11.01.2008

KEANU REEVES - Early films and Biography

"Comedy Factory" .... Crackers (1 episode, 1985)
- Fast Food (1985) TV episode .... Crackers

Letting Go (1985) (TV) .... Stereo Teen #1

"Night Heat" .... Mugger / ... (2 episodes, 1985)
- Necessary Force (1985) TV episode .... Thug #1
- Crossfire (1985) TV episode .... Mugger


2 September 1964, Beirut, Lebanon
Biography
Keanu Charles Reeves ( born September 2, 1964) is a Canadian actor. He is well known for playing Neo in the action film trilogy The Matrix and Ted in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure and Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey. Other notable roles include Scott Favor in the drama My Own Private Idaho opposite River Phoenix, Kevin Lomax in the supernatural thriller The Devil's Advocate opposite Al Pacino, and starring roles in Speed and Constantine. He played bass guitar in the grunge band Dogstar during the 1990s, and more recently in the band Becky. In an ETonline survey in 2006, he is in the "Top Ten of America's Favorite Stars". On January 31, 2005, Reeves received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Early life
Reeves was born in Beirut, Lebanon, the son of Patricia Bond (née Taylor), a costume designer and performer, and Samuel Nowlin Reeves, Jr., a geologist.Reeves's mother is English and his father is an American of Irish, Portuguese, Hawaiian and Chinese descent. Reeves's mother was working in Beirut when she met his father. Reeves's father worked as an unskilled laborer and earned his GED while imprisoned in Hawaii for selling heroin at the Hilo airport. He abandoned his wife and family when Reeves was thirteen, and Reeves does not currently have any relationship with him. Reeves is named after his uncle, Henry Keanu Reeves. When Reeves first arrived in Hollywood, his agent thought his first name was too exotic, so during the early days of his film career he was sometimes credited as K.C. Reeves.
Reeves has one full sister named Kim Reeves (born 1966 in Beirut) who was diagnosed with leukemia in the early 1990s. Reeves visits her often at the home he purchased for her on the island of Capri, Italy. Additionally, through his mother he has a half-sister named Karina Miller (born 1976 in Toronto) and through his father another half-sister named Emma Reeves (born 1980 in Hawaii). Though Reeves has not been in touch with his father for years, he is very close to his mother and two sisters through his maternal line.

Reeves experienced an unstable childhood moving around the world frequently and living with numerous stepfathers. His parents divorced in 1966. His mother became a costume designer and moved the family to Australia and then to New York City. There she met and married Paul Aaron, a Broadway and Hollywood director. The couple moved to Toronto but divorced in 1971. Reeves' mother then married Robert Miller, a rock promoter, in 1976, but the couple divorced in 1980. Her fourth husband, Jack Bond, was a hairdresser. That marriage broke up in 1994. Grandparents and nannies babysat Reeves and his sisters.
Reeves grew up primarily in Toronto. Within a span of five years, he attended four different high schools, including the Etobicoke School of the Arts, from which he was later expelled. Half-jokingly, Reeves says that he was expelled "because I was greasy and running around a lot. I was just a little too rambunctious and shot my mouth off once too often. I was not generally the most well-oiled machine in the school. I was just getting in their way, I guess."
Reeves excelled more in hockey than in academics, his educational development being stymied by dyslexia. He was a successful goalie at one of his high schools, (De La Salle College "Oaklands"). His team nicknamed him "The Wall," and voted him MVP. Reeves says that he would dream of becoming an Olympic hockey player for Canada. After leaving De La Salle College, he attended a free school (Avondale Alternative), which allowed him to obtain an education while working as an actor; he later dropped out, never obtaining his high school diploma.

