Keaton in 2012
January 5, 1946
|Education||Santa Ana High School|
Diane Hall Keaton (born January 5, 1946) is an American actress and filmmaker. Known for her idiosyncratic personality and dressing style, Keaton has received an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, two Golden Globe Awards, and the AFI Life Achievement Award.
Keaton began her career on stage and made her screen debut as an extra in Lovers and Other Strangers (1970). She rose to prominence with her first major film role as Kay Adams-Corleone in The Godfather (1972), a role she reprised in its sequels The Godfather Part II (1974) and The Godfather Part III (1990). But the films that most shaped her career were those with director and co-star Woody Allen, beginning with Play It Again, Sam (1972). Her next two films with Allen, Sleeper (1973) and Love and Death (1975), established her as a comic actor. Her fourth, the romantic comedy Annie Hall (1977), won her the Academy Award for Best Actress.
To avoid being typecast as her Annie Hall persona, Keaton became an accomplished dramatic performer, starring in Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977) and Interiors (1978), and received three more Academy Award nominations for playing feminist activist Louise Bryant in Reds (1981), a woman with leukemia in Marvin's Room (1996), and a dramatist in Something's Gotta Give (2003).
Keaton's other popular films include Manhattan (1979), Baby Boom (1987), Father of the Bride Part I (1991) and Part II (1995), Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993), The First Wives Club (1996), The Family Stone (2005), Morning Glory (2010), Finding Dory (2016) and Book Club (2018).
Early life and education
Diane Keaton was born Diane Hall in Los Angeles, California. Her mother, Dorothy Deanne (née Keaton; 1921–2008), was a homemaker and amateur photographer; her father, John Newton Ignatius "Jack" Hall (1922–1990), was a real estate broker and civil engineer. Keaton was raised a Free Methodist by her mother. Her mother won the "Mrs. Los Angeles" pageant for homemakers; Keaton has said that the theatricality of the event inspired her first impulse to be an actress, and led to her wanting to work on stage. She has also credited Katharine Hepburn, whom she admires for playing strong and independent women, as one of her inspirations.
Keaton is a 1964 graduate of Santa Ana High School in Santa Ana, California. During her time there, she participated in singing and acting clubs at school, and starred as Blanche DuBois in a school production of A Streetcar Named Desire. After graduation, she attended Santa Ana College, and later Orange Coast College as an acting student, but dropped out after a year to pursue an entertainment career in Manhattan. Upon joining the Actors' Equity Association, she changed her surname to Keaton, her mother's maiden name, as there was already an actress registered under the name of Diane Hall. For a brief time she also moonlighted at nightclubs with a singing act. She revisited her nightclub act in Annie Hall (1977), And So It Goes (2014), and a cameo in Radio Days (1987).
Keaton began studying acting at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City. She initially studied acting under the Meisner technique, an ensemble acting technique first evolved in the 1930s by Sanford Meisner, a New York stage actor/acting coach/director who had been a member of The Group Theater (1931–1940). She has described her acting technique as, "[being] only as good as the person you're acting with ... As opposed to going it on my own and forging my path to create a wonderful performance without the help of anyone. I always need the help of everyone!" According to Jack Nicholson, "She approaches a script sort of like a play in that she has the entire script memorized before you start doing the movie, which I don't know any other actors doing that."
In 1968, Keaton became a member of the "Tribe" and understudy to Sheila in the original Broadway production of Hair. She gained some notoriety for her refusal to disrobe at the end of Act I when the cast performs nude, even though nudity in the production was optional for actors (Those who performed nude received a $50 bonus). After acting in Hair for nine months, she auditioned for a part in Woody Allen's production of Play It Again, Sam. After nearly being passed over for being too tall (at 5 ft 8 in (173 cm), she is 2 inches (5 cm) taller than Allen), she won the part.
After being nominated for a Tony Award for Play It Again, Sam, Keaton made her film debut in Lovers and Other Strangers (1970). She followed with guest roles on the television series Love, American Style and Night Gallery, and Mannix. Between films, Keaton appeared in a series of deodorant commercials.
Keaton's breakthrough role came two years later when she was cast as Kay Adams, the girlfriend and eventual wife of Michael Corleone (played by Al Pacino) in Francis Ford Coppola's 1972 film The Godfather. Coppola noted that he first noticed Keaton in Lovers and Other Strangers, and cast her because of her reputation for eccentricity that he wanted her to bring to the role (Keaton claims that at the time she was commonly referred to as "the kooky actress" of the film industry). Her performance in the film was loosely based on her real life experience of making the film, both of which she has described as being "the woman in a world of men." The Godfather was an unparalleled critical and financial success, becoming the highest-grossing film of the year and winning the Best Picture Oscar of 1972.
Two years later she reprised her role as Kay Adams in The Godfather Part II. She was initially reluctant, saying, "At first, I was skeptical about playing Kay again in the Godfather sequel. But when I read the script, the character seemed much more substantial than in the first movie." In Part II her character changed dramatically, becoming more embittered about her husband's activities. Even though Keaton received widespread exposure from the films, her character's importance was minimal. Time wrote that she was "invisible in The Godfather and pallid in The Godfather, Part II, but according to Empire magazine, Keaton "proves the quiet lynchpin which is no mean feat in [the] necessarily male dominated films."
