Keanu Reeves has quietly been funding cancer research for years, and now it has emerged that in addition to setting up a nonprofit, the actor also donated 70% of his earnings from the original "Matrix" film to leukemia research.
Lad Bible broke the news, noting that it is a cause close to Reeves' heart as his younger sister Kim was diagnosed with leukemia, which she battled for 10 years before entering remission in 2001.
It has been reported that Reeves was paid $10 million upfront for the 1999 "Matrix" film and went on to earn an additional $35 million when the movie became a box office blockbuster. Based on these figures, Reeves donated around $31.5 million to cancer research.
It was during this time that he also set up his own private foundation which aids children's hospitals and cancer research. The "John Wick" star confirmed this to Ladies Home Journal in 2009.
"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," he is reported as telling the outlet. "I don’t like to attach my name to it, I just let the foundation do what it does."
In 2020, Reeves auctioned off a Zoom date with himself in an effort to raise funds for Camp Rainbow Gold, a summer program for Idaho children with cancer. According to the New York Post, the winning bidder paid more than $19,000 for the 15-minute date.
Reeves is known as Hollywood's "nice guy" and there is truth to these claims. In addition to his charitable endeavors, the actor is also committed to his work and has taken pay cuts in the past to ensure production goes ahead on films he was starring in. He reportedly gave away $75 million from his earnings from "The Matrix" to the special effects and costume design crews and also had his salary reduced in order to ensure Al Pacino appeared in 1997's "The Devil's Advocate," Koimoi.com noted.
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