Family & Companions
When Keaton was starting out as an actress, she very briefly used her sister's name, Dorrie Hall.
Named Harvard's Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year (1991)
As a multi-faceted actress, director and producer, Diane Keaton received her start as a favorite actress - as well as off-screen girlfriend - of filmmaker Woody Allen, earning a Best Actress Academy Award for her breakout performance in "Annie Hall" (1977). Prior to that, she was the troubled wife of Michael Corleone in "The Godfather" (1972) and "The Godfather, Part II" (1974), and further displayed her dramatic chops as a promiscuous schoolteacher in "Looking for Mr. Goodbar" (1977). Following a role in Woody Allen's "Manhattan" (1979), she earned another Oscar nod for Warren Beatty's "Reds" (1981) and had another critical success with "Crimes of the Heart" (1986). Keaton made her directing debut with the documentary "Heaven" (1987) and segued into television with "The Girl with the Crazy Brother" (CBS, 1990). Along the way, she starred opposite Steve Martin in "Father of the Bride" (1989), reprised Kay Corleone for "The Godfather, Part III" (1990) and had her last role with Allen in "Manhattan Murder Mystery" (1993). Meanwhile, she scored a big hit with "The First Wives Club" (1996), directed the box-office dud "Hanging Up" (2000) and revived that failure with an acclaimed turn opposite Jack Nicholson in the comedy "Something's Gotta Give" (2003). By the time she starred in the romantic comedies "Morning Glory" (2010) and "The Big Wedding" (2013), the ever-stylish Keaton was well known for showcasing powerful emotional journeys of typically non-conformist characters, while having made significant contributions to movies, television, photography, interior design and fashion.
Keaton was born Diane Hall on Jan. 5, 1946, and raised in Santa Ana, CA. The eldest of four kids born to an engineer and amateur photographer, Keaton displayed an enormous range of creative talent growing up, enjoying photography and designing her own clothes while appearing in school plays and harboring dreams of becoming a singer. She spent several years at local colleges after graduating from Santa Ana High School in 1964, but soon moved to New York City, where she studied at Sanford Meisner's renowned Neighborhood Playhouse. She sang on small nightclub stages, but her acting career was first to take off, and in 1968 Keaton landed a long Broadway run in the original cast of "Hair" (1968), where she became known as the one girl who declined to remove her clothes during the finale. The following year, she was cast in Woody Allen's Broadway production "Play It Again, Sam" (1970), earning a Tony Award nomination for the comedy and beginning a long working relationship (as well as romantic relationship) with writer and co-star Allen.
After making her feature debut in "Lovers and Other Strangers" (1970), Keaton had already earned an industry reputation for her eccentric leanings, and it was just that undertone that Francis Ford Coppola was looking for in the character of Kay Adams, Michael Corleone's innocent girlfriend in "The Godfather" (1972). Keaton teamed up with Allen on the big screen in the screwball futuristic comedy "Sleeper" (1973), reprised her role as the now-Mrs. Michael Corleone in "The Godfather Part II" (1974), and retreated to Allen's skewed world with "Love and Death" (1975). As Allen's film style evolved into studies of creative, intellectual New Yorkers, he brought Keaton with him and she became an Oscar-winning movie star with her co-starring role opposite him in the landmark "Annie Hall" (1977), a film loosely based on the pair's now defunct relationship. Keaton made a huge impact in the film, establishing her persona as a multi-dimensional modern woman, smart and culturally sophisticated, but grappling with emotional insecurities. The actress also unwittingly became a style icon whose penchant for men's vintage clothing and odd vest and hat pairings was widely adopted by the fashion world.
