(Key-ah-nu means "cool breeze over the mountains" in
Charles Reeves was born on September 2, 1964 in Beirut, Lebanon,
Samuel Nowlin (half-Hawaiian, half-Chinese) and Patricia Reeves
His sister Kim was born in 1966 while the family lived in Australia
a year. A second (half) sister, Karina, was born in 1976.
their divorce, Patricia and Samuel went their separate ways:
Patricia and the two kids to New York City, and Samuel to Hawaii.
York, Patricia met and married director Paul Aaron. They moved
Toronto, and took up Canadian citizenship (which Keanu still retains),
split up less than a year later. Patricia switched partners a
more and moved as often. Her third husband was rock promoter Robert
Miller (with whom she had Karina), and her fourth was Jack Bond,
attended Jesse Ketchum Public School in Toronto from kindergarten
through the eighth grade, and attended four high schools (including
La Salle College and the Toronto School for the Performing Arts)
dropping out completely at age 17.
took on lots of different jobs, including sharpening skates at
ice rink shop, landscaping, and making pasta. Then came some stage
and some bit parts on TV. His motion picture debut was in Dream
Believe in Canada but it was the 1986 TV movie Under the Influence
earned him his SAG union card. Keanu's first big feature film
debut in a
US film was in Young Blood in which he had a small part.
hit the road for Hollywood in 1986 with $3,000, an old Volvo,
his stepfather Paul Aaron's address. A few name changes followed
"Keanu" was considered by his manager to be too exotic.
They settled on
K.C. Reeves, but it was short-lived. Keanu it was, and Keanu it
was going to be.
soon landed River's Edge, arguably one of his best roles ever.
string of movies followed as the troubled (or misfit) teen. His
continued to grow, and then he started attracting the eye of more
mainstream directors. He landed films like Dangerous Liaisons,
Dracula, Much Ado About Nothing, and Little Buddha. But it was
Speed that really made everyone stand up and notice. Perhaps not
for Keanu's acting, but the fact that this was his first mega-hit,
grossing nearly $300 million at the box office (world-wide). Figures
that will catch the eye of any studio executive, and Keanu was
reportedly being offered sums up to $7 million for his services.
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
Canada and fulfill a dream of playing the title role in Hamlet
Reviews were mixed, but in general reviewers were kind.
has also completed a small role in the independent film The Last
Time I Committed Suicide (due for release some time in '97), and
action pic, Chain Reaction, which was released to tepid reviews
August 2nd, 1996.
is also an active musician. He turned down an offer for a Speed
sequel to tour with his rock band, Dogstar.