Keaton's other notable films of the 1970s included many collaborations with Woody Allen; although by the time they made films together, their romantic involvement had ended. She played many eccentric characters in several of his comic and dramatic films, including Sleeper, Love and Death, Interiors, Manhattan, Manhattan Murder Mystery and the film version of Play It Again, Sam, directed by Herbert Ross. Allen has credited Keaton as his muse during his early film career.
In 1977 Keaton won the Academy Award for Best Actress in Allen's romantic comedy Annie Hall, one of her most famous roles. Annie Hall, written by Allen and Marshall Brickman and directed by Allen, was believed by many to be an autobiographical exploration of his relationship with Keaton. Allen based the character of Annie Hall loosely on Keaton ("Annie" is a nickname of hers, and "Hall" is her original surname). Many of Keaton's mannerisms and her self-deprecating sense of humor were added into the role by Allen. (Director Nancy Meyers has claimed "Diane's the most self-deprecating person alive.") Keaton has also said that Allen wrote the character as an "idealized version" of herself. The two starred as a frequently on-again, off-again couple living in New York City. Her acting was later summed up by CNN as "awkward, self-deprecating, speaking in endearing little whirlwinds of semi-logic", and by Allen as a "nervous breakdown in slow motion." The film was both a major financial and critical success, and won the Academy Award for Best Picture. Of Keaton's performance, feminist film critic Molly Haskell wrote, "Keaton took me by surprise in Annie Hall. Here she blossomed into something more than just another kooky dame—she put the finishing touches on a type, the anti-goddess, the golden shiksa from the provinces who looks cool and together, who looks as if she must have a date on Saturday night, but has only to open her mouth or gulp or dart spastically sideways to reveal herself as the insecure bungler she is, as complete a social disaster in her own way as Allen's horny West Side intellectual is in his." In 2006 Premiere magazine ranked Keaton in Annie Hall 60th on its list of the "100 Greatest Performances of All Time", and noted:
It's hard to play ditzy. ... The genius of Annie is that despite her loopy backhand, awful driving, and nervous tics, she's also a complicated, intelligent woman. Keaton brilliantly displays this dichotomy of her character, especially when she yammers away on a first date with Alvy (Woody Allen), while the subtitle reads, 'He probably thinks I'm a yoyo.' Yo-yo? Hardly.
Keaton's eccentric wardrobe in Annie Hall, which consisted mainly of vintage men's clothing, including neckties, vests, baggy pants, and fedora hats, made her an unlikely fashion icon of the late 1970s. A small amount of the clothing seen in the film came from Keaton herself, who was already known for her tomboyish clothing style years before Annie Hall, and Ruth Morley designed the movie's costumes. Soon after the film's release, men's clothing and pantsuits became popular attire for women. She is known to favor men's vintage clothing, and usually appears in public wearing gloves and conservative attire. (A 2005 profile in the San Francisco Chronicle described her as "easy to find. Look for the only woman in sight dressed in a turtleneck on a 90-degree afternoon in Pasadena.")
Her photo by Douglas Kirkland appeared on the cover of the September 26, 1977, issue of Time magazine, with the story dubbing her "the funniest woman now working in films." Later that year she departed from her usual lighthearted comic roles when she won the highly coveted lead role in the drama Looking for Mr. Goodbar, based on the novel by Judith Rossner. In the film she played a Catholic schoolteacher for deaf children who lives a double life, spending nights frequenting singles bars and engaging in promiscuous sex. Keaton became interested in the role after seeing it as a "psychological case history." The same issue of Time commended her role choice and criticized the restricted roles available for female actors in American films:
A male actor can fly a plane, fight a war, shoot a badman, pull off a sting, impersonate a big cheese in business or politics. Men are presumed to be interesting. A female can play a wife, play a whore, get pregnant, lose her baby, and, um, let's see ... Women are presumed to be dull. ... Now a determined trend spotter can point to a handful of new films whose makers think that women can bear the dramatic weight of a production alone, or virtually so. Then there is Diane Keaton in Looking for Mr. Goodbar. As Theresa Dunn, Keaton dominates this raunchy, risky, violent dramatization of Judith Rossner's 1975 novel about a schoolteacher who cruises singles bars.
In addition to acting, Keaton has said she "had a lifelong ambition to be a singer." She had a brief, unrealized career as a recording artist in the 1970s. Her first record was an original cast recording of Hair, in 1971. In 1977 she began recording tracks for a solo album, but the finished record never materialized.
Keaton met with more success in the medium of still photography. Like her character in Annie Hall, Keaton had long relished photography as a favorite hobby, an interest she picked up as a teenager from her mother. While traveling in the late 1970s, she began exploring her avocation more seriously. "Rolling Stone had asked me to take photographs for them, and I thought, 'Wait a minute, what I'm really interested in is these lobbies, and these strange ballrooms in these old hotels.' So I began shooting them", she recalled in 2003. "These places were deserted, and I could just sneak in anytime and nobody cared. It was so easy and I could do it myself. It was an adventure for me." Reservations, her collection of photos of hotel interiors, was published in book form in 1980.