Later that year, Keaton gave another excellent performance in "Looking for Mr. Goodbar" (1977), where her free-spirited persona and ability to embody "mainstream" values added to the impact of her portrayal of a newly "liberated" teacher who forays into the gritty pre-AIDS singles bar scene. After accompanying Allen in the anguished "Interiors" (1978) of his first drama and co-starring as the off-putting know-it-all who eventually woos his character away from his teenaged girlfriend in "Manhattan" (1979), Keaton landed the meaty role of leftist writer-artist Louise Bryant in then-beau Warren Beatty's ambitious "Reds" (1981). Her complex portrait of lover, heroine and feminist earned her another Best Actress Oscar nomination and solidified her position at the top of Hollywood's A-list. Keaton left her flair for comic characters in the background, going on to give fine performances as strong-willed women in dramas "Shoot the Moon" (1982), "The Little Drummer Girl" (1984), and "Mrs. Soffel" (1984), where she starred opposite Mel Gibson as a prison warden's wife who falls in love with an inmate.
The casting of Jessica Lange, Sissy Spacek and Keaton as quirky Southern sisters in "Crimes of the Heart" (1986) did not transform Beth Henley's Pulitzer Prize-winning play into a hit film, but the actress did finally enjoy some mainstream success with Charles Shyer's "Baby Boom" (1987), a fluffy comedy she headlined about a devoted career woman suddenly saddled with a baby. Keaton's lifelong passion for photography eventually led her to directing, so in the late 1980s she began to get her feet wet with music videos and a documentary glimpse at the hereafter called "Heaven" (1987). Keaton rejoined Coppola and the "Godfather" team for the franchise's ill-received third installment, "The Godfather Part III" (1990) and retreated behind the camera to direct the made-for-TV movies, The CBS Schoolbreak Special, "The Girl with the Crazy Brother" (1990) and "Wildflower" (1991), and episodes of the drama series "China Beach" (ABC, 1988-1991) and "Twin Peaks" (ABC, 1990-91). Back on the silver screen, the mild comedy remake "Father of the Bride" (1991) marked the beginning of a new onscreen era for Keaton; one that often found her as matriarchs of upper middle class families.
Keaton played an eccentric writer involved with Presidential candidate Ed Harris in "Running Mates" (HBO, 1992) before a hilarious and long overdue re-teaming with Allen in "Manhattan Murder Mystery" (1993), a lighthearted caper whose real star was the pair's undiminished comic chemistry. Back on the small screen, she gave an Emmy Award-nominated starring performance in "Amelia Earhart: The Final Flight" (TNT, 1994), where she was appropriately coiffed for the period and bore a striking resemblance to the famous aviatrix who disappeared over the Pacific in 1937. Back in the director's chair, Keaton helmed her first fictional feature, "Unstrung Heroes" (1995), receiving mostly good notices for her examination of a boy's adventures growing up in an off-center Jewish family of the 1960s. In her first big hit since "Annie Hall" nearly a decade earlier, Keaton co-starred with Goldie Hawn and Bette Midler in Hugh Wilson's "The First Wives Club" (1996) and scored big for her wickedly witty characterization of one of a group of gleefully vengeful exes who have been replaced by younger counterparts.
That uptick in Keaton's profile led to an Oscar-nominated turn in Marvin's Room" (1996), an intimate exploration of family love and sacrifice which paired her and Meryl Streep as estranged sisters forced by circumstance to resume their relationship. With neither "The Only Thrill" (1997) nor "The Other Sister" (1999) finding an audience, the Disney Channel's "Northern Lights" (1997), for which she also served as executive producer, offered arguably her best role for the balance of the decade. As a smart, unsentimental and childless widow who unwillingly takes on the responsibility for her late brother's nine-year-old, Keaton allowed softer edges to emerge in her delightfully comic performance. Her second feature as director, "Hanging Up" (2000), revisited the sister dynamic, and this time she starred with Meg Ryan and Lisa Kudrow as siblings coping with the impending death of their father (Walter Matthau). After appearing in the all-star ensemble of the comic misfire "Town & Country" (2001) opposite ex-boyfriend Warren Beatty, Keaton scored on television in the amusing "Sister Mary Explains It All" (2001), playing a tough-as-nails nun facing a foursome of former students whose lives her teachings ruined.
