Born Keanu Charles Reeves in Beirut, Lebanon, on September 2, 1964, his first name is Hawaiian for "cool breeze over the mountains" and is named for a great-great-uncle. His mother was a showgirl and his father a geologist.

When his parents divorced, his mother moved with him and his younger sister, Kim, first to New York City and then to Toronto. His stepfathers have included Paul Aaron and Jack Bond.

An apathetic student, he took an interest in hockey, where he earned the nickname "the Wall" as a goalie, and drama. He dropped out of school at 17 to go into acting. He appeared in several stage producions and tv appearances. His first major role was in Youngblood in 1986. His breakthrough was in 1989 in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. That, and his roles in Point Break and Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey in 1991 cemented him in the minds of many viewers as an air-headed valley dude.

His major feature appearances include Bram Stoker's Dracula, Speed, Johnny Mnemonic and The Devil's Advocate. His biggest major film is The Matrix, released in 1999, and he is also set to star in two sequels, which are being filmed simultaneously to insure that his appearance does not change unduly between movies.

His hobbies include playing hockey, riding a motorcycle, playing bass guitar in the band Dogstar and doing his own stuntwork when he can. Some people find it amusing that the star of Johnny Mnemonic and The Matrix does not even own a computer.