Career
Reeves began his acting career at the age of 9, appearing on stage at a production of Damn Yankees. At 15, he played Mercutio in a stage production of Romeo and Juliet at the Leah Posluns Theatre. Reeves made his screen acting debut in a CBC Television comedy series, Hangin' In. Throughout the early 1980s, he appeared in commercials (including one for Coca-Cola), short films including the NFB drama One Step Away and stage work such as Brad Fraser's Wolf Boy in Toronto.
Reeves' first studio movie appearance was in the Rob Lowe ice hockey film Youngblood, which was filmed in Canada. In it, he played an ice hockey goalie. Shortly after the movie's release, Reeves drove to Los Angeles in his 1969 Volvo. His ex-stepfather Paul Aaron, a stage and television director, had convinced Erwin Stoff to be Reeves' manager and agent before he even arrived in Los Angeles. Stoff has remained Reeves' manager, and has coproduced many of his films.
After a few minor roles, Reeves received a more sizable role in 1986's River's Edge, a disturbing indie drama that received positive reviews. Following the film's success, he spent the late 1980s appearing in a number of movies aimed at teenage audiences, including Permanent Record, a dark film about teenage suicide, and the unexpectedly successful 1989 comedy, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, which, along with its 1991 sequel, Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, typecast Reeves as a sweet-natured buffoon. Much of his subsequent portrayal in the press and much of the response to his acting has been influenced by his portrayal of the airheaded Ted. Reeves has said that "'I used to have nightmares that they would put 'He played Ted' on my tombstone".
During the early 1990s, Reeves started to break out of his teen-film period. He appeared in high-budget action films like Point Break, which showcased his looks and made him MTV's Most Desirable Male for 1992. He was also involved in various lower-budget independent films, including the well-received 1991 film, My Own Private Idaho with his close friend, River Phoenix.
In 1994, Reeves' career reached a new high as a result of his starring role in the action film Speed. His casting in the film was controversial since, except for Point Break, he was primarily known for comedies and indie dramas. He had never been the sole headliner on a film. The summer action film had a fairly large budget and was helmed by novice cinematographer-turned-director Jan de Bont. The unexpected international success of the film made Reeves and his co-star Sandra Bullock into A-List stars.
Reeves' career choices after Speed were eclectic: despite his successes, Reeves has never stopped accepting supporting roles, and he has always been willing to support experimental efforts. He scored a hit with a romantic lead role in A Walk in the Clouds. He made news by refusing to take part in Speed 2 sequel and choosing to play the title role in a Manitoba Theatre Centre production of Hamlet in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Reeves got surprisingly good reviews for his Hamlet. Roger Lewis, the Sunday Times critic, wrote that "He quite embodied the innocence, the splendid fury, the animal grace of the leaps and bounds, the emotional violence, that form the Prince of Denmark...He is one of the top three Hamlets I have seen, for a simple reason: he * is* Hamlet." Reeves' decision to opt out of Speed 2 was validated when the film proved to be a critical/box office flop.
Reeves' other choices after A Walk in the Clouds, however, failed with critics and audiences. Big-budget films such as Johnny Mnemonic and Chain Reaction were critically panned and failed at the box office. Indie films like "Feeling Minnesota" were also critical failures. Reeves' supporting turn as an overweight, alcoholic tempter in "The Last Time I Committed Suicide" is probably the most memorable of his roles from this low point in his career.
Reeves started to climb out of his career low after starring in the horror/drama The Devil's Advocate against Al Pacino and Charlize Theron. Reeves deferred his salary for The Devil's Advocate so that Pacino would be cast, as he would do later for the less successful The Replacements, guaranteeing the casting of Gene Hackman. The Devil's Advocate did well at the box office, received good reviews, and proved that Reeves could play a grown-up with a career (a lawyer). It also showed that he could hold his own against the great Pacino.
The 1999 science fiction hit, The Matrix, solidified Reeves's place as an international superstar. In between the first Matrix film and its sequels, Reeves received glowing reviews playing an abusive husband in "The Gift." Aside from "The Gift," Reeves appeared in several films that received mostly negative reviews and unimpressive box office grosses, including The Watcher, Sweet November and "The Replacements." However, the two Matrix sequels, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, Something's Gotta Give, and the 2005 horror-action film, Constantine, proved to be box office successes and brought Reeves back into the public spotlight. His latest film, A Scanner Darkly, based on the science fiction novel by Philip K. Dick, received favorable reviews, and The Lake House, his romantic outing with Sandra Bullock, did well at the box office.
Reeves has wrapped up production in "The Night Watchman," due to be released in 2008. He is next slated to star as Klaatu in the remake of the 1951 science fiction movie The Day the Earth Stood Still.

Hobbies
Reeves loves sports. He is an avid follower of ice hockey, American football, surfing, table tennis and soccer. He enjoys riding his numerous motorcycles and coined the term "demon ride" to describe riding fast with the headlights off, at night. Reeves can wax poetic about such rides: "This girl was just the most rockin' girl in the world you could have on the back of a bike because she was...fearless. One night, it was like 12:30, at the time I was practicing doing wheelies, and she said, 'let's go!' So we went on the freeway and it was just magic. She would grab me - she had these really great breasts and really long hair - and we had no helmets and no goggles and we were going like a hundred and thirty miles an hour on five lanes of freeway, with not a soul in sight. And this incredible cloudless moon just hangin' there...I've had some of the best times of my life on a motorcycle." Not all demon rides were so happy. On one such ride in 1988, Reeves crashed near Topanga Canyon and broke several ribs and ruptured his spleen. He has had an abdominal scar ever since.
Reeves is a chess player, a prolific reader with an outstanding memory--he showed up for the production of Hamlet having memorized the entire play--and a lover of Shakespeare. He is left-handed, but plays the bass guitar right-handed. He loves punk rock bands such as The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, Joy Division, and The Clash. He has a taste for Indie Rock and is a fan of They Might Be Giants and Crooked Fingers, as well as Mary J Blige and R&B legends Stevie Wonder and Otis Redding.
In a 1992 New Year's Eve party show, Reeves filled in on bass for punk rock band The Vandals while bassist Joe Escalante was at a wedding. He began playing the bass with rock band Dogstar, which has now gone "into hibernation." Reeves also had a part in New York thrash metal band Anthrax's "Safe Home" music video. More recently, he played bass in a band called Becky with former Dogstar drummer Rob Mailhouse, guitarist Paulie Kosta and singer Rebecca Lord. In early 2005, he announced that he was leaving the band and his musical career for good.
Reeves is an avid collector of used department store mannequins, which he dresses up in various costumes and poses. He displays the mannequins in what he describes as a "soul garden" in the back yard of his Hollywood home.

Personal life
For nearly a decade following his initial rise to stardom, Reeves preferred to live in rented homes and hotels. Reeves bought his first house in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles around 2003, and also has an apartment in New York City
Reeves has never been married. In December 1999, Reeves' girlfriend Jennifer Syme, gave birth to a stillborn daughter who was named Ava Archer Reeves. In April 2001, Syme was killed in a car accident. She was buried next to her daughter in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, California. Though these events happened soon after the release of the first Matrix movie, he has only once spoken about them publicly, saying that he doesn't believe that things happen "for a reason.". He has been equally unwilling to speak about his sister Kim's battle with leukemia.
Reeves has said that: "I wasn't raised in any special denominations and I haven't taken on any so far."


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