Behind the scenes, Keaton served as the executive producer of the critically championed but little-watched series "Pasadena" (Fox, 2001), for which she also directed episodes. She went on to star in the CBS telepic "Crossed Over" (2002), the real-life story of a mother whose son was killed by a hit-and-run driver and overcame her grief and depression by befriending a woman on death row in Texas. A third quality telepic, the Lifetime movie "On Thin Ice" (2003) - based on the true story of a single, widowed mother who dealt drugs during a financial emergency only to late become an FBI drug informant - also earned kudos for Keaton as the lead. Keaton made a triumphant return to the big screen opposite Jack Nicholson in the over-50 romantic comedy "Something's Gotta Give" (2003). In one of Keaton's most endearing roles, she gave a bravura performance as a tightly wound novelist who finds herself falling in love with her daughter's much older, womanizing boyfriend (Jack Nicholson) after he suffers a heart attack at her house. Her palpable chemistry with her co-star, both on the screen and off, fueled the film's crowd-pleasing appeal and earned Keaton her fourth Oscar nomination as Best Actress (giving her a nod in four different decades), as well as a Golden Globe victory. It even led to rumors of life imitating art, with tabloids whispering of the seemingly ageless Keaton dating her younger co-star from the film, Keanu Reeves. They claimed to be simply friends.
In 2003, Keaton served as executive producer of "Elephant" (2003), director Gus Van Sant's much-praised exploration of a high school shooting, but returned to comic outings with the 2005 holiday film "The Family Stone" (2005), where she played the matriarch of a bohemian family who welcomes home her son (Dermot Mulroney) and his new girlfriend (Sarah Jessica Parker), a high-powered and controlling New Yorker who is greeted with awkwardness, confusion and hostility. As one of the few middle-aged actresses in much demand, the ever-fashionable 60-year-old, who was outspoken about her anti-plastic surgery stance, was even selected to become a spokesmodel for L'Oreal beauty products. The following year, she appeared opposite former teen singing sensation, Mandy Moore, in "Because I Said So" (2007), a romantic comedy about a well-intentioned but overzealous mother who goes on a mission to find the right man for her daughter. Unfortunately, the film was one of the worst reviewed of the year, with critics slamming Keaton for her choice in vehicle and accusing her of mining the onscreen neurotic act a bit longer than necessary. "Mad Money" fared slightly better with critics, though the implausible female-powered caper starring Keaton, Queen Latifah and Katie Holmes, disappeared from theaters within a few short weeks. Undaunted, the comedy of errors "Smother" (2008) gave Keaton slightly more to work with in her role as a flighty mom who moves in with her grown son (Dax Shepard) and his wife (Liv Tyler). She went on to play a morning show anchor opposite Harrison Ford in the comedy "Morning Glory" (2010) and the following year released her memoirs, Then Again, which relied on her mother's private journals. Keaton next starred in the romantic drama "Darling Companion" (2012), the ensemble family comedy "The Big Wedding" (2013) and Rob Reiner's "And So It Goes" (2014). After appearing in the ensemble holiday comedy "Love the Coopers" (2015), Keaton voiced a character in the animated sequel "Finding Dory" (2016).
By Susan Clarke
Director (Feature Film)
Cast (Feature Film)
Producer (Feature Film)
Music (Feature Film)
Misc. Crew (Feature Film)
Misc. Crew (Special)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Producer (TV Mini-Series)
Made her Broadway debut in "Hair"; became known as the girl who would not remove her clothes in the finale
Acted opposite Woody Allen (also directed) in the Broadway production of "Play It Again, Sam"; earned a Tony nomination
Made film-acting debut in "Lovers and Other Strangers"
Starred opposite Allen in the writer-director's "lost" 25-minute short "Men of Crisis: The Harvey Wallinger Story"; film shelved by PBS in 1972 due to its controversal subject matter; discovered in 1997 at WNET in NYC
First feature opposite Allen, reprising her stage role in "Play It Again, Sam"; scripted by Allen and directed by Herbert Ross
Was cast in her breakthrough role as Kay Adams, the girlfriend and later wife of Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) in Francis Ford Coppola's "The Godfather"
Co-starred opposite Woody Allen (who also wrote and directed) in the futuristic comedy "Sleeper"
Reprised role of Kay Corleone in the sequel "The Godfather, Part II"
Reunited with Allen for "Love and Death," a spoof of Russian literature that owed more than a passing debt to "War and Peace"
Returned to the New York stage to appear in the Off-Broadway play "The Primary English Class" by Israel Horovitz
Delivered a fine dramatic turn as a promiscuous schoolteacher in "Looking for Mr. Goodbar"
Earned a Best Actress Oscar as "Annie Hall"; directed by and co-starring Woody Allen
Starred in Allen's first drama feature, "Interiors"
Last starring role in a film opposite Woody Allen in the director's "Manhattan"
Portrayed Louise Bryant to Warren Beatty's John Reed in Beatty's epic "Reds"; garnered a Best Actress Oscar nomination
Co-starred with Albert Finney as a wife and husband in a collapsing marriage in Alan Parker's "Shoot the Moon"
Directed short film, "What Does Dorrie Want?"
