Keanu Reeves is an amazing actor and one who has played some pretty iconic characters over the years. He started on the scene in movies like Point Break and Speed and played memorable characters like Ted in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and Neo in The Matrix. He was a complete babe in Speed, but we are thankful he didn’t do Speed 2: Cruise Control. He rose quickly to fame and fortune, becoming one of the best actors of his generation. These days, he is wreaking havoc and being a general badass in the John Wick series and rumor has it that there will be another one coming out. He’s just as good an actor now as he always was.
Probably the best part about Reeves, however, is that he has a huge heart. He isn’t like most celebrities who are in it for the fame and attention. He has not had an easy life himself and he loves helping other people. He’s had much well-deserved success over the years, but he’s also had just as much tragedy in his life. There are so many parts of Reeves’ life that we don’t know about and considering the tragedies he has gone through in life, it’s a wonder that he's managed to be such a kind person. Check out these 15 sad secrets about Keanu Reeve's life he doesn't even want to remember.
15 His Father Abandoned Him At A Young Age
There is no doubt about the impact that a father has on a son’s life and when someone is abandoned by their father, it could lead to a lot of negative things in a boy’s life. Keanu Reeves was born to a British mother and a Chinese-Hawaiian father and lived in Lebanon. For whatever reason, his father decided to leave his family without much explanation when Reeves was three, however, his father Samuel Nowlin Reeves will say that it was five. Although he was in and out of Reeves life up until the age of 13, he just up and disappeared from their lives without warning. “I spent my last vacation with him when I was 13 years old,” Keanu said in a 2002 interview.
“On our last day, we sat on the veranda and stared at the dark sky. He hardly said anything that evening. The next day, he brought us to the airport.
Then we didn’t hear anything from him for ten years. No calls, no letters, nothing.”
14 He Had Dyslexia As A Child
It has been reported over the years that Reeves suffered from dyslexia as a child and that it didn’t help matters that he was moved to four different high schools in five years. It’s certainly hard for a child to move around so much, especially being a teen and trying to fit in everywhere you go. Adding to a learning disability as well can make things that much more difficult. But despite these hardships he went through while growing up, Reeves himself never felt like he was held back or hindered in any way. "We didn’t move around that much,” says Reeves.
“And I wasn’t the best student, but I don’t remember having trouble fitting in. I kind of blended in.”
Whether he struggled or not was never a concern of his.
13 He Wants A Family
One thing fans have mentioned when they see him walking around is that they rarely approach him because he's surrounded by melancholy. There’s no doubt that Keanu Reeves has lived a difficult life and it’s to some degree haunted him his entire life. He’s always lived a modest life, not worrying about expensive cars or designer clothing. As we said, he still likes to ride the subway and is kind to people wherever he goes. He told PEOPLE,
“I’m trying not to be alone so much and man, it’s a struggle. I want to get married. I want to have kids. That’s at the top of the mountain.
I’ve got to climb the mountain first. I’ll do it. Just give me some time.”
12 He And His Girlfriend Lost A Child
There is nothing more tragic than losing a child. Finding out you're pregnant is often an exciting and happy time for two parents. You wait nine months in anticipation and excitement for the birth. You can’t wait to meet your child and it never occurs to you for a minute that anything bad could ever happen. Unfortunately for Keanu Reeves, that’s exactly what happened to him and his long-term girlfriend at the time, Jennifer Syme. The two had been dating for a while when she got pregnant. When she gave birth, however, the baby was stillborn.
The tragedy affected the couple in a big way.
The strain of their loss was just too much for them to cope with and their relationship was never the same after.
11 Keanu Reeves’ Father Broke The Law
Keanu Reeves has had enough bad experiences with drugs to last him a lifetime. It’s bad enough having an alcoholic father who abandons you but then to have his father go away to prison because he was selling heroin is probably too much for Reeves. He also lost his best friend to drugs while growing up, so it’s not surprising why he doesn’t want anything to do with his father later on in life. Samuel Reeves was arrested at Hilo International Airport for selling heroin and was imprisoned in Hawaii. His father earned his GED while in prison and still has not earned a place in Reeves’ life. It’s amazing when incredible people can come out of bad situations. Keanu is known to be a warm-hearted human who helps others.
10 The Tragedy Of Jennifer Syme
The two stayed together after the tragedy of their stillborn baby, but their relationship took a hit. As if the two hadn’t been through enough, Keanu Reeves lost his girlfriend to a tragic car accident. She was driving a Jeep Cherokee when she hit three parked cars and overturned her vehicle. She was killed instantly in the crash. It was said that she was being treated for depression after the loss of her child just a year before. "The collision occurred after a 1999 Jeep Cherokee, traveling northbound Cahuenga Boulevard, for unknown reasons, collided into three parked vehicles, which were parked on the east side of the street," said a spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department. She was only 29 years old at the time of her death.
9 He Went Through A Long Period Of Grief
Keanu Reeves spoke about the death of his girlfriend and child in 2006 to Parade, stating that even five years later, he still felt grief and loneliness over their loss. He stated that he wanted to be married and have children, but that was something that was going to take some time. Reeves, to this day, does not have any children.
“Grief changes shape, but it never ends. People have a misconception that you can deal with it and say, 'It's gone, and I'm better.' They're wrong. When the people you love are gone, you're alone.
