Actor. Born September 2, 1964, in Beirut, Lebanon. Reevesâ€™ British mother, Patricia, reportedly met his father, Samuel Reeves, a geologist of Hawaiian-Chinese descent (the name Keanu means â€ścool breeze over the mountainsâ€ť in Hawaiian), while working in a Beirut nightclub as a performer. After their brief marriage ended, Patricia moved with Keanu and his younger sister, Kim, to New York City, where she married Paul Aaron, a stage and film producer and director. The family relocated to Toronto, Canada, around 1970.
A somewhat lackadaisical student, the adolescent Reeves turned instead to his twin passions, drama and ice hockey. At age 14, he began seriously pursuing a career in acting, appearing in bit parts in Canadian television series and commercials. He switched high schools four times, and dropped out for good in 1984. That same year, Reeves made his professional stage debut in a Toronto production of Wolfboy, a homoerotic drama that generated a good deal of buzz among local audiences and critics. Leaving local theater behind, Reeves made the long trip from Toronto to Los Angeles in order to make his bid for Hollywood success.
After eight months in L.A., Reeves landed his first starring role, in the disturbing drama Riverâ€™s Edge (1987), costarring Crispin Glover, Ione Skye, and Dennis Hopper. He earned critical praise for his understated performance as a teenager whose friend commits murder. The next year, Reeves appeared alongside John Malkovich, Glenn Close, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Uma Thurman in Dangerous Liaisons (1988), a well reviewed film adaptation of the controversial French play.
Almost simultaneously, he was shooting to stardom with his moronic but oddly winning turn as half of the dim-witted duo at the center of a very different film, the comedy Bill & Tedâ€™s Excellent Adventure (1989). Though the critics almost universally panned Reeves and the film, both proved to be extremely popular with audiencesâ€”a pattern that would replicate itself again and again as his career continued.
Reeves worked almost nonstop throughout the next few years, appearing in such diverse projects as the surfer action-drama Point Break (1991), costarring Patrick Swayze; Kenneth Branaghâ€™s star-studded film version of Shakespeareâ€™s Much Ado About Nothing (1993), with Branagh, Denzel Washington, and Emma Thompson; and Bram Stokerâ€™s Dracula (1992), directed by Francis Ford Coppola and costarring Gary Oldman and Winona Ryder. Though many of his films met with mediocre critical and commercial success, Reeves shone in such little-seen independent films as Riverâ€™s Edge and 1991â€™s My Own Private Idaho (costarring River Phoenix), enticing a number of talented directors, including Coppola and Bernardo Bertolucci, who directed Reeves as the title character in Little Buddha (1993).
Reevesâ€™ box office clout jumped a good deal in 1994, when he headlined the blockbuster hit Speed, also featuring Hopper and Sandra Bullock. With a newly muscular physique to fit the action-hero mold, Reeves propelled the film to a box office total of over $120 million.
He had less success with several of his later projects, including a big-budget science fiction bomb Johnny Mnemonic, the sentimental A Walk in the Clouds (both 1995), and the action dud Chain Reaction (1996). After turning down a $12 million offer to star in Speed 2 (which was released in 1997 to extreme critical derision), Reeves starred as an ambitious young lawyer who gets lured into a deal with the Devil (played by Al Pacino) in the horror thriller The Devilâ€™s Advocate (1997).
With The Matrix, an innovative sci-fi thriller and box office slam released in 1999, Reeves made a major career resurgence, garnering some of his best critical and commercial notices ever. One of the best-received films of the year, The Matrix (which costarred Laurence Fishburne) won a number of Academy Awards (all technical and visual), and brought Reeves straight back into the hearts of millions of fans. He will reprise his role as the computer hacker Neo in the 2003 sequel The Matrix: Reloaded.
In late summer 2000, Reeves starred opposite Gene Hackman in The Replacements, a film about a group of second-rate football players recruited to fill in during the 1987 National Football League strike. He ventured into darker territory later thay year, playing a serial killer in the suspenseful thriller The Watcher and an abusive husband in The Gift, costarring Cate Blanchett and Hilary Swank. In 2001, he starred in Sweet November with Charlize Theron, and Hardball, with Diane Lane.
Reeves has three projects lined up for 2003: The comic-book adaptation Constantine, the quirky indie Thumbsucker and Somethingâ€™s gotta give, a romantic comedy costarring Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton.
In addition to his acting career, Reeves played bass guitar in a band, Dogstar, which he formed in 1993 with Bret Domrose and Robert Mailhouse. They have released two full-length albums: Our Little Visionary (1997) and Happy Ending (2000). After the breakup of the band he was part of the band Becky with the former dogstar member Robert Mailhouse (the band also included Paulie Kosta and Rebecca Lord).
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Biography from biography.com