With Manhattan (1979), Keaton and Woody Allen ended their long working relationship; it was their last major collaboration until 1993. In 1978 she became romantically involved with Warren Beatty, and two years later he cast her opposite him in the epic historical drama Reds. In the film she played Louise Bryant, a journalist and feminist, who flees her husband to work with radical journalist John Reed (Beatty) and later enters Russia to find him as he chronicles the Russian Civil War. Beatty cast Keaton after seeing her in Annie Hall, as he wanted to bring her natural nervousness and insecure attitude to the role. The production of Reds was delayed several times following its conception in 1977, and Keaton almost left the project when she believed it would never be produced. Filming finally began two years later. In a 2006 Vanity Fair story, Keaton described her role as "the everyman of that piece, as someone who wanted to be extraordinary but was probably more ordinary ... I knew what it felt like to be extremely insecure." Assistant director Simon Relph later stated that Louise Bryant was one of Keaton's most difficult roles, and that "[she] almost got broken." Reds opened to critical acclaim, and Keaton's performance was particularly praised. The New York Times wrote that Keaton was "nothing less than splendid as Louise Bryant – beautiful, selfish, funny and driven. It's the best work she has done to date." Roger Ebert called Keaton "a particular surprise. I had somehow gotten into the habit of expecting her to be a touchy New Yorker, sweet, scared, and intellectual. Here, she is just what she needs to be: plucky, healthy, exasperated, loyal, and funny." Keaton received her second Academy Award nomination for her performance.
The following year, Keaton starred in the domestic drama Shoot the Moon opposite Albert Finney. The film follows George (Finney) and Faith Dunlap (Keaton), whose deteriorating marriage, separation and love affairs devastate their four children. Shoot the Moon received mostly positive reviews from critics and Keaton's performance was again praised. In The New Yorker Pauline Kael wrote that the film was "perhaps the most revealing American movie of the era", saying of Keaton:
Diane Keaton may be a star without vanity: she's so completely challenged by the role of Faith that all she cares about is getting the character right. Very few young American movie actresses have the strength and the instinct for the toughest dramatic roles — intelligent, sophisticated heroines. Jane Fonda did, around the time that she appeared in Klute and They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, but that was more than ten years ago. There hasn't been anybody else until now. Diane Keaton acts on a different plane from that of her previous film roles; she brings the character a full measure of dread and awareness, and does it in a special, intuitive way that's right for screen acting.
David Denby of New York magazine called Keaton "perfectly relaxed and self-assured", adding, "Keaton has always found it easy enough to bring out the anger that lies beneath the soft hesitancy of her surface manner, but she's never dug down and found this much pain before. Keaton's performance garnered her a second Golden Globe nomination in a row for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama, following Reds.
1984 brought The Little Drummer Girl, Keaton's first excursion into the thriller and action genre. The Little Drummer Girl was both a financial and critical failure, with critics claiming that Keaton was miscast for the genre, such as one review from The New Republic claiming that "the title role, the pivotal role, is played by Diane Keaton, and around her the picture collapses in tatters. She is so feeble, so inappropriate." But the same year she received positive reviews for her performance in Mrs. Soffel, a film based on the true story of a repressed prison warden's wife who falls in love with a convicted murderer and arranges for his escape. Two years later she starred with Jessica Lange and Sissy Spacek in Crimes of the Heart, adapted from Beth Henley's Pulitzer Prize-winning play into a moderately successful screen comedy. Keaton's performance was well received by critics, and Rita Kempley of The Washington Post wrote, "As the frumpy Lenny, Keaton eases smoothly from New York neurotic to southern eccentric, a reluctant wallflower stymied by, of all things, her shriveled ovary."
In 1987 Keaton starred in Baby Boom, her first of four collaborations with writer-producer Nancy Meyers. She played a Manhattan career woman who is suddenly forced to care for a toddler. A modest box-office success, Keaton's performance was singled out by Kael, who described it as "a glorious comedy performance that rides over many of the inanities in this picture. Keaton is smashing: the Tiger Lady's having all this drive is played for farce and Keaton keeps you alert to every shade of pride and panic the character feels. She's an ultra-feminine executive, a wide-eyed charmer, with a breathless ditziness that may remind you of Jean Arthur in The More The Merrier." That same year Keaton made a cameo in Allen's film Radio Days as a nightclub singer. 1988's The Good Mother was a financial disappointment (according to Keaton, the film was "a Big Failure. Like, BIG failure"), and some critics panned her performance; according to The Washington Post, "her acting degenerates into hype—as if she's trying to sell an idea she can't fully believe in."
In 1987 Keaton directed and edited her first feature film, Heaven, a documentary about the possibility of an afterlife. It met with mixed critical reaction, with The New York Times likening it to "a conceit imposed on its subjects." Over the next four years Keaton directed music videos for artists such as Belinda Carlisle, including the video for Carlisle's chart-topping hit "Heaven Is a Place on Earth," two television films starring Patricia Arquette, and episodes of the series China Beach and Twin Peaks.
By the 1990s Keaton had established herself as one of the most popular and versatile actors in Hollywood. She shifted to more mature roles, frequently playing matriarchs of middle-class families. Of her role choices and avoidance of becoming typecast, she said: "Most often a particular role does you some good and Bang! You have loads of offers, all of them for similar roles ... I have tried to break away from the usual roles and have tried my hand at several things."
