Keanu Reeves has been quietly donating millions to children's hospitals for years

Keanu Reeves has been quietly donating millions to children's hospitals for years

With their opulent lifestyles of fame and fortune, it's often easy to assume that all celebrities are the same. We picture them living in their million-dollar mansions, driving sports cars and being generally ignorant of the lives of us regular people, who struggle to pay rent and take the bus to work each day.

But that's simply not the case. Many celebrities and wealthy folks use their fortunes for the benefit of others - often without making their charity public knowledge.

Just recently, in fact, it was revealed that Matrix star Keanu Reeves has been secretly donating millions of dollars to children's hospitals via a foundation that he set up more than a decade ago.

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 05: Keanu Reeves discusses 'Replicas' during 2017 New York Comic Con - Day 1 on October 5, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images) Credit: Getty

Reeves actually disclosed this information back in 2009 during an interview with Ladies Home Journal, but the detail had gone overlooked until someone from Snopes dug it up as part of a look into the star's somewhat difficult life. At the time, he 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," he explained. "I don’t like to attach my name to it, I just let the foundation do what it does."

By now, then, he has been quietly giving money to medical research and paediatric care for around 15 years.

What's more is that the star is often recognised as being generally more frugal than some of his other famous peers, and is not known for leading a life of excess. Indeed, he lives in a (relatively) modest $4 million two-bedroom house in Hollywood, does not often flaunt fancy clothes, and has been spotted riding the subway on a number of occasions.

HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 30: Actor Keanu Reeves arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of Summit Entertainment's 'John Wick: Chapter 2' at ArcLight Hollywood on January 30, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic) Credit: Getty

The motivation for Reeve's charitable donations, particularly those to cancer research, could have something to do with his younger sister's previous struggles with Leukaemia.

During the 1990s, Kim Reeves was diagnosed with the potentially fatal illness, and fought against it for nine years. She later credited her brother as being one of her biggest supporters, saying, "When the pain got really bad, he would sit with me and hold my hand ... He was supporting me and comforting me all the time, even when he was away."

Speaking of his sister, the John Wick star said, "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."

HOLLYWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 07: Actor Keanu Reeves attends the premiere of 'Knock Knock' at TCL Chinese Theatre on October 7, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images) Credit: Getty

Reeves hasn't spoken out about the revelation since 2009, nor since it came to light again this weekend. Judging by his past behaviour, though, it seems most likely that the actor will continue to do what he's always done: stay quiet, and give his money to a good cause.