Keanu Reeves is one of the biggest action stars of the past two decades, starring in franchises such as The Matrix and John Wick. Despite his superstar status, Reeves has always tried to live his life outside the spotlight, shying away from attention and keeping his personal life and childhood private, which might leave fans wondering who are Keanu Reeves’ parents?
Keanu Reeves’ parents are Samuel Nowlin Reeves Jr. and Patricia Taylor. The couple had two children before ultimately divorcing when Reeves was a toddler.
Read more below about Keanu Reeves’ childhood, growing up without a father and where both of Keanu Reeves’ parents are today.
Samuel and the Showgirl
Keanu Reeves was born in Beirut, Lebanon on September 2, 1964. Reeves’ parents, Patricia and Samuel, met while Patricia was working as a showgirl in Beirut, which was a tourist destination similar to Las Vegas during the 1960s.
Patricia Taylor is originally from Essex, England, where she was raised before becoming a showgirl, and eventually a famed costume designer in the entertainment industry.
Samuel Nowlin Reeves Jr. was born in Hawaii and had Hawaiian, Chinese and Portuguese ancestry. He was studying geology in Lebanon when he met Patricia, with the couple ultimately marrying when Patricia became pregnant and settling in Beirut
Speaking on how Patricia announced her pregnancy, Samuel told the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, “She roped me right in as soon as I saw her. When she got pregnant, she just flat out told me, ‘I’m going to pop out the little buggah, so we’re getting married.’ It was fine with me.”
Divorce, Drugs and Daddy Issues
Kean Reeves’ younger sister, Kim, was born two years later in 1966, but the relationship between Patricia and Samuel had fizzled, with Samuel abandoning his family. With a toddler and an infant to care for as a single parent, Patricia relocated to Toronto, Canada where Keanu and his sister were raised.
While Keanu was growing up, Patricia began working as a costume designer, finding success when she designed the iconic Playboy Bunny costume for legendary singer, Dolly Parton. She quickly moved on to designing costumes for famous rockers like Alice Cooper and David Bowie, allowing Keanu, Kim and Patricia to live a relatively comfortable life in the Yorkville neighborhood.
You can see Keanu Reeves discuss his mom and her English heritage on The Jonathan Ross Show in the YouTube video below.
Reeves’ father, Samuel, on the other hand, had deep debts and a heroin addiction, which only became worse when he began trafficking drugs into Hawaii. Samuel was arrested in 1992 when he was caught with drugs at the Hilo Airport, and being sentenced to 10 years in prison, though he ultimately only served two.
All of these issues affected Samuel’s relationship with his children, with Samuel last seeing Keanu when the now-actor was a young teenager. Though Samuel tried to reconnect with his son after his stint in prison, Keanu declined.
Keanu Reeves seldom discusses his dad, but during a rare interview with Rolling Stone, Reeves said of their relationship, “Jesus, man. No, the story with me and my dad’s pretty heavy. It’s full of pain and woe and fucking loss and all that shit.”
Despite a stint in prison, Samuel remained a lifelong drug addict, once telling US Weekly, “I never stopped for very long. Drugs for me is about having fun. I still love heroin. I use it daily. I’m an addict.” Samuel Nowlin Reeves Jr. passed away in 2018, never having reconnected with his son.
On a brighter note, Keanu and his mom, Patricia, have remained incredibly close over the years and through Reeves’ rise to superstardom. Reeves even brought Patricia as his date to the 2020 Oscars.
Reeves’ fans were quick to take to social media, sharing photos of the adorable duo. Despite a rocky relationship with one parent, it’s clear that Keanu and Patricia have a great relationship, even if Keanu Reeves remains mum on the subject most of the time.