Keaton began the decade with The Lemon Sisters, a poorly received comedy/drama that she starred in and produced, which was shelved for a year after its completion. In 1991 she starred with Steve Martin in the family comedy Father of the Bride. She was almost not cast in the film, as The Good Mother's commercial failure had strained her relationship with Walt Disney Pictures, the studio of both films. Father of the Bride was Keaton's first major hit after four years of commercial disappointments. She reprised her role four years later in the sequel, as a woman who becomes pregnant in middle age at the same time as her daughter. A San Francisco Examiner review of the film was one of many in which Keaton was once again compared to Katharine Hepburn: "No longer relying on that stuttering uncertainty that seeped into all her characterizations of the 1970s, she has somehow become Katharine Hepburn with a deep maternal instinct, that is, she is a fine and intelligent actress who doesn't need to be tough and edgy in order to prove her feminism."
Keaton reprised her role of Kay Adams in 1990's The Godfather Part III, set 20 years after the end of The Godfather, Part II. Keaton's character was now Michael Corleone's estranged ex-wife. Criticism of the film and Keaton again centered on her character's unimportance in the film. The Washington Post wrote, "Even though she is authoritative in the role, Keaton suffers tremendously from having no real function except to nag Michael for his past sins." In 1993 Keaton starred in Manhattan Murder Mystery, her first major film role in a Woody Allen film since 1979. Her part was originally intended for Mia Farrow, but Farrow dropped out of the project after breaking up with Allen. Todd McCarthy of Variety commended her performance, writing that she "nicely handles her sometimes buffoonish central comedic role". David Ansen of Newsweek wrote, "On screen, Keaton and Allen have always been made for each other: they still strike wonderfully ditsy sparks". For her performance, Keaton was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical.
In 1995 Keaton directed Unstrung Heroes, her first theatrically released narrative film. The movie, adapted from Franz Lidz's memoir, starred Nathan Watt as a boy in the 1960s whose mother (Andie MacDowell) becomes ill with cancer. As her sickness advances and his inventor father (John Turturro) grows increasingly distant, the boy is sent to live with his two eccentric uncles (Maury Chaykin and Michael Richards). Keaton switched the story's setting from the New York of Lidz's book to the Southern California of her own childhood, and the four mad uncles were reduced to a whimsical odd couple. In an essay for The New York Times, Lidz said that the cinematic Selma had died not of cancer, but of "Old Movie Disease". "Someday somebody may find a cure for cancer, but the terminal sappiness of cancer movies is probably beyond remedy." Unstrung Heroes played in a relatively limited release and made little impression at the box office, but the film and its direction were generally well-received critically.
Keaton's most successful film of the decade was the 1996 comedy The First Wives Club. She starred with Goldie Hawn and Bette Midler as a trio of "first wives": middle-aged women who had been divorced by their husbands in favor of younger women. Keaton claimed that making the film "saved [her] life." The film was a major success, grossing US$105 million at the North American box office, and it developed a cult following among middle-aged women. Its reviews were generally positive for Keaton and her co-stars, and The San Francisco Chronicle called her "probably [one of] the best comic film actresses alive." In 1997 Keaton, Hawn and Midler received the Women in Film Crystal Award, which honors "outstanding women who, through their endurance and the excellence of their work, have helped to expand the role of women within the entertainment industry."
Also in 1996 Keaton starred as Bessie, a woman with leukemia, in Marvin's Room, an adaptation of the play by Scott McPherson. Meryl Streep played her estranged sister, Lee, and had also initially been considered for the role of Bessie. The film also starred Leonardo DiCaprio as Lee's rebellious son. Roger Ebert wrote, "Streep and Keaton, in their different styles, find ways to make Lee and Bessie into much more than the expression of their problems." Keaton earned a third Academy Award nomination for the film, which was critically acclaimed. She said the role's biggest challenge was understanding the mentality of a person with a terminal illness. Keaton next starred in The Only Thrill (1997) opposite her Baby Boom co-star Sam Shephard, and had a supporting role in The Other Sister (1999).
In 1999 Keaton narrated the one-hour public-radio documentary "If I Get Out Alive", the first to focus on the conditions and brutality young people face in the adult correctional system. The program, produced by Lichtenstein Creative Media, aired on public radio stations across the country, and was honored with a First Place National Headliner Award and a Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism.
Keaton's first film of 2000 was Hanging Up, with Meg Ryan and Lisa Kudrow. She directed the film, despite claiming in a 1996 interview that she would never direct herself in a film, saying "as a director, you automatically have different goals. I can't think about directing when I'm acting." A drama about three sisters coping with the senility and eventual death of their elderly father (Walter Matthau), Hanging Up rated poorly with critics and grossed a modest US$36 million at the North American box office.
In 2001 Keaton co-starred with Warren Beatty in Town & Country, a critical and financial fiasco. Budgeted at an estimated US$90 million, the film opened to little notice and grossed only US$7 million in its North American theatrical run. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone wrote that Town & Country was "less deserving of a review than it is an obituary....The corpse took with it the reputations of its starry cast, including Warren Beatty and Diane Keaton." In 2001 and 2002 Keaton starred in four low-budget television films. She played a fanatical nun in the religious drama Sister Mary Explains It All, an impoverished mother in the drama On Thin Ice, and a bookkeeper in the mob comedy Plan B. In Crossed Over, she played Beverly Lowry, a woman who forms an unusual friendship with the only woman executed while on death row in Texas, Karla Faye Tucker.
