Keanu Reeves, famous actor known for his role in films like The Matrix and John Wick, is known to be of mixed heritage. Since he is mixed, many of his fans have been wondering what his background is specifically. Some even wonder if Keanu Reeves is Lebanese.
Although Keanu Reeves was born in Beirut, Lebanon, he is not Lebanese. He was only in Beirut for the first three years of his life and neither of his parents are of Lebanese descent. He is actually currently a Canadian citizen and an American permanent resident.
Continue reading to find out more about what Keanu Reeves’ background actually is.
Keanu Reeves’ Parents
Patricia Taylor is a costume designer and has actually designed costumes for big stars like Dolly Parton and Alice Cooper.
She was previously a showgirl and performer, which is why she moved to Beirut in the 1960s as it was, and sometimes still is, referred to as “The Las Vegas of the Middle East.” This is when Keanu’s parents met.
His father is named Samuel Nowlin Reeves Jr. He was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, but is of Chinese, English, Native Hawaiian, Portuguese and Irish descent.
His father was also in Beirut for work in the 1960s. He worked in a publishing house as a clerk. He saw Patricia Taylor performing at a Beirut casino. The two met and quickly got pregnant with Keanu Reeves.
Since they were so young, Patricia was 19 and Samuel was 21, Patricia wanted to get married then have the baby. So, they got married in 1964 and had Keanu that year in September.
After having a daughter, Kim Reeves, the couple got divorced in 1966 and Patricia left Beirut with their two children.
Keanu’s father ended up staying in Beirut as he liked the city but later moved back to Hawaii. He saw his children again in Hawaii when Keanu was 11, but his mother did not want to encourage a relationship between her kids and their father.
This is likely because Samuel Reeves was abusing drugs and was addicted to heroin for over 20 years. He later went to jail in 1992 for trying to sell heroin at an airport in Hawaii.
Keanu and his father do not have a relationship and have not seen each other in over 30 years. His father says he regrets this but is happy Keanu does have a good relationship with his paternal grandmother.
Keanu Reeves’ Childhood
Patricia Taylor and her children moved first to Sydney, Australia, then to New York City and finally to Toronto, Canada with Patricia’s new husband.
This is where Keanu and his sister ended up growing up and later got Canadian citizenship. Keanu had trouble growing up as he was described as: “a little too rambunctious and shot his mouth off once too often.”
Due to this, he got expelled from three different high schools in Toronto, later dropping out of the fourth one to pursue his acting career instead.
After some acting jobs on Canadian television and in various theatres in Toronto, Keanu decided to pursue his career more seriously in the United States.
Patricia Taylor’s second husband, Paul Aaron was an American Broadway and Hollywood director. The two got married in 1970 but got divorced a year later in Toronto.
Keanu continued to have a relationship with Paul Aaron though, even working as a production assistant on Aaron’s films.
His ex-stepfather then helped Keanu get a green card to become a permanent resident in the United States so he could move to Los Angeles.
So, Keanu Reeves is a Canadian citizen, but a permanent resident in the United States. He is also of British, Chinese, Hawaiian, Portuguese, and Irish descent. Despite being born in Beirut, Lebanon, Keanu Reeves has no Lebanese citizenship or ancestry.