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Keanu Reeves pays sweet tribute to his roots in Canada's Walk of Fame acceptance speech

The 'Matrix' star will be inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame on Dec. 17

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Zachary Harper
Digital Director for Hello! CanadaToronto
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Keanu Reeves is as famous for his roles in the Matrix films as he is for playing John Wick, Office Jack Traven in Speed and Ted in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, his breakout role. But along the way, he's never forgotten where he comes from. 

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The 57-year-old will be inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame on Dec. 17 at a gala R&B singer Jully Black, rock legend Bruce Cockburn, retired Senator Roméo Dallaire, NFL star Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, actor Graham Greene, WWE wrestler Bret "The Hitman" Hart, Olympic legend Damian Warner and Cargojet founder Ajay Virmani receive their own stars. Blues singer Salome Bey and scientists Frederick Banting, Charles Best, John Macleod and James Collip will receive posthumous honours. 

WATCH: Keanu Reeves pays tribute to his past in Canada's Walk of Fame acceptance speech

"I would not be here if not for where I came from," Keanu will say in his acceptance speech. You can watch a preview of it above. He will be inducted by fellow Canadian and Matrix co-star Carrie-Anne Moss

"Thank you, Toronto. Thank you, Canada. Thank you for all the experiences, adventure, teaching, support, friendships and for my life." 

Born in Beirut, Lebanon, Keanu was raised in Sydney and New York before moving back to Toronto in the early 1970s, where he spent the majority of his childhood. 

Keanu Reeves

Keanu is seen in a portrait from his early Hollywood days in 1989. Photo: © Aaron Rapoport/Corbis/Getty Images

He grew up in The Big Smoke's Yorkville neighbourhood, once the home of the folk scene the birthed legends such as Gordon Lightfoot, Joni Mitchell and Neil Young. He went to four different high schools in Canada's most populous city, and wanted to become a pro hockey player in his early teens, excelling as a goalkeeper before he set his sights on acting at age 15. 

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Keanu went on to work for the CBC on its youth TV program Going Great in the early '80s, doing correspondent work, before landing his acting debut on Hangin' In, a sitcom aired by the national public broadcaster. By the end of the '80s, he had moved into film, with his movie River's Edge screening at TIFF in 1986 and landing him high praise from critics. A supporting role in Dangerous Liaisons followed before he landed his breakout part in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure and took the '90s by storm. 

Keanu Reeves

Keanu with Ione Skye in a scene from River's Edge in 1986. It was one of his breakout roles. Photo: © Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer-Getty Images

After establishing himself as an action hero with Speed, he moved into more sci-fi productions, landing roles in the beloved Matrix series, Constantine and Johnny Mnemonic, while occasionally appearing in romantic comedies. The mid-2010s saw him break back out as an action hero in the John Wick films. 

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In addition to his acting endeavours, Keanu once rocked out as member of grunge band Dogstar, in which he played bass from 1991 to 2002. He's also done his fair share of directing, having helmed Man of Tai Chi in 2013. He's currently producing a Netflix series called Conquest, and published a comic book series he co-wrote, BRZRKR, back in March. 

Congratulations, Keanu! We hope to visit your Walk of Fame star soon. 

You can watch Keanu's induction on Dec. 17 when the Canada's Walk of Fame special primetime event airs at 8 p.m. ET that evening. It will be available through CTV, the channel's website and its app. 

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