Keaton's first major hit since 1996 came in 2003's Something's Gotta Give, directed by Nancy Meyers and co-starring Jack Nicholson. Nicholson and Keaton, aged 65 and 56 respectively, were seen as bold casting choices for leads in a romantic comedy. Twentieth Century Fox, the film's original studio, reportedly declined to produce the film, fearing that the lead characters were too old to be bankable. Keaton told Ladies' Home Journal, "Let's face it, people my age and Jack's age are much deeper, much more soulful, because they've seen a lot of life. They have a great deal of passion and hope—why shouldn't they fall in love? Why shouldn't movies show that?" Keaton played a middle-aged playwright who falls in love with her daughter's much older boyfriend. The film was a major success at the box office, grossing US$125 million in North America. Roger Ebert wrote, "Nicholson and Keaton bring so much experience, knowledge and humor to their characters that the film works in ways the screenplay might not have even hoped for." Keaton received her fourth Academy Award nomination for her performance.
Keaton's only film between 2004 and 2006 was the comedy The Family Stone (2005), starring an ensemble cast that also included Sarah Jessica Parker, Claire Danes, Rachel McAdams, and Craig T. Nelson. In the film, scripted and directed by Thomas Bezucha, Keaton played a breast cancer survivor and matriarch of a big New England family that reunites at the parents' home for its annual Christmas holidays. The film was released to moderate critical and commercial success, and earned US$92.2 million worldwide. Keaton received her second Satellite Award nomination for her portrayal, of which Peter Travers of Rolling Stone wrote, "Keaton, a sorceress at blending humor and heartbreak, honors the film with a grace that makes it stick in the memory."
In 2007 Keaton starred in both Because I Said So and Mama's Boy. In the romantic comedy Because I Said So, directed by Michael Lehmann, Keaton played a long-divorced mother of three daughters, determined to pair off her only single daughter, Milly (Mandy Moore). Also starring Stephen Collins and Gabriel Macht, the project opened to overwhelmingly negative reviews, with Wesley Morris of The Boston Globe calling it "a sloppily made bowl of reheated chick-flick cliches", and was ranked among the worst-reviewed films of the year. The following year Keaton received her first and only Golden Raspberry Award nomination to date for the film. In Mama's Boy, director Tim Hamilton's feature film debut, Keaton starred as the mother of a self-absorbed 29-year-old (Jon Heder) whose world turns upside down when his widowed mother starts dating and considers booting him out of the house. Distributed for a limited release to certain parts of the United States only, the independent comedy garnered largely negative reviews.
In 2008 Keaton starred alongside Dax Shepard and Liv Tyler in Vince Di Meglio's dramedy Smother, playing the overbearing mother of an unemployed therapist, who decides to move in with him and his girlfriend after breaking up with her husband (Ken Howard). As with Mama's Boy, the film received a limited release only, resulting in a gross of US$1.8 million worldwide. Critical reaction to the film was generally unfavorable, and once again Keaton was dismissed for her role choices, with Sandra Hall of the New York Post writing, "Diane's career is dyin' [...] this time, sadly, she's gone too far. She's turned herself into a mother-in-law joke." Also in 2008 Keaton appeared alongside Katie Holmes and Queen Latifah in the crime-comedy film Mad Money, directed by Callie Khouri. Based on the British television drama Hot Money (2001), the film revolves around three female employees of the Federal Reserve who scheme to steal money that is about to be destroyed. As with Keaton's previous projects, the film bombed at the box offices with a gross total of US$26.4 million, and was universally panned, ranking third in the New York Post's Top 10 Worst Movies of 2008.
In 2010 Keaton starred alongside Rachel McAdams and Harrison Ford in Roger Michell's comedy Morning Glory, playing the veteran TV host of a fictional morning talk show that desperately needs to boost its lagging ratings. Portraying a narcissistic character who will do anything to please the audience, Keaton described her role as "the kind of woman you love to hate." Inspired by Neil Simon's 1972 Broadway play The Sunshine Boys, the film was a moderate success at the box office, taking a worldwide total of almost US$59 million. Some critics felt that Keaton was underused in the film, but she was generally praised for her performance, with James Berardinelli of ReelViews writing, "Diane Keaton is so good at her part that one can see her sliding effortlessly into an anchor's chair on a real morning show."
In fall 2010 Keaton joined the production of the comedy drama Darling Companion by Lawrence Kasdan, which was released in 2012. Co-starring Kevin Kline and Dianne Wiest and set in Telluride, Colorado, the film follows a woman, played by Keaton, whose husband loses her much-beloved dog at a wedding held at their vacation home in the Rocky Mountains, resulting in a search party to find the pet. Kasdan's first film in nine years, the film bombed at the US box office, where it scored about US$790,000 throughout its entire theatrical run. Critics dismissed the film as "an overwritten, underplotted vanity project" but applauded Keaton's performance. Ty Burr of The Boston Globe wrote that the film "would be instantly forgettable if not for Keaton, who imbues [her role] with a sorrow, warmth, wisdom, and rage that feel earned [...] Her performance here is an extension of worn, resilient grace."
