Friday, July 17, 2009

Keanu Reevees Biography

Date of Birth
2 September 1964, Beirut, Lebanon

Birth Name
Keanu Charles Reeves
The Wall (due to his position in ice hockey)
The One

6' 1¼" (1.86 m)

Mini Biography

One of the most inscrutable actors to ever hit it big, Keanu Reeves has been by turns adored, reviled, and grudgingly respected by the movie-going public. As the controversy over his talent rages on, his career choices and paychecks show him inching toward A-list status. Reeves, whose first name means "cool breeze over the mountains" in Hawaiian, was born in Beirut, Lebanon in 1964. His mother, Patricia, was a showgirl; his father, Samuel Nowlin Reeves, a geologist. After their marriage dissolved, Keanu moved with his mother and younger sister Kim to New York City, then Toronto. Stepfather #1 was Paul Aaron, a stage and film director - he and Patricia divorced within a year, after which she went on to marry (and divorce) rock promoter Robert Miller and hair salon owner Jack Bond. Reeves never reconnected with his biological father, who is now in prison on charges of cocaine possession. In high school, Reeves was lukewarm toward academics but took a keen interest in ice hockey (as team goalie, he earned the nickname "The Wall") and drama. He eventually dropped out of school to pursue an acting career.

After a few stage gigs and a handful of made-for-TV movies, he scored a supporting role in the Rob Lowe hockey flick Youngblood (1986), which was filmed in Canada. Shortly after the production wrapped, Reeves packed his bags and headed for Hollywood. Reeves popped up on critics' radar with his performance in the dark adolescent drama River's Edge (1986), but his first popular success was the role of totally rad dude Ted Logan in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989). The wacky time-travel movie became something of a cultural phenomenon, and audiences would forever confuse Reeves's real-life persona with that of his doofy on-screen counterpart. Over the next few years, Reeves tried to shake the Ted stigma with a series of highbrow projects. He played a slumming rich boy opposite River Phoenix's narcoleptic male hustler in My Own Private Idaho (1991), an unlucky lawyer who stumbles into the vampire's lair in Dracula (1992), and Shakespearean party-pooper Don Jon in Much Ado About Nothing (1993).

In 1994, the understated actor became a big-budget action star with the release of Speed (1994/I). Its success heralded an era of five years in which Reeves would alternate between largely unwatched small films, like Feeling Minnesota (1996) and The Last Time I Committed Suicide (1997), and unwatched big films like Johnny Mnemonic (1995) and Chain Reaction (1996). After all this Reeves did the unthinkable and passed on the Speed sequel, but he struck box-office gold again a few years later with the Wachowski brothers' cyberadventure The Matrix (1999). Despite his deadpan delivery style and reputation as an oaf, Reeves continues to reel in choice roles and fat paychecks. Whatever he knows, he's not telling the public--his self-deprecating interview tactics and mysterious private life provide little insight into his artistry. As far as Reeves is concerned, it seems, he's just a regular guy who rides a motorcycle, plays in a band (Dogstar), and shows up every now and then for a movie shoot.
IMDb Mini Biography By: IMDb Editors


Chosen by "People" magazine as one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world. [1995]

Ranked #23 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list. [October 1997]

Arrested in Los Angeles; charged with drunk driving. [May 1993]

Loves ballroom dancing.

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.

Sister, Kim (born in Australia in 1966). Through his mother he has a half-sister named Karina Miller (born 1976 in Toronto). Through his father he has a half-sister named Emma Reeves (born 1980 in Hawaii).

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.

Stepson of film and stage director Paul Aaron.

Had job sharpening ice skates.

Was nicknamed "the wall" by high school hockey team De La Salle College "Oaklands".

Father left the family when Keanu was very young.

Was manager of a pasta shop in Toronto.

His father was a geologist who served time in prison. He was paroled after serving two years of a ten-year sentence for selling heroin at Hilo Airport in 1992.

His mother, Patricia Taylor, was a costume designer for rock stars such as Alice Cooper.

His name means "cool breeze over the mountains" in Hawaiian.

Dropped out of high school when he was 17 to become an actor.

Hobbies include horseback riding and surfing (both inspired from movie roles).

Was MVP on his high school hockey team, where he was a goalie.

Keanu got his abdominal scar from a motorcycle wreck in Topanga Canyon. He was on a "demon ride" (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! "It made me laugh, but I couldn't breathe!"

When trying out for the parts of Bill and Ted in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989), each actor was paired up with another. Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter were paired up, Reeves trying out for the part of Bill while Winter tried out for the part of Ted. They were cast opposite what they auditioned for.

His first name, Keanu, is pronounced "keh-ah-noo.".

Chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history (#17). [1995]

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.

His estranged girlfriend Jennifer Syme was killed when her Jeep Cherokee careered 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. [2 April 2001]

Maintains Canadian citizenship and passport.

Has appeared in three films whose title contains a US state: Feeling Minnesota (1996), My Own Private Idaho (1991) and The Prince of Pennsylvania (1988) and his character in Point Break (1991) was named John Utah.

Was set to reprise his role as Jack Traven in the sequel to Speed (1994/I)--Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997)--but dropped out.

Deferred part of his salary on The Replacements (2000) so Gene Hackman could be cast.

Keanu resides in Toronto, Canada where he grew up.

Learned over 200 martial arts moves for The Matrix Reloaded (2003).

Musically Keanu is currently playing (bass) in "Becky" - also featuring Robert Mailhouse (drums), Paulie Kosta (guitar) and Rebecca Lord (vocals).

