Keanu Reeves has had no trouble endearing himself to filmgoers and non-filmgoers alike, even if this is more for his off-screen endeavors than his film roles.
The “Bill and Ted” actor reportedly donated a massive chunk of his earnings from the original “The Matrix” to cancer research, according to LADBible.
In 1991, his younger sister Kim was diagnosed with leukemia, a type of blood cancer that she battled for a decade prior to entering remission.
During that period, Keanu served as her caretaker and put his career on the backburner, even going so far as selling his home so that he could become closer to her and devote his life to assisting her.
Reeves, now 57, was given an up-front payment of $10 million for the 1999 sci-fi classic “The Matrix” before the film smashed box office expectations and earned him an additional $35 million.
Keanu apparently didn’t hesitate to donate 70 percent of his earnings – or the huge sum of $31.5 million – to researching leukemia in hopes of sparing future patients and their families the pain that the Reeves family underwent.
Since then, Reeves has quietly poured his Hollywood earnings into cancer research, even establishing his own private foundation for the purpose.
“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,” Reeves told Ladies Home Journal in 2009. “I don’t like to attach my name to it, I just let the foundation do what it does.”
In 2020, Reeves also auctioned off a 15-minute Zoom date with himself to raise funds for Camp Rainbow Gold, a summer program for children with cancer.
Since his breakout role as an aloof teen headbanger in the 1986 drama “River’s Edge” followed by his iconic performance as the airheaded stoner Theodore “Ted” Logan in the “Bill & Ted’s” films, Keanu has become beloved by audiences.
However, he has since far outgrown his public persona as a simple airhead who says “Whoa” in the SoCal dude-bro accent and is now seen as the quintessential nice guy of Hollywood, who not only doesn’t take himself too seriously but is also distinguished by his big heart and generosity.
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