Also in 2011 Keaton began production on Justin Zackham's 2013 ensemble comedy The Big Wedding, a remake of the 2006 French film Mon frère se marie in which she, along with Robert De Niro, played a long-divorced couple who, for the sake of their adopted son's wedding and his very religious biological mother, pretend they are still married. The film received largely negative reviews. In his New York Post review Lou Lumenick wrote, "the brutally unfunny, cringe-worthy The Big Wedding provides ample opportunities for Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon, and Robin Williams to embarrass themselves".
In 2014 Keaton starred in And So It Goes and 5 Flights Up. In Rob Reiner's romantic dramedy And So It Goes, Keaton portrayed a widowed lounge singer who finds autumnal love with a bad boy (Michael Douglas). The film received largely negative reviews. One critic wrote that "And So It Goes aims for comedy, but with two talented actors stuck in a half-hearted effort from a once-mighty filmmaker, it ends in unintentional tragedy." Keaton co-starred with Morgan Freeman in Richard Loncraine's comedy film 5 Flights Up, based on Jill Ciment's novel Heroic Measures. They play a long-married couple who have an eventful weekend after they are forced to contemplate selling their beloved Brooklyn apartment. Shot in New York, the film premiered, under its former name Ruth & Alex, at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. The same year Keaton became the first woman to receive the Golden Lion Award at the Zurich Film Festival.
Keaton's only film of 2015 was Love the Coopers, an ensemble comedy about a troubled family getting together for Christmas, for which she reunited with Because I Said So writer Jessie Nelson. Also starring John Goodman, Ed Helms, and Marisa Tomei, Keaton was attached for several years before the film went into production. Her cast was instrumental in financing and recruiting most other actors, which led her to an executive producer credit in the film. Love the Coopers received largely negative reviews from critics, who called it a "bittersweet blend of holiday cheer", and became a moderate commercial success at a worldwide total of US$41.1 million against a budget of US$17 million. Also in 2015 Netflix announced the comedy Divanation, for which Keaton was expected to reunite with her First Wives Club co-stars Midler and Hawn to portray a former singing group, but the project failed to materialize.
Keaton voiced amnesiac fish Dory's mother in Disney and Pixar's Finding Dory (2016), the sequel to the 2003 Pixar computer-animated film Finding Nemo. The film was a critical and commercial success, grossing over US$1 billion worldwide, the second Pixar film to cross this mark after Toy Story 3 (2010). It also set numerous records, including the biggest animated opening of all time in North America, emerging as the biggest animated film of all time in the US. Keaton's other project of 2016 was the HBO eight-part series The Young Pope, in which she plays a nun who raised the newly elected Pope (Jude Law) and helped him reach the papacy. The miniseries received two nominations for the 69th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards, becoming the first Italian TV series to be nominated for Primetime Emmy Awards.
In 2017 Keaton appeared opposite Brendan Gleeson in the British dramedy film Hampstead. Based on the life of Harry Hallowes, it depicts an American widow (Keaton) who helps a local man defending his ramshackle hut and the life he has been leading on Hampstead Heath for 17 years. The specialty release had a mixed reception from critics, who were unimpressed by the film's "deeply mediocre story", but became a minor commercial success. Keaton's only project of 2018 was Book Club, in which she, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenburgen play four friends who read Fifty Shades of Grey as part of their monthly book club and subsequently begin to change how they view their personal relationships. The romantic comedy received mixed reviews from critics, who felt that Book Club only "intermittently rises to the level of its impressive veteran cast," but with a worldwide gross of over $91 million, became Keaton's biggest commercial success in a non-voice role since 2003's Something's Gotta Give. In 2019, Keaton starred in the comedy Poms as a woman dying of cancer who starts a cheerleading squad with other female residents of a retirement home. The film was a box office disappointment and was negatively received by critics.
Relationships and family
Keaton has had several romantic associations with noted entertainment industry personalities, starting with her audition for the 1969 Broadway production of Play It Again, Sam, directed by Woody Allen. Their relationship became romantic after they had dinner after a late-night rehearsal. It was her sense of humor that attracted Allen. They briefly lived together during the production, but by the time of the film release of the same name in 1972, their living arrangements became informal. They worked together on eight films between 1971 and 1993, and Keaton has said that Allen remains one of her closest friends.
Keaton was already dating Warren Beatty in 1979 when they co-starred in the film Reds. Beatty was a regular subject in tabloid magazines and media coverage, and Keaton became included, much to her bewilderment. In 1985 Vanity Fair called her "the most reclusive star since Garbo." This relationship ended shortly after Reds wrapped. Troubles with the production are thought to have strained the relationship, including numerous financial and scheduling problems. Keaton remains friends with Beatty.
Keaton also had a relationship with her The Godfather Trilogy costar Al Pacino. Their on-again, off-again relationship ended after the filming of The Godfather Part III. Keaton said of Pacino, "Al was simply the most entertaining man... To me, that's, that is the most beautiful face. I think Warren was gorgeous, very pretty, but Al's face is like whoa. Killer, killer face."
Later thoughts on marriage
In July 2001, Keaton said of being older and unmarried, "I don't think that because I'm not married it's made my life any less. That old maid myth is garbage." Keaton has two adopted children, daughter Dexter (adopted 1996) and son Duke (2001). Her father's death made mortality more apparent to her, and she decided to become a mother at age 50. She later said of having children, "Motherhood has completely changed me. It's just about the most completely humbling experience that I've ever had."
