Keanu Reeves was first introduced to the world as just another gorgeous up-and-comer, recognized for prominent roles in films such as “My Own Private Idaho” (1991) and “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” (1992). He became famous for silly comedy like the “Bill and Ted” series and iconic sci-fi-like 1999’s “The Matrix” a few years later.
The “John Wick” star is now one of Hollywood’s most popular actors, thanks to his off-screen generosity, real affection for his millions of fans, philanthropic giving habits, and quiet, unassuming manner. Few performers had their reputations change so dramatically. What distinguishes Reeves from the pack?
Reeves was born to a British mother and a Chinese-Hawaiian father in Beirut, Lebanon in 1964. Keanu’s age when his father, Samuel Nowlin Reeves, abandoned the family is disputed in biographical sources. Some say Samuel departed when Keanu was two years old, some say he left when he was three, and the father himself has stated that he moved out when Keanu was five years old.
Even after Reeves separated from the love of his life, Syme, they remained close friends, even brunching together at Crepes on Cole in San Francisco on April 1, 2001. Reeves called the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office the next day, visibly concerned, and asked, according to Lt. Mac Willie, “whether Jen Syme was there.”
Regrettably, she was. Syme, a recording industry employee, lost control of her 1999 Jeep Cherokee on L.A.’s Cahuenga Boulevard shortly after 6 a.m. on April 2, sideswiped three parked cars, rolled over several times, and was thrown from the vehicle. Authorities believe she died instantaneously, but toxicology tests are pending to confirm the cause of death. (Police discovered prescribed antidepressants and some “white stuff” rolled within a two-dollar bill.
His tribulations have made him into the wholesome, soft-spoken Hollywood statesman that we know and love today. This is the remarkable, true-life storey of Keanu Reeves, one of the world’s most beloved performers, from early adversity to the terrible loss of close ones to family sickness.