Who Is Keanu Reeves?

Keanu Reeves has only been acting a short time but has many movies to his credit. He is very popular and has won a few awards.

Keanu Reeves was born September 2, 1964 in Beirut, Lebanon to young hippie parents. They moved around a lot and eventually settled in Toronto, Canada. It was the 1960s and lots of kids were given unusual names. Keanu is a Hawaiian name and translated means "cool breeze over the mountains". When Keanu was four years old his father left the family. Keanu's father had a drug addiction and could not support his family. Keanu's mother was a free and creative spirit. She was the biggest influence on his life.

Keanu was not the best of students, but he did enjoy acting in high school. He was in a Canadian production of "Romeo and Juliet". He pursued other acting avenues in Canada and was soon seen in a Coca-Cola commercial. He also had some bit parts in small Canadian films. The Rob Lowe film, "Youngblood" was filmed in Canada and Keanu had a small part. He was noticed and decided to make the big move to Hollywood. He was twenty-one years old and ready to shine.

The first role he got after moving to Hollywood was in "River's Edge" a gritty movie about teens and murder. Keanu received great reviews and was offered starring roles in several films. Critics continued to rave about Keanu's acting.

In 1988, he was in a motorcycle accident and ruptured his spleen and broke some ribs. He is said to be a "speed freak". He has a long scar on his torso from this accident.

"Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" proved to be a defining role in his early years. He was one of the main characters in the film which is often seen as a cult surfer-dude classic. It brought surfer speak to the mainstream, such as "dude", "awesome", and "righteous". The sequel, "Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey" was an instant hit at the box office. Critics praised Keanu for his "truly awesome" portrayal of a "dumb" surfer dude so much that people began to wonder if he was really like the character. This affected Keanu so he decided to try his hand at some riskier roles.

He did two more comedies and then went on to a dramatic role in "Dangerous Liaisons" in 1988. He then acted in an action film and would go on to do several more. After many of these films, Keanu's performance was rated as weak by many critics.

In "My Own Private Idaho" he costarred with (the late) River Pheonix and did receive some good reviews. Keanu's life would be forever changed after he starred in the story of the "Little Buddha". He converted to Buddhism and believed this helped him to become a more serious actor.

In 1994, Keanu starred in the action thriller

film, "Speed" which would make him a superstar and much sought after actor. At first, he didn't want to do another action film, but with some script changes he thought it sounded like a good role. He surprised many by doing most of the stunts himself. His onscreen chemistry with Sandra Bullock also helped to make him a "heartthrob". "Speed" was a hit and was called "the perfect action film". Keanu would now be offered millions for each additional role.

Keanu's friend and former co-star River Pheonix died of a drug overdose and his death affected him greatly. He was very sad, but his Buddhist faith may have helped him work through his grief. Buddhists believe in reincarnation.

With "Speed's" success, Keanu finally got the confidence to choose only the films he wanted to do. He rejected some major roles because he preferred to do a Canadian production of "Hamlet". Fans flocked to Canada to see him act on stage.

Though quite wealthy, he's true to the Buddhist teachings and doesn't believe in a lot of possessions. He leads a simple and uncluttered life. He's a regular guy that just wants to hang out with his friends. He plays bass in a band called "Dogstar". They write their own material and have even gone on tour.

He has worked continously, making some pictures that failed at the box office and others that were very successful. He's been nominated for

MTV movie awards twice. He won an MTV movie award for best duo in "Speed". "The Matrix" was a very successful action thriller with great special effects. There are two sequels scheduled to begin filming in the next year.

He has an impressive list of movies(following) and will probably be successful for many years to come.

KEANU REEVES List of Films from 1987-2000

1987 "The River's Edge"

1988 "Permanent Record"

1988 "Dangerous Liaisons"

1989 "Parenthood"

1989 "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure"

1990 "Tune in Tomorrow"

1991 "Point Break"

1991 "Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey"

1992 "My Own Private Idaho"

1992 "Bram Stoker's Dracula"

1993 "Much Ado About Nothing"

1993 "Freaked"

1994 "Speed"

1994 "Little Buddha"

1994 "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues"

1995 "A Walk in the Clouds"

1995 "Johnny Mnemonic"

1996 "Chain Reaction"

1996 "Feeling Minnesota"

1997 "The Last Time I Committed Suicide"

1997 "The Devil's Advocate"

1999 "The Matrix"

2000 "The Replacements"

2000 "The Watcher"


"The Gift"

"Sweet November"


COMING 2002-2003

"The Matrix 2 and The Matrix 3"

SOURCES: 1)"Superstars of Film, Keanu Reeves"

Chelsea House Publishing 1998




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