As deep as we are into the lives and goings-on of celebrities – what they wear, what they eat, where they hang out, who they date – we know shockingly little about these people we obsess over. Some of these people are secretly horrible, while some people turn out to be wonderfully humble and warm — in spite of all the terrible things they’ve had to go through. Action mega-star Keanu Reeves, whether you know it or not, happens to be such a person.

Now fifty years-old, the cornerstone of the Matrix franchise is still incredibly human even though he’s experienced way more heartbreak than most people. After his father left the family when he was three, Reeves struggled with dyslexia through adolescence and ended up dropping out of high school and pursued an acting career instead (with lots of hard work and effort, he is an avid reader). At 23 he lost his co-star and best friend River Phoenix to a drug overdose. In 1998, things seemed to be finally looking up as he met and fell in love with Jennifer Syme. Syme was 8 months pregnant when she lost their baby; they ended their relationship amidst the grief and she passed away in a car accident a year and a half later.

In spite of all these things that would destroy most people, Reeves still maintains a positive outlook on life. Despite being a multi-millionaire, he lives a humble life. He has been known to give away large portions of seven-figure paychecks to help out the films he’s working on, most notably giving away $80 million of his $114 million salary to augment the paychecks of the F/X and make-up staff on the Matrix sequels. He also put money back into movies like The Replacements and The Devil’s Advocate so the production could afford to hire acting giants like Gene Hackman and Al Pacino. And even with all that money, he still rides the subway and finds the time to be a good guy.

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