Samuel Nowlin Reeves Jr – Who is the Man Who Left Keanu Reeves?

Samuel Nowlin Reeves Jr., born on September 13, 1942, in Honolulu, Hawaii, is primarily known for being the father of renowned actor Keanu Reeves. Although not as famous as his son, Samuel’s life has been a subject of interest for those who want to learn more about the family background of the iconic actor. Despite facing tragedy and hardships throughout his life, Keanu Reeves has managed to maintain a successful acting career that spans decades.

Samuel Nowlin Reeves Jr.’s first marriage was to Patricia Taylor, with whom he had his son, Keanu. The couple divorced in 1966, and Samuel later had a daughter, Emma, with another woman. Over the years, the relationship between father and son became strained, and Keanu Reeves has remained reluctant to discuss his father in interviews.

Early Life

Samuel Nowlin Reeves Jr. was born on September 13, 1942, in Oahu, Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii, USA. Raised in Honolulu, Samuel is of mixed ethnicity, with Chinese-Hawaiian heritage from his father, Samuel Nowlin Reeves Sr., and Irish-Portuguese descent from his mother, Sarah Momilani Victor.

Samuel Nowlin Reeves Jr. pursued his passion for geology during the 1960s. He studied at the American University in Lebanon before returning to the United States to pursue his career. This background in geology eventually led him down a different path, and he found work as a Hawaiian-Chinese farmer in Ewa Beach, Hawaii.

In 1964, Samuel Reeves married Patricia Taylor, an English woman from the UK county of Hampshire. The couple welcomed their son Keanu Reeves into the world on September 2, 1964, in Beirut, Lebanon. Keanu, who would later become a famous actor, had a diverse background with his father’s Hawaiian, Chinese, Irish, and Portuguese heritage, and his mother’s English roots. The Reeves family eventually moved to Canada, specifically Toronto, where Keanu spent most of his childhood. However, Samuel and Patricia’s marriage ended in divorce in 1966.

Samuel Nowlin Reeves Jr. led a private life, and much of his personal history remains guarded. The Reeves family has managed to keep their family tree and history out of the public eye, focusing on their lives and careers instead. Keanu Reeves went on to work alongside other prominent actors like River Phoenix and became well-known for his roles in popular films such as The Matrix and John Wick.


Samuel Nowlin Reeves Jr., best known as the father of the renowned actor Keanu Reeves, had a diverse career path throughout his life. Although, much of his early background revolved around agriculture, as he was an American farmer and a farmer’s son.

In his academic pursuits, he studied geology at the American University in Lebanon during the early 1960s. It was in his time at the university that he met Patricia Taylor, an English fashion designer, and eventually married her. Samuel’s educational background in geology showcased his intellectual capacity and knowledge in the field.

However, his life took a dark turn when he became involved in the illegal drug trade during the 1980s. Samuel began selling heroin and cocaine, which led to a significant amount of time being spent in jail. His battles with addiction further marred his life and reputation.

Despite Samuel’s involvement in criminal activities, his son Keanu Reeves rose to prominence as a Canadian actor, earning critical acclaim and commercial success in both film and television. Keanu’s acting career took off with his early role as “Cool Breeze Over the Mountains” which came from a Hawaiian word, signifying the union of his multicultural heritage.

Keanu went on to star in numerous blockbuster films like the “John Wick” series and other successful ventures in music, television, and modeling. His attractive appearance and charisma have often landed him roles that showcase his talent, versatility, and dedication to the art of acting.

Throughout his career, Keanu has maintained a humble demeanor and kept his personal life mostly private. This includes his relationships with other established entertainers like Dolly Parton, who he described as “gracious and kind” when they met. Keanu’s career has also displayed his creativity and ability to engage with various artistic mediums, such as photography. He has captured moments throughout his journey, often expressing his fondness for taking photos and capturing memories.

In conclusion, while Samuel Nowlin Reeves Jr.’s career has had its ups and downs, with struggles related to addiction and illegal activities, his son Keanu Reeves has established himself as a versatile and successful actor. Despite the challenges faced by the Reeves family, Keanu continues to captivate audiences worldwide and prove that one’s background isn’t the sole determining factor of success in life.

Personal Life and Relationships

Samuel Nowlin Reeves Jr., born on September 13, 1942, in Hawaii, USA, was a geologist by profession and is known as Keanu Reeves father. In 1964, he married Patricia Taylor, a British woman, and had two children together: Keanu Charles Reeves and Kim Reeves. However, their marriage ended in divorce in 1966. Samuel was reportedly estranged from his family for most of Keanu’s life. He also has a daughter named Emma Rose, born through a relationship with another woman.

His son, Canadian actor Keanu Reeves has faced several personal losses in his life, including the death of his close friend River Phoenix, the stillbirth of his child with girlfriend Jennifer Syme, and Syme’s subsequent death in a car accident. Despite the tragedies, Keanu has managed to maintain a successful career in the entertainment industry, while his personal life remains mostly private.

Samuel Nowlin Reeves Jr. himself has had a tumultuous past, as he had conflicts with the law and served time in prison. Nonetheless, Keanu has expressed gratitude for the lessons he learned from his father and the memories they shared together during the brief moments they spent together.

In conclusion, Samuel Nowlin Reeves Jr.’s personal life has been marked by complicated relationships, heartache, and grief. His connection with his son Keanu and their experiences showcases the complexities of family bonds and the resilience of the human spirit.

Substance Abuse and Legal Problems

Samuel Nowlin Reeves Jr., father of the renowned actor Keanu Reeves, struggled with substance abuse throughout his life. As an American non-celebrity born in 1942 in Honolulu, Hawaii, Samuel eventually turned to dealing drugs as a means to make a living. His choice of narcotics included heroin and cocaine, both of which led him down a path of addiction and turmoil.

His involvement in the drug trade not only affected his personal life but also his relationship with his family. Samuel left Keanu when he was only two years old, causing a rift between father and son that would remain for the rest of their lives. He spent time in and out of prison due to his drug-related activities, further distancing himself from his son and the rest of his family.

In the early 1990s, Samuel’s legal issues escalated, leading to his arrest for possession of heroin and cocaine. He was subsequently sentenced to ten years in prison but was released after serving only two years of his sentence. This time period marked a significant low point in Samuel’s life as he took on the persona of a “burnout guy” and “deadhead reject,” further illustrating the detrimental effects of his drug addiction.

The story of Samuel Reeves serves as a cautionary tale of the dangers of substance abuse. With a life marred by addiction and legal problems, he ultimately lost touch with his family and missed out on the opportunity to be a part of his son’s successful acting career. In the case of Samuel, drugs truly proved to be evil, leading to a life of estrangement and despair.

Final Years and Death

Samuel Nowlin Reeves Jr., Keanu Reeves’ father, led a difficult and tumultuous life in his later years. Struggling with drug addiction, he eventually turned to crime as a means of supporting himself. In the 1990s, Samuel started importing Mexican heroin and cocaine, which landed him in legal trouble. He was sentenced to ten years in prison for selling heroin at Hilo International Airport in 1992 but served only two years of his sentence.

Samuel’s life saw little improvement during his final years. He was estranged from his son Keanu and spent much of his time seeking closure from their fractured relationship. Speaking about his father, Keanu has been known to discuss their estrangement with hesitance, in an effort to maintain his privacy.

Samuel Nowlin Reeves Jr. passed away on January 26, 2018, at the age of 75 in Ewa Beach, Honolulu County, Hawaii. The details of his burial remain unknown, as they were kept private. Upon his death, it was reported that Keanu did not attend his father’s funeral, which highlights the depth of their estrangement.

Written by Alexander

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