Keanu Reeves Donated 70% Of His ‘Matrix’ Salary To Cancer Research

Keanu Reeves Donated 70% Of His ‘Matrix’ Salary To Cancer Research

Having been his sister's caretaker during the time she battled cancer, he knew how traumatic cancer could be.

The Matrix franchise is one of the biggest film franchises in the world and it changed the movie industry for good. The Matrix directed by the Wachowskis in 1999 was one of the highest-grossing films in the 90s and Keanu Reeves was the face of it. The film made Reeves rich beyond anything he could have imagined. Reeves pocketed a cool $10 million as salary for the film and an additional $35 million on the back end. While many would hoard that kind of wealth, Reeves donated 70% of that—$31.5 million—to leukemia research, reported New York Post.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 09: (L-R) Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss speak onscreen during The Game Awards 2021 at Microsoft Theater on December 09, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)


Reeves' need to help with leukemia research stems from a very personal place, with his sister, Kim, having been diagnosed with cancer in 1991. She battled cancer for 10 years before going into remission. Reeves stepped up to take care of his sister. He sold his home and moved closer to his sister and spent $5 million in therapies to help her recover. He was his sister's primary caretaker when she was sick. He cooked her meals, cleaned the house, and prepared her medication. He put his career on hold to take care of her, which also led to the first two sequels of The Matrix being delayed. “She was always there for me, you know. I will always be here for her,” he said.


"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 also said she was immensely grateful for her brother's support during the 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.



They were raised by their mother and were really close during a difficult childhood. Their father walked out on the family when Reeves was just two and ended up serving time for possession of drugs. Though Reeves doesn't like talking about it, he once revealed that he runs a private foundation that works towards providing aid to children's hospitals and cancer research. As we reported, The Matrix star said, "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."

WESTWOOD, CALIFORNIA - MAY 22: Keanu Reeves attends the world premiere of Netflix's 'Always Be My Maybe' at Regency Village Theatre on May 22, 2019 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Netflix)



He has also contributed to children's hospitals. According to a report by The Epoch Times, the John Wick star has 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.



Last year the actor participated in a 15-minute Zoom chat with a lucky winner for an initiative to raise funds for Camp Rainbow Gold, a children’s cancer organization aimed at providing emotionally empowering experiences to kids in Idaho diagnosed with cancer, reported PEOPLE. The event is called "A Little One-on-One with Keanu". Their description said: "Bill & Ted. Speed. The Matrix. John Wick. You know him. You love him. This is truly priceless and now you have the chance to Zoom with him from home! Get your questions ready and spend 15-minutes with actor, director, producer and musician, Keanu Reeves."

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