Played titular role of a warden's wife who falls in love with one of the inmates (Mel Gibson) in "Mrs. Soffel"
Teamed with Jessica Lange and Sissy Spacek as three equally off-center Southern sisters in Bruce Bereford's "Crimes of the Heart", adapted from Beth Henley's Pulitzer Prize-winning play; also first film with actor Sam Shepard
Appeared in a cameo role (as a nightclub singer) in Allen's "Radio Days"
Documentary feature directing debut, "Heaven"
Starred in Charles Shyer's "Baby Boom"; second collaboration with Sam Shepard
Offered a strong performance as a divorced woman forced to choose between her child and her lover in "The Good Mother"
Teamed with Steve Martin for Shyer's "Father of the Bride"
Reteamed with Coppola to once again essay Kay Corleone in "The Godfather, Part III"
Helmed the "Fever" episode of the ABC drama "China Beach"
TV directorial debut, "The Girl With the Crazy Brother" a "CBS Schoolbreak Special"
Helmed first feature-length TV-movie "Wildflower" (Lifetime), starring Patricia Arquette
Directed an episode of David Lynch's cerebral soap-opera spoof "Twin Peaks"
TV-movie acting debut, "Running Mates" (HBO), played a journalist who falls in love with a presidential candidate
Replaced Mia Farrow as the leading lady in Woody Allen's "Manhattan Murder Mystery"; last film to date with Allen
Provided the voice of Daphne for "Look Who's Talking Now"
Starred as the aviatrix in the TNT biopic "Amelia Earhart: The Final Flight"; earned an Emmy nomination
Third film with Shyer, "Father of the Bride Part II"
Made her feature directorial debut with "Unstrung Heroes"
Scored a big hit with Hugh Wilson's "The First Wives Club"; co-starred with Goldie Hawn and Bette Midler
Earned third Best Actress Oscar nomination for "Marvin's Room"
Paired again with Shepard for "The Only Thrill"
Served as executive producer and star of The Disney Channel movie "Northern Lights"
Portrayed Juliette Lewis' mother in "The Other Sister"
Directed Meg Ryan and Lisa Kudrow as sisters coping with the impending death of their problematic father (Walter Matthau) in "Hanging Up"; also co-starred in the film
Interviewed for Lifetime's documentary of "Beauty and Aging in America"
Cast as Warren Beatty's wife in "Town and Country"; film also co-starred Goldie Hawn
Had title role in the Showtime adaptation of Christopher Durang's hit play "Sister Mary Explains It All"
Was an executive producer and directed the pilot for the fall Fox primetime serial "Pasadena"
Teamed with Jack Nicholson for the comedy, "Something's Gotta Give"; written and directed by Nancy Myers; earned SAG and Oscar nominations for Best Actress
Cast as Sybil Stone, the matriarch in "The Family Stone"; written and directed by Thomas Bezucha
Played an overbearing yet well-intentioned mother in the comedy "Because I Said So"
Co-starred with Queen Latifah and Katie Holmes in "Mad Money"
Co-starred alongside Liv Tyler and Dax Shepard in "Smother"
Played a morning show anchor in the comedy feature "Morning Glory"
Released her memoir <i>Then Again</i>
Was cast opposite Michael Douglas in romantic comedy "And So It Goes"
Co-starred with Morgan Freeman in the aging drama "5 Flights Up"
Lent her voice to Pixar's "Finding Dory"
Played Sister Mary on "The Young Pope"
Starred opposite Brendan Gleeson in romantic comedy "Hampstead"
When Keaton was starting out as an actress, she very briefly used her sister's name, Dorrie Hall.
