Hollywood’s gentleman, Keanu Reeves, had endured a life of loneliness and heartbreak without anyone ever knowing. This is his story.
It’s quite easy for fans to be enamoured by the gracious presence of Keanu Reeves and his stellar acting on-screen, so much so that we seldom introspect what tragic burdens he’s quietly carried his entire life. Grab some tissues, as this might be a tearjerker.
- Abandoned by his father
- Keanu struggled with dyslexia
- Death of close friend, River Phoenix
- Death of girlfriend & stillborn daughter
- How Keanu Reeves handled loneliness and heartbreak in his life
Let’s take a look at Keanu’s tragic real-life story.
ABANDONED BY HIS FATHER
Keanu Reeves was born in Beirut, Lebanon in 1964.
His mother was British and his father was of Chinese-Hawaiian descent.
By many biographical accounts, it’s established that Keanu’s father, Samuel Nowlin Reeves, abandoned his family. Samuel went on record stating that he had abandoned Keanu when he was only 5 years old.
“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 10 years. No calls, no letters, nothing.”During a 2002 interview, Keanu was quoted saying the following:
KEANU STRUGGLED WITH DYSLEXIA
Keanu had struggled with education during his formative years owing to his dyslexia. He had attended four different high schools within a span of five short years because of his condition. Keanu confessed that both he, and his sister, Kim, are dyslexic.
DEATH OF CLOSE FRIEND, RIVER PHOENIX
The two young boys got along quite splendidly. Mutual acquaintances reminisce that Keanu & River formed a brotherhood of their own; they acted together in the movie ‘My Own Private Idaho‘ and were planning on making two more films together.
However, this friendship tragically came to an end when Phoenix died of an overdose outside a Los Angeles nightclub on 31st October 1993.
This wasn’t the end of Keanu’s brush with tragedy, however.
More loneliness and heartbreak were yet to enter the life of Keanu Reeves.
DEATH OF GIRLFRIEND & STILLBORN DAUGHTER
Keanu and his girlfriend at the time, Jennifer Syme, who were happily in love and expecting their first child, were struck with tragedy upon learning that the child was stillborn at 8 months. They buried their child, whom they named Ava, shortly after. This loss proved too much of a strain upon their relationship which ended shortly after the incident.
However, Keanu’s spate of bad luck didn’t end there.
On April 2nd, 1999, Syme lost control of her car while driving, sideswiping over three parked cars and rolling several times before being thrown out of the car. Investigators found antidepressants among her belongings. Reports claimed she was being treated for depression at the time.
At the time of the incident, Reeves was scheduled to begin shooting for the ‘Matrix‘ sequels but was forced to take some time off after receiving the gut-wrenching news.
Jennifer was buried next to their daughter, Ava.
HOW KEANU REEVES HANDLED LONELINESS AND HEARTBREAK IN HIS LIFE
The spate of tragedy that Keanu Reeves endured throughout his life only served to make him kinder. Those who have had the opportunity to work with him remain in awe of his dignified demeanour and gentle personality.
He’d once taken the entire stunt team of the ‘Matrix’ on Harley Davidson bike rides. According to the crew of ‘Chain Reaction‘, Keanu bought several workers breakfast and lunch every day during filming.
In 2006, Keanu had an interview with Parade magazine on his tragic real-life story. Keanu said, “Grief changes shape, but it never ends“. He stated that when the people one loves are gone, one feels truly alone.
Despite carrying the enormity of his past tragedies, Keanu remains an epitome of maturity. Although having amassed a considerable fortune, reportedly in excess of about $350 million, Keanu can still be spotted riding the subway on occasion.
He’s also a frequent and generous contributor to several charities. Keanu revealed that he had been operating a private foundation for several years to aid children’s hospitals and cancer research. He did this without attaching his name to it or seeking attention for it either.