In the “John Wick” series, Keanu Reeves showed fans that nobody messes with his family and gets out alive. Indeed, the actor is devoted to his family. Keanu once sacrificed fame to support his sick sister, acting as her caregiver for a decade while donating millions to fight leukemia.
Keanu Reeves’ career has evolved over the years. However, one thing has remained constant—this Hollywood star is mindful of not playing the villain.
Interestingly, that has not limited his growing fanbase. The “John Wick” star is still everyone’s beloved actor, and despite his celebrity status, he prefers to keep some of his business under wraps.
Like many of his onscreen characters, the movie legend loves to help those around him. The actor, who has three siblings, is family-oriented and has proven an undying love for them through sacrifices.
However, before he grew into the supportive big brother, the “The Matrix” actor experienced a difficult childhood. Keanu, a brother to sisters Kim, Karina, and Emma, was born in Lebanon.
His mother, Patricia Taylor, was of British descent; she worked as a costume designer, while his dad, Samuel Nowlin Reeves Jr., from Hawaii, was a geologist. Sadly, their relationship did not last.
A few years after welcoming their son, Keanu, and daughter, Kim, Patricia moved to Sydney, Australia. She had split from Samuel due to his drug addiction. Soon, the costume designer moved to New York, where she remarried, before moving to Toronto.
Keanu has two half-sisters—Karina Miller, from his mother’s relationship, and Emma Reeves, from his dad’s other wife. Although the actor has tried to keep the bond between himself and his siblings, his relationship with his father is a story of pain.
The “Point Break” star never discusses it extensively, but in an interview reported by The Sun, he candidly shared his thoughts on their relationship. In his words:
“The story with me and my dad’s pretty heavy. It’s full of pain and woe and [expletives] loss and all that [expletives].”
Unfortunately, the last time Keanu saw his father was when he was 13. Sources confirmed that Samuel reached out to his son in the mid-nineties while Keanu was at the peak of his career, but the film star refused to honor the gesture.
Despite not having his father around during his adolescent years, the “Youngblood” star became the family’s protector and everyone’s favorite big brother.
Keanu Reeves Sacrificed Career for His Sister’s Recovery
In “John Wick,” John Wick’s way of dealing with hurt and pain was by punishing the trespassers, but in reality, Keanu, who played the one-time retired hitman, found ways to cope with challenging situations.
It took ten years before the younger Reeves glided to recovery. Still, throughout the years, Keanu remained her support while he pushed his career to the back burner.
The actor, whom his father abandoned at a young age, later witnessed other heartbreaking tragedies, including the death of his only child, his lover, and his sister’s battle with leukemia. Fortunately, one of these difficulties — his sister’s health problems, did not result in loss of life.
Keanu sacrificed fame, fortune, and, most importantly, time to be with his siblings. In 1991, Kim was diagnosed with leukemia while the actor’s career was at its peak. He was scheduled to feature in the sequels of the blockbuster sci-fi film, “The Matrix,” but he decided to put a hold on filming to prioritize Kim’s health.
The then fast-rising star sold his home to move closer to his sister and provide her with the necessary care, including cleaning her house, preparing her meals, and giving her the necessary medications.
It took ten years before the younger Reeves glided to recovery. Still, throughout the years, Keanu remained her support while he pushed his career to the back burner. His explanation was simple:
“She was always there for me, you know. I will always be here for her.”
While Kim struggled with the disease, her supportive brother funded leukemia research. The “Matrix” star donated seventy percent of his earnings from the first “Matrix” film to the cause — his first salary from the film was $45 million. Despite the humongous donation, the “Speed” star is tight-lipped about the subject. He once admitted:
“I don’t like to attach my name to it.”
Even though her brother is not fond of speaking about his contributions, Kim is very appreciative of her big brother, who spent days holding her hands in the hospital and refused some roles to be nearby. In her words:
“My brother is my prince. He listens to every word, to every comma after every word that you are saying.”
Keanu Reeves Showed Support after Kim’s Recovery
Beating cancer motivated the actor to invest more in battling the disease. He remained persistent in his philanthropy, and in the early 2000s, he established a private fund for cancer research. Moreover, he founded a charity — without attaching his name to it.
Through the charity, Keanu has helped many battling cancer. In 2009, the acclaimed film star chatted about his private foundation that has contributed to studying the life-threatening illness. According to him:
“I have a private foundation that’s been running for five or six years, and it helps aid a couple of children’s hospitals and cancer research… I just let the foundation do what it does.”
Reportedly, Keanu’s love to help is not only for the sick. In 2001, the Wall Street Journal claimed the star released a significant amount of his second and third “Matrix” film back-end points to the costume designers and VFX team on set, believing they had a right to it since they made the movie.
Just two years ago, the “Youngblood” star also sold off a 15-minute virtual Zoom date to raise funds for Camp Rainbow Gold, a children’s cancer charity.
Beyond all doubt, Keanu has a heart of gold and has proven to be a real-life superhero, saving people by donating most of his life’s earnings.
His charity also began at home, with his sister, whom he holds dear. The actor leads an inspiring lifestyle, showing that there is fulfillment in being kind.