Named Harvard's Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year (1991)
"I'm not a natural-born director. Now that I'm actually doing it, I wonder why everybody wants to in the first place. You have to think of everything." --Diane Keaton quoted in Entermainment Weekly, June 10, 1994.
"I didn't know my dad nearly as well as I know my mother. However, I felt a tremendous closeness to him regarding performing. My father was extraordinary, like a light, when he would come backstage. I had his attention in, yeah, oh boy, a big way. I'll never forget the first time--this is so stupid. I did 'Little Mary Sunshine' in high school. My father was radiant. I was shocked. I didn't know what I had done that made him so excited."There was something sweet and kind of innocent about my father in a strange way." --Keaton to Nancy Collins in Vanity Fair, November 1995.
"How could I resent 'Annie Hall', the thing that gave me all I have? I'd have to be a fool, a moron. Besides, good things don't come without problems: Yes, I got typecast, yes, I lost my privacy--but God, give me that again!" --Keaton quoted in New York Women in Fimd and Television News, December 1995.
On eschewing marriage: "I grew up in the 50s, when there was a pervading feeling that you could have it all . . . Of course there's a sadness that in some way I didn't fulfill that early dream."I didn't have it in me to go the distance. Sure, maybe that would have been wonderful--fulfilling in a deeper way. On the other hand, I don't envy it at all. I don't think that because I'm not married it's made my life any less. That's the myth of the old maid. It's garbage."For a while you think, 'Oh, you have to have someone in your life to be fulfilled.' Now I don't feel that way for a second." --Keaton quoted in Jeffrey Zaslow's "Straight Talk", USA Weekend, December 8-10, 1995.
About her initial brush with fame as a cast member of the original Broadway production of "Hair": "The cast went insane from the attention--people just didn't know how to handle it. I remember somebody had a baby while on LSD in the dressing room. I always sort of felt on the outside of the Tribe (as the 'Hair' cast was called). It's my nature to be cautious and a little bit ... leery." --Keaton to Entertainment Weekly, August 22-29, 1997.
"When I find myself in the absurd position of sitting in the director's chair, I try to sit quietly. I try to leave the actors alone as much as possible. I try not to burden the atmosphere with a lot of talk. Talk is cheap. As Shirley Chisolm said, 'I am not interested in what people say. What I am interested in is what they do.' Sometimes language is used by both actors and directors to evade the moment of truth: action. The use of language to avoid acting is further complicated by the maze of lies we don't identify as lies, hiding our secret fears and insecurities. To me, endless self-involved talk kills impulse. I like to think that as a director I create an atmosphere of trust and, most important, play, in order to ease actors into the scary plunge of acting."
" ... I believe my job as the director is to listen, to laugh, to empathize, to encourage and to be deeply moved by what I hope will be deeply moving performances. My job is to know when the actors are telling the trith, feeling the truth, living the truth--their truth. My job is to make it clear how much I am rooting for them in their effort to find a way, a process, a skill, that unlocks and frees them into giving the audience all their accumulated experiences and insights and feelings in the service of the screenplay." --From "Diane Keaton: Learning to Trust Actions, Not Words" in The New York Times, January 16, 2000.
"The thing about her is, she's really oblivious, She has no idea she's an icon, a fashion icon, an iconic figure in terms of acting."---Amanada Peet on Keaton, who plays her daughter in "Somethings Gotta Give" Entertainment Weekly November 14, 2003
Keaton was named one of People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People for 2004
"Actresses are constantly trying to please everyone, or at least I am," she says. "But I don't think plastic surgery solves your problem" Still, she's keeping an open mind: "I was definitly not going to have sex before I got married and that went out the window! So who knows?"---Keaton quoted in People May 10, 2004