The 'John Wick' star is admired by fans all over the world for his humble and down-to-earth nature. While his personal life has been marred with a number of tragedies, Reeves has never refrained from helping those in need.
Legendary actor and the internet's eternal sweetheart, Keanu Reeves, celebrated his 55th birthday earlier this week. Although the broody handsome hunk generally keeps to himself and leads a notoriously private life, fans are well aware of his humility and down-to-earth nature. Reeves has gone viral a number of times for being an absolute gentleman to those who cross his path, with netizens crooning over his impeccable manners. While we've all heard about the time he gave up his seat on the subway and how he never touches female fans when posing for photos with them, not many know of the charitable work he's been silently doing for years.
Generally tight-lipped about his life outside the camera's frame, Reeves once revealed that he runs a private foundation that works towards providing aid to children's hospitals and cancer research. According to the fact-checking website Snopes, the Matrix star made the revelation in a 2009 article published by Ladies Home Journal. "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," he reportedly said at the time.
Cancer research is a cause close to Reeves' heart as he has personal experience with just how detrimental the disease can be to someone you love. His younger sister Kim Reeves was reportedly diagnosed with leukemia around 1991 and battled the disease for nearly a decade. While true to nature, the actor has refrained from speaking much of the difficult period in the siblings' lives, a Woman’s Day report from 1999 (the same year Kim is believed to have gone into remission), detailed the special bond between them.
"I love Kim. 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," Reeves reportedly said at the time. Kim herself was grateful for the love and support provided by her brother through her cancer battle. "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," she said.
Apart from his contributions to children's hospitals and cancer research, there have been several other reports of his generous nature. According to a report by The Epoch Times, the John Wick star has also donated to the non-profit organization SCORE (Spinal Cord Opportunities for Rehabilitation Endowment) which was founded after a UCLA hockey player’s spinal cord was crushed in a post-season game. He is also said to have been spotted manning the phones at a Stand Up to Cancer telethon in 2008.
It's Keanu Reeves' solar return! Proof of what happens when you stay minding your own business: the notoriously private Virgo sun/Cancer moon is known in the industry as a generous, kind, all-around good guy. We stan. pic.twitter.com/uKM5neByN3— Sanctuary (@SanctuaryWrld) September 2, 2019
While many other celebrities choose to publicize their charitable works and turn every philanthropic work into a photo op, Reeves has won our hearts over a million times by keeping his generosity on the down-low. Not one to use his fame and stature in the industry to add digits to his bank balance, the actor gave away a sizable portion of his proceeds from the Matrix trilogy back to the franchise so that it would benefit the costume and special effects teams. Being a true lover of movies, he negotiated a pay cut on the films The Devil's Advocate and The Replacements in order to get big-name stars Al Pacino and Gene Hackman on board the projects.
He himself has opened up about never equating money with happiness, revealing that he only thinks of his successes as to means to receive more opportunities. "For me, I guess I don’t connect the enjoyment and the money. I work on a part and hopefully realize a part, and make good films. Some of the successes I’ve had I’m grateful for, because it creates other opportunities. [The way] I look at it is I get to act again," Reeves said.