Was originally offered the role of Pvt. Chris Taylor in Platoon (1986). Keanu turned it down and the role went to Charlie Sheen.

Was originally cast as Chris Shiherlis in Heat (1995) but later backed out of the project, and the part went to Val Kilmer.

He went to high school at North Toronto, where his drama teacher was Paul Robert.

Shares a birthday with actress Salma Hayek, heavyweight boxer Lennox Lewis and NFL Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson.

Frequently plays man either strapped or sitting in a chair while some type of procedure is performed on him. All three Matrix films, Johnny Mnemonic (1995), Feeling Minnesota (1996), Dracula (1992), Constantine (2005), A Scanner Darkly (2006), The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008).

Although left-handed, plays bass with his right.

31st January 2005: Honoured with a Star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame.

Read the script of Constantine (2005) while filming The Matrix Revolutions (2003).

His first theater work was with Shakespeare and Company in Lenox, Massachusetts in "The Tempest."

He learned to surf for his role in Point Break (1991)

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 film projects.

His best friend is his sister.

He has recently left the band "Becky" with former "Dogstar" band mate Robert Mailhouse, due to scheduling conflicts.

Auditioned for the Etobicoke School of the Arts in Etobicoke, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; but was rejected.

Replaced Val Kilmer as "Johnny Mnemonic" in Johnny Mnemonic (1995) when Kilmer left the project upon being offered the role of "Batman" in Batman Forever (1995). Ironically, Kilmer later replaced Reeves as "Chris Siherlis" in Heat (1995).

His best friend was actor River Phoenix. He is also friends with River's brother Joaquin Phoenix.

His parents married in Hawaii and divorced in 1966. His mother later remarried Paul Aaron (divorced in 1971) and Robert Miller (between 1976 and 1980).

The character of Jimbo Jones on "The Simpsons" (1989) is based on his character from Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989).

Lent one of his basses (a yellow Fender) to be used in the music video 100% by Sonic Youth to bassist Kim Gordon.

Chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history (#28). [2007].

Has played a former quarterback from The Ohio State University in two movies Point Break and The Replacements.

Turned down the role of Racer X in Speed Racer (2008). The part eventually went to Matthew Fox.

Joel Schumacher considered him for the role of The Scarecrow, Jonathan Crane, in the fifth Batman movie had Schumacher gone on to direct Batman 5. The failure of Batman & Robin (1997) prevented that from happening.

An avid fan of Formula 1 and IndyCar racing.

Personal Quotes

What would happen if you melted? You know, you never really hear this talked about much, but spontaneous combustion? It exists!...[people] burn from within...sometimes they'll be in a wooden chair and the chair won't burn, but there'll be nothing left of the person. Except sometimes his teeth. Or the heart. No one speaks about this, but its for real.

My name can't be THAT tough to pronounce!

When I don't feel free and can't do what I want I just react. I go against it.

[when told he'd have to "bite the bullet"] Yes, but I don't have to eat the whole rifle.

I'm a meathead, man. You've got smart people, and you've got dumb people. I just happen to be dumb.

I'm sorry my existence is not very noble or sublime.

[On being a star] It can still be very surreal. It's easy to become very self-critical when you're an actor. Then you get critiqued be the critics. Whether you agree with them or not, people are passing judgment on you.

[On drugs] I've had wonderful experiences. I mean really wonderful. In teaching. Personal epiphanies. About life. About a different perspective -- help with different perspectives that you have. You know what I mean? Relationships to nature. Relationships with the self. With other people. With events.

[when asked if he had any fears] I used to have nightmares that they would put "He played Ted" on my tombstone.

I'm Mickey Mouse. They don't know who's inside the suit.

Here comes 40. I'm feeling my age and I've ordered the Ferrari. I'm going to get the whole mid-life crisis package

It's always wonderful to get to know women, with the mystery and the joy and the depth. If you can make a woman laugh, you're seeing the most beautiful thing on God's Earth.

[On River Phoenix] You can't blame Hollywood for what happened to River. Kids are doing drugs everywhere in the world. He had his own very personal problems I will never discuss with the press. They're just way too personal. River had a self-destructive side to his personality. He was angry and hurt that he couldn't have a private life once he became famous. He just couldn't deal with having his private life on the front page all the time.

[On River Phoenix] River was a remarkable artist and a rare human being. I miss him every day.

[On River Phoenix and My Own Private Idaho (1991)] We were doing I Love You to Death (1990), and we got the Idaho script. We were driving in a car on Santa Monica Boulevard, probably on the way to a club, and were talking really fast about the whole idea. We were excited. It could have been like a bad dream, a dream that never follows through because no one commits, but we just forced ourselves into it. We said, "Okay, I'll do it if you do it. I won't do it if you don't." We shook hands. That was it.

The Matrix Revolutions (2003) $15,000,000 + 15% of the gross
The Matrix Reloaded (2003) $15,000,000 + 15% of the gross
The Replacements (2000) $12,500,000
The Matrix (1999) $10,000,000 + 10% of the gross
The Devil's Advocate (1997) $8,000,000
Youngblood (1986) $3,000

Where Are They Now

(February 2004) Beverly Hills

(March 2008) Recently wrapped The Day the Earth Stood Still and is riding his motorcycle around LA before he starts filming The Secret Life of Pippa Lee.

(April 2009) Attending the IndyCar Long Beach Grand Prix as a guest of honor.


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