Keaton said she produced her 1987 documentary Heaven because "I was always pretty religious as a kid ... I was primarily interested in religion because I wanted to go to heaven." When she grew up, she became agnostic.
Keaton is active in campaigns with the Los Angeles Conservancy to save and restore historic buildings, particularly in the Los Angeles area. Among the buildings she has been active in restoring is the Ennis House in the Hollywood Hills, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Keaton was also active in the failed campaign to save the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles (a hotel featured in Reservations), where Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated. She is an enthusiast of Spanish Colonial Revival architecture.
Keaton has served as a producer on films and television series. She produced the Fox series Pasadena, which was canceled after airing only four episodes in 2001 but completed its run on cable in 2005. In 2003 she produced the Gus Van Sant drama Elephant, about a school shooting. Of why she produced the film, she said, "It really makes me think about my responsibilities as an adult to try and understand what's going on with young people."
Keaton has continued to pursue her interest in photography. In 1987 she told Vanity Fair, "I have amassed a huge library of images—kissing scenes from movies, pictures I like. Visual things are really key for me." She has published several more collections of her own photographs and served as an editor of collections of vintage photography. Works she has edited in the last decade include a book of photographs by paparazzo Ron Galella; an anthology of reproductions of clown paintings; and a collection of photos of California's Spanish-Colonial-style houses.
Keaton has also established herself as a real estate developer. She has resold several mansions in Southern California after renovating and redesigning them. One of her clients was Madonna, who purchased a US$6.5 million Beverly Hills mansion from Keaton in 2003. She received the Film Society of Lincoln Center's Gala Tribute in 2007.
Keaton wrote her first memoir, Then Again, for Random House in November 2011. Much of the autobiography relies on her mother's private journals, which include the line "Diane...is a mystery...At times, she's so basic, at others so wise it frightens me." In 2012 Keaton's audiobook recording of Joan Didion's Slouching Towards Bethlehem was released on Audible.com. Her performance was nominated for a 2013 Audie Award in the Short Stories/Collections category.
Acting style and legacy
Keaton has been called "one of the great American actresses from the heyday of the 1970s", a style icon and a "treasure" with a personal and professional style that is "difficult to explicate and impossible to duplicate." Many critics have pointed to her versatility in starring in both light comedies and acclaimed dramas. The New York Times described Keaton as "remarkably skilled" at portraying Woody Allen's "darling flustered muse" in his comedies, as well as "shy, self-conscious women overcome by the power of their own awakened eroticism" in dramatic films like Looking for Mr. Goodbar, Reds, Shoot the Moon and Mrs. Soffel. It also noted Keaton's ability to consistently reinvent and challenge herself on screen, having transitioned from "Allen's ditzy foil" to a "gifted and erotically nuanced character actress" and later "an appealing maternal figure... a woman's woman with a sexy edge."
Literary critic Daphne Merkin argued that Keaton remained more popular with audiences than her contemporaries because of her "friendly accessibility" and "charmingly self-effacing" persona, calling Keaton's most "steadfastly glamorous" asset her "megawatt personality, bursting out of her like an uncontrollable force of nature, a geyser of quirkily entertaining traits that fall on the air and lend everything around her a momentary sparkle." In New York magazine, Peter Rainer wrote, "In her Annie Hall days, [Keaton] was famed for her thrown-together fashion sense, and her approach to acting is, in the best way, thrown-together, too. Audiences love her because they identify with the women she plays, who are never all of a piece. Nobody can be grave and goofy all at once like Diane Keaton. In these fractious times, it's the perfect combo for a modern heroine." Famously self-deprecating, Keaton has been noted for her "wry sense of humor" and "eccentric gender-bending style."
Analyzing her on-screen persona, Deborah C. Mitchell wrote that Keaton often played "a complex, modern American woman, a paradox of self-doubt and assurance", which became her trademark. Mitchell suggests that Keaton made Annie Hall a "critical juncture for women in American culture. In this ism-infected age, Keaton became not just a star but an icon. Annie Hall, and with her Diane Keaton, presented all of the uncertainty and ambivalence of the new breed of women." Likewise, Bruce Weber felt Keaton's eccentricity—"an amalgam of caginess and insecurity" and a "note of comic desperation... her round-cheeked Annie Hall dewiness"—was her gift as a screen comedian. Keaton's Annie Hall is often cited among the greatest Oscar-winning performances in history: Entertainment Weekly ranked it 7th on its "25 greatest Best Actress Winners" list, praising her "loopy mannerisms, jazz-club serenades, and endlessly imitated fashion sense." After seeing her performance in Looking for Mr. Goodbar, Andrew Sarris remarked, "Keaton is clearly the most dynamic woman star in pictures. And any actress who can bring wit and humor to sex in an American movie has to be blessed with the most winning magic."