I miss being a part of their lives and them being a part of mine. I wonder what the present would be like if they were here — what we might have done together. I miss all the great things that will never be.”
8 He Lost His Best Friend
Keanu Reeves met actor River Phoenix when the two starred together in the movie My Own Private Idaho. Phoenix was a talented actor that died well before his time. Reeves had known the actor for a few years and the two became close friends. It’s a well-known fact that Phoenix died of an overdose outside Johnny Depp’s Los Angele’s nightclub, the Viper Room. It was a very public death for the actor and one that affected his family and friends for many years after. It was just another senseless and tragic death of someone who had their whole future in front of them. Phoenix was only 23 years old when he died and it’s sad to think of what his life could have become had he lived.
7 He’s Given Up On The Idea Of Having Children
Losing two people that he loved in such a short amount of time is sure to have a long-term effect on the actor. To this day, he has not had children or gotten married. During an interview for Esquire, he alluded to the fact that he’s never going to have any children of his own. When the interviewer asked him if he was ever going to settle down, the actor answered,
“It’s too late. It’s over, I’m 52. I’m not going to have any kids.”
The interviewer pressed on asking, “Never?” He also mentioned the fact that Mick Jagger just had another child. Keanu stated, “He’s ageless.” We’re sure ladies all over the world were disappointed by his answer. For the most part, Reeves has been a lone wolf throughout his life.
6 His Sister Kim Had Leukaemia
Keanu Reeves has always considered his younger sister Kim to be his best friend. It was devastating when he heard that his sister had leukaemia. He made it his personal mission to be her caretaker and to make sure she pulled through. He wasn’t about to lose someone else in his life. It wasn’t an easy battle to win and she battled the disease for 10 years. As of 1999, she was in remission and she’s alive and well today at the age of 51. He’s donated money to cancer research over the years and is determined to help in any way he can.
“I have a private foundation that’s been running for 5 or 6 years, and it helps aid a couple of children’s hospitals and cancer research.
I don’t like to attach my name to it, I just let the foundation do what it does.”
5 His Father Has Tried To Contact Him But He Has No Interest
Keanu’s father struggled with drinking and drugs throughout Keanu’s life and that couldn’t have been easy. There was even a period of time that his father was in prison. Once his father abandoned the family, Reeves didn’t want anything to do with him. Now that he is an adult, Keanu has been contacted by his father who had interest in reconciling. It could be said that his father suddenly started coming around once Keanu became rich and famous. Whether his father was genuine in his interest or not, Keanu wanted no part of it. Samuel Reeves has stated that Keanu has no interest in a reconciliation. Samuel Reeves “admits painfully that his two decades of drug abuse, prison term, and sordid life is what has cost him the love of his popular son Keanu and daughter Kim.”
4 He Now Prefers To Live A Regular Life
Although he’s very rich and very famous, Keanu Reeves doesn’t live that way. He has endured a lot over the years and being out there in the media just isn’t for him. He’s often seen wearing regular clothes and riding the subway. If anything, he likes to use his money to help others. A source said,
"Every day, for the last few weeks of filming, Keanu treated the stagehands and “grunt workers” by taking us out for free breakfast and lunch. He was genuinely a very nice guy to work with.”
Money means very little to the actor and he felt like he had more than enough. "Money is the last thing I think about. I could live on what I have already made for the next few centuries,” said Keanu.
3 He May Never Have Gotten Over Jennifer
Keanu Reeves has made it clear over the years that the loss of his girlfriend Jennifer really did a number on him. Although he has had relationships over the years, none have lasted and he’s certainly nowhere near close to settling down. There’s a chance that the actor never really got over his girlfriend. He has stated that he still misses her and wonders what their life would have been like together. So maybe marrying someone else is just not an option for him. He was recently spotted out with a mystery woman in January of this year and although he looked happy, many wondered if he’s ever going to settle down. “Damn it! It’s not fair! It’s absurd,” Reeves told PEOPLE. It’s not the first time that he has expressed grief over his late girlfriend.
2 He Lived Like A Gypsy
Had his girlfriend and child lived, Keanu Reeves’ life may have looked very different. After their death, he went about not wanting to take on roots, but just traveling. As he got older, he just felt like he ran out of time for the rest of it. It’s possible that deep down, he didn’t want to have roots because losing them again would be devastating. “I’ve had a vagabond life,” he says.
“There is a bit of the gypsy in me, and living that way seemed to make sense. I couldn’t settle down. I liked going to new places — renting apartments, staying in hotels. Then I turned 40. That birthday is hard, perhaps because you know you’re grown-up.
So now it’s a makeover for me. I have bought my first house. I wanted a home.”
1 He’s Known To Be A Sad Person
One thing that is attributed to Keanu Reeves and is life, is sadness. Many people in the media, as well as fans, have commented on how sad Keanu looks all the time. He certainly has experienced enough loss to last a lifetime and stuff like that just doesn’t go away. He’s not one to go around talking about the tragedies in his life, however, it has affected him a great deal.
“All you can do is hope that grief will be transformed and, instead of feeling pain and confusion, you will be together again in memory, that there will be solace and pleasure there, not just loss.”
For such a kind human, we all hope that Keanu is genuinely happy in his life and can move on to find everything that he is searching for in life.