"I’m not looking for a red carpet to walk, and I’m not trying to have a celebrity footprint," he said. Yet, since he's the gentleman that he is, his kindness makes a mark for him anyway.
It's not just his onscreen charisma, but his compassion and humility that lets Keanu Reeves steal the hearts of people across the world. The beloved actor, who turned 55 on September 2, has shown the world what it's like to be put through life's worst and still be a kind-hearted gentleman. And the reason why people have nothing but love for the actor is because the work he does is not for the cameras, but to do what little he can to make the world a better place.
Among the things he is fairly quiet about, his donations to children's hospitals is one of them. In a Ladies Home Journal article, Snopes reported him saying, "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 don’t like to attach my name to it, I just let the foundation do what it does."
Keanu Reeves has seen, firsthand, what cancer can do to someone you love. His sister, who he described as "the very special woman in my life" was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer and he was there right beside her through the fight.
"I love Kim," Keanu Reeves told Woman's Day. "She's so brave, and I want the very best for her. You can star in hit movies, but that's nothing compared to going through what Kim's been through."
His sister, Kim had said, "Keanu helped me so much through my illness. When the pain got really bad, he would sit with me and hold my hand, and keep the 'bad man' from making me dance. He was supporting me and comforting me all the time, even when he was away."
Despite being one of the most recognizable faces in the country, he still remains to be the kind of guy who sits on a random bench to eat his sandwich, take public transport and even give up his seat for someone else.
For his loved ones, he's the man who shows up. And for anyone he meets, he's the good-natured man who stays humble no matter what the situation is. According to Goalcast, he once said, "If you have been brutally broken but still have the courage to be gentle to other living beings, then you’re a badass with a heart of an angel."
Childhood wasn't easy for him as he had to see his father divorce his mother when he was young. "I spent my last vacation with him when I was 13 years old. On our last day we sat on the veranda and stared at the dark sky. He hardly said anything that evening," Keanu Reeves told Penthouse Magazine, according to Whoa is (Not) Me. "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."
He was 15 when acting became a part of his life and he dropped out of high school to move to LA. Even though his acting career earned him wide acclaim, his personal life has seen a number of tragic experiences. He saw the death of his best friend, River Phoenix, who was 23 when he passed away. And later, before he had the chance to become a father, he lost his baby and the mother of his child later.
It was in 1998 when he met Jennifer Syme and fell in love with her. Together, they had a child who was born dead and although his romantic relationship with Jennifer Syme eventually ended, they were still best friends. But he lost her in a car crash.
“Grief changes shape, but it never ends,” he told Parade Magazine, according to Live Journal. “People have a misconception that you can deal with it and say, ‘It’s gone, and I’m better.’ They’re wrong."
He went on to say, "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." He admitted that his appreciation for life comes from loss."
The talented actor found himself back on his feet, but even after so many years in the spotlight, he still shies away from the red carpet. "I’m not looking for a red carpet to walk, and I’m not trying to have a celebrity footprint," he said, according to Men's Journal.