When asked what made Keaton funny, Allen said: "My opinion is that with the exception of Judy Holliday, she's the finest screen comedienne we've ever seen. It's in her intonation; you can't quantify it easily. When Groucho Marx or W.C. Fields or Holliday would say something, it's in the ring of their voices, and she has that. It's never line comedy with her. It's all character comedy." Charles Shyer, who directed her in Baby Boom, said Keaton was "in the mold of the iconic comedic actresses Carole Lombard, Irene Dunne and Rosalind Russell." In 2017 Keaton was chosen to by the board of directors of the American Film Institute to receive the AFI Life Achievement Award, which Woody Allen presented.
|1970||Lovers and Other Strangers||Joan Vecchio|
|1971||Men of Crisis: The Harvey Wallinger Story||Renata Wallinger||Short film|
|1972||The Godfather||Kay Adams|
|Play It Again, Sam||Linda Christie|
|1974||The Godfather Part II||Kay Adams Corleone|
|1975||Love and Death||Sonja|
|1976||I Will, I Will... for Now||Katie Bingham|
|Harry and Walter Go to New York||Lissa Chestnut|
|1977||Annie Hall||Annie Hall|
|Looking for Mr. Goodbar||Theresa Dunn|
|1981||The Wizard of Malta||Narrator|
|1982||Shoot the Moon||Faith Dunlap|
|1984||The Little Drummer Girl||Charlie|
|Mrs. Soffel||Kate Soffel|
|1986||Crimes of the Heart||Lenny Magrath|
|1987||Radio Days||New Years Singer|
|Baby Boom||J.C. Wiatt|
|1988||The Good Mother||Anna Dunlop|
|1989||The Lemon Sisters||Eloise Hamer|
|1990||The Godfather Part III||Kay Adams Michelson|
|1991||Father of the Bride||Nina Banks|
|1993||Manhattan Murder Mystery||Carol Lipton|
|Look Who's Talking Now||Daphne||Voice|
|1995||Father of the Bride Part II||Nina Banks|
|1996||The First Wives Club||Annie Paradis|
|Marvin's Room||Bessie Wakefield|
|1997||The Only Thrill||Carol Fitzsimmons|
|1999||The Other Sister||Elizabeth Tate|
|2000||Hanging Up||Georgia Mozell|
|2001||Town & Country||Ellie Stoddard|
|Plan B||Fran Varecchio|
|2003||Something's Gotta Give||Erica Barry|
|The Family Stone||Sybil Stone|
|2007||Because I Said So||Daphne Wilder|
|Mama's Boy||Jan Mannus|
|2008||Mad Money||Bridget Cardigan|
|2010||Morning Glory||Colleen Peck|
|2012||Darling Companion||Beth Winter|
|2013||The Big Wedding||Ellie Griffin|
|2014||And So It Goes||Leah|
|5 Flights Up||Ruth Carver|
|2015||Love the Coopers||Charlotte Cooper|
|2020||Father of the Bride, Part 3(ish)||Nina Banks||Short film|
|Love, Weddings & Other Disasters||Sara|
|1970||Love, American Style||Louise||Segment: "Love and Pen Pals"|
|Rod Serling's Night Gallery||Nurse Frances Nevins||Segment: "Room with a View"|
|1971||The F.B.I.||Diane Britt||Episode: "Death Watch"|
|Mannix||Cindy Conrad||Episode: "The Color of Murder"|
|1977||The Godfather Saga||Kay Adams Corleone||4 episodes|
|1992||Running Mates||Aggie Snow||Television film|
|1994||Amelia Earhart: The Final Flight||Amelia Earhart|
|1997||Northern Lights||Roberta Blumstein|
|2001||Sister Mary Explains It All||Sister Mary Ignatius|
|2002||Crossed Over||Beverly Lowry|
|2003||On Thin Ice||Patsy McCartle|
|2006||Surrender, Dorothy||Natalie Swerdlow|
|2016||The Young Pope||Sister Mary||10 episodes|
|2019||Green Eggs and Ham||Michellee||Voice|
Awards and nominations
- 1991: The Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year award from Harvard's Hasty Pudding Theatricals – given to performers who give a lasting and impressive contribution to the world of entertainment.
- 1995: New York Women in Film & Television honored her with the Muse Award along with Angela Bassett, Cokie Roberts, Gena Rowlands and Thelma Schoonmaker.
- 1996: Golden Apple Award—the Female Star of the Year award shared with her First Wives Club co-stars Goldie Hawn and Bette Midler.
- 1997: Crystal Award at the Women in Film Crystal + Lucy Awards—honors outstanding women, who through their endurance and excellence in their work, have helped to expand the role of women within the entertainment industry.
- 1998: Elle Women in Hollywood Awards—the Icon Award, along with Sigourney Weaver, Lucy Fisher and Gillian Armstrong.
- 2004: Inducted into the OFTA Film Hall of Fame for Acting by the Online Film & Television Association.
- 2004: AFI Star Award during the US Comedy Arts Festival.
- 2005: Lifetime Achievement award by the Hollywood Film Awards.
- 2007: Film Society of Lincoln Center Gala Tribute. The events director Wendy Keys called her "a total original—actor, producer, director, photographer and style icon."
- 2014: Lifetime Achievement Award at the Manaki Brothers Film Festival.
- 2014: Golden Icon Award during the Zurich Film Festival.
- 2017: Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute.
- 2018: Special David at the David di Donatello Awards.
- Then Again, New York: Random House, 2011, ISBN 9781400068784
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- Clown Paintings, New York: powerHouse Books, 2002, ISBN 1576871487
- California Romantica, New York: Rizzoli, 2007, ISBN 0847829758
- House, New York: Rizzoli, 2012, ISBN 9780847835638
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actor Diane Keaton in 1946 (age 73)
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This is a sloppily made bowl of reheated chick-flick cliches.
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