). His first sister, Kim, was born in 1966. A second (half) sister, Karina, was born in 1976.

After their divorce, Patricia and Samuel went their own ways: Patricia and the two kids went to New York City, and Samuel to Hawaii. Samuel was sentenced in 1994 to ten years in prison for drug possession. He was paroled in mid-1996.

In New York, Patricia met and married director Paul Aaron. They moved to Toronto, and took up Canadian citizenship (which Keanu still retains), but split up less than a year later.

Patricia switched partners a few times more and also moved that often.

Keanu described himself as a 'middle-class white boy. A bourgeois, middle-class white boy with an absent father, a strong-willed mother, and two beautiful younger sisters.'

Keanu attended Jesse Ketchum Public School in Toronto from kindergarten through the eighth grade, and attended four high schools before dropping out completely at the age of 17.

Then there was some stage work as well (most notably - and notoriously - Wolfboy in 1984, his stage debut) and some bit parts on TV. His motion picture debut was in Dream To Believe in Canada but it was the 1986 TV movie Under the Influence that brought him his breakthrough.

Keanu's first big feature film debut in a US film was in Young Blood in which he had a small part to play.

Keanu hit the road for Hollywood in 1986 with $3,000, an old Volvo, and his stepfather Paul Aaron's address. A few changes of his name followed as 'Keanu' was considered by his manager to be too exotic. They settled on K.C. Reeves, but it was short-lived. It was Keanu, and the name remained.

Keanu soon landed River's Edge, arguably one of his best roles ever. A string of movies followed as the troubled teen. His parts continued to grow, and then he started attracting the eye of more mainstream directors. He landed films like Dangerous Liaisons, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Much Ado About Nothing, and Little Buddha.

With Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure he became a sexsymbol which was embarrassing for him.

In "Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter" he had his first action scenes. He learned surfing for the film, which is now one of his favourite hobbies. 

But it was 1994's Speed that really made everyone stand up and notice. Perhaps not so much for Keanu's acting, but the fact that this was his first mega-hit, grossing nearly $300 million at the box office world-wide. Keanu was soon reportedly being offered sums up to $7 million for his services.

With Johnny Mnemonic and A Walk in the Clouds already in the can, those offers were put on hold or turned down so that Keanu could return to Canada and fulfill a dream of playing the title role in Hamlet on stage. Reviews were mixed, but in general reviewers were kind.

More films followed: Feeling Minnesota, Chain Reaction and The Last Time I Committed Suicide.

He learned playing the bass himself and set up the band "Dogstar" together with his acting colleague Robert Mailhouse who was the drummer, Bret Domrose who played the guitar and Gregg Miller who sang.

Over the years "Dogstar" were producing two CDs: "Quattro Fromaggi" and "Our Little Visionary".

Keanu was then offered to play in the sequel to Speed, entitled Speed II. But he felt the script was not good and he turned it down. Everyone accused Keanu of making a horrible mistake; and that he should have done the role. 20th Century Fox, not wishing to disclose the real reason Keanu turned it down (bad script), gave out a press release saying that Keanu turned it down so he could tour with his band, Dogstar. In fact, that was not true. Keanu was offered a better script (Devil's Advocate) and he filmed that at the same time the disastrous Speed II was filmed. Devil's Advocate was a big hit and Speed II was a flop. Suddenly critics said how smart Keanu was for not doing Speed II.

Then it was off to Australia to film The Matrix. Noone knew what to expect from this, and when it opened in the spring of 1999 it was a huge blockbuster. With this film he made $150 million on the first day and that brought Keanu back front and catapulted him into the top ranks of money earners with an asking salary of $20 million per picture. In the summer of 1999 Keanu filmed The Replacements, and finished out the year with Driven. Both of those pictures are due to be released in the year 2000.

There are many more projects lining up for Keanu's attention, not the least of which is a commitment to do two sequels to The Matrix.

According to the latest reports he and his lifetime companion, Jennifer Syme, are expecting a baby.

I personally don't know, why I like this acter, but he has an interesting live and so I decided to choose him for a speech.

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