Birthdate : January 5, 1946
Birthplace : Los Angeles, California, USA
Combining a distinctive vocal delivery, a charming outer core, and surprisingly steely inner emotions, Diane Keaton (birthname: Diane Hall) is an ideal example of the strength of an actor to defy typecasting and demonstrate great range. If measured only by the five films in which she was cast that were nominated (or won) the Best Picture Oscar—Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather (1972), The Godfather Part II (1974), Woody Allen’s Annie Hall (1977), Warren Beatty’s Reds (1981), and Coppola’s The Godfather Part III (1990)--as well as two other films for she was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar—Marvin’s Room (1996) and Something’s Gotta Give (2003)—Keaton has actually left her mark more on drama than the comedy with which she’s usually associated. Quite selective on her film projects, Keaton may not have had a notable impact on movies in the past two decades, but few of her generation can claim the iconic legacy she has from the 1970s through the 1990s.
With her first significant role after training with the legendary Sanford Meisner, in the 1968 Broadway cast of Hair, Diane Keaton earned notoriety for being one of the few cast members to not disrobe on stage. Her long-running collaboration with Woody Allen began in 1969 in the stage version of Allen’s play, Play it Again, Sam, for which she was nominated for the featured actor Tony Award.
After Keaton’s debut feature role in the film version of Renée Taylor’s and Joseph Bologna’s comedy Lovers and Other Strangers (1970), with Gig Young, Cloris Leachman, Anne Jackson, and Bea Arthur, she landed the plum role of Kay in the nearly all-male cast of Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather (1972), with Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall, and John Casale—making a lasting impression as being the only actor on-screen for the dramatic final shot. The same year, Keaton re-created her stage performance for the screen version of Play It Again, Sam, under Herbert Ross’ direction, with Allen, Tony Roberts, and Susan Anspach.
Diane Keaton then embarked on a remarkable period of brilliant comedy performances with Woody Allen (who replaced Keaton as his on-screen female comic partner after a fruitful period with actor Louise Lasser), starting with the hilarious sci-fi spoof Sleeper (1973) and the bigger-budget Napoleon-themed Love and Death (1975), with Allen and Jessica Harper. After two failed back-to-back comedies co-starring Keaton and Elliot Gould—I Will, I Will…For Now (1976) and Mark Rydell’s Harry and Walter Go to New York (1976), with Michael Caine and James Caan, Keaton reunited with Allen for her most memorable performance as the winning, charming title character of Annie Hall (1977), which earned her the Best Actress Oscar, as well as a collection of prizes from major awards groups ranging from BAFTA to the New York Film Critics Circle.
Remarkably, 1977 wasn’t purely an Annie Hall year for Keaton: She made a powerful dramatic turn in the urban thriller, Looking for Mr. Goodbar, with Richard Gere. Keaton furthered her impression as a dramatic actor in Allen’s Bergmanesque Interiors (1978), his first pure drama, with Mary Beth Hurt, Sam Waterston, Kristin Griffith, E.G. Marshall, and Geraldine Page. Keaton capped her 1970s run with Woody Allen in his then-lauded (and subsequently criticized) Manhattan (1979), with Allen, Meryl Streep, Michael Murphy, and Mariel Hemingway.
A strong dramatic period for Diane Keaton continued (and perhaps climaxed) with her fine co-starring role opposite writer-director-producer-star Warren Beatty in his ambitious Russian Revolution epic, Reds (1981), with Jack Nicholson, Paul Sorvino, Maureen Stapleton, Edward Herrmann, and author Jerzy Kosinski, with Keaton nominated for Best Actress (one of seven noms, including four for Beatty as producer, director, actor, and screenwriter).
Keaton followed with Alan Parker’s drama, Shoot the Moon (1982), with Albert Finney, Karen Allen, and Peter Weller; George Roy Hill’s adaptation of John le Carré’s The Little Drummer Girl (1984), with Klaus Kinski; Gillian Armstrong’s U.S.based Mrs. Soffel (1984), with Mel Gibson, Matthew Modine, and Edward Herrmann; with another major Australian director, Bruce Beresford, for Beth Henley’s comedy-drama, Crimes of the Heart (1986), with Jessica Lange, Sissy Spacek, Sam Shepard, and Tess Harper.
After eight years apart, Keaton reunited with Woody Allen for his memoir movie, Radio Days (1987), with Danny Aiello, Jeff Daniels, Mia Farrow, and Jeff Daniels. Keaton returned to full-fledged comedy with the Charles Shyer/Nancy Meyers movie, Baby Boom (1987), with Sam Shepard. It was back to drama, under Leonard Nimoy’s The Good Mother (1988), with Liam Neeson and Jason Robards. Keaton returned to the role of Kay in the finale of the Godfather trilogy, Coppola’s Godfather Part III (1990), with Al Pacino, Andy Garcia, Joe Mantegna, Talia Shire, and Bridget Fonda. Keaton joined Steve Martin for the hit comedy remake, Father of the Bride (1991), and the sequel, Father of the Bride II (1995). Completing a 20-year-plus collaboration, Keaton’s last movie with Woody Allen appeared in 1993, Manhattan Murder Mystery, with Allen, Alan Alda, and Anjelica Huston.
Diane Keaton moved firmly into a phase of upscale characters in mostly light comedies with Paramount’s The First Wives Club (1996), with Goldie Hawn and Bette Midler. Keaton earned another Best Actress nomination for Jerry Zaks’s adaptation of Scott McPherson’s Marvin’s Room (1996), with a breakout performance by Leonardo DiCaprio, and with Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro, and Hume Cronyn. Keaton took on the directing chores, as well as co-star, of Delia Ephron’s comedy-drama, Hanging Up (2000), with Meg Ryan, Lisa Kudrow, and Walter Matthau. Keaton reunited with Warren Beatty as co-stars, along with Andie MacDowell, Goldie Hawn, Garry Shandling, and Jenna Elfman, in Town & Country (2001), a comedy co-written by Buck Henry.
Keaton’s impressive Oscar run as a Best Actress winner/nominee finished with the hit Nancy Meyers rom-com, Something’s Gotta Give (2003), with Jack Nicholson, Keanu Reeves, Frances McDormand, and Jon Favreau. After a few minor comedies, Keaton appeared in the Roger Michell-directed T.V. news comedy, Morning Glory (2010), with Harrison Ford, Rachel McAdams, Jeff Goldblum, and Patrick Wilson. A period of comedies with such co-stars as Robert DeNiro, Morgan Freeman, Queen Latifah, Kevin Kline, Michael Douglas, Rob Reiner, and John Goodman were generally considered minor efforts.
Keaton acted the voice of Jenny in the smash Pixar hit, Finding Dory (2016), her most recent commercial hit with a global box office gross of just over $1 billion. Keaton starred in the highly successful comedy, Book Club (2018), co-starring Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, Mary Steenburgen, and Don Johnson, which took in a worldwide gross of $104 million; Keaton co-stars in the 2023 sequel, Book Club 2: The Next Chapter.
Keaton starred in the twisty Palm Springs-set comedy, Mack & Rita (2022), with Taylour Paige, Elizabeth Lail, Martin Short, and Amy Hill. Also in 2022, Keaton joined Emma Roberts, Richard Gere, and Susan Sarandon in the Michael Jacobs rom-com, Maybe I Do. Keaton is set to co-star with Goldie Hawn and Bette Midler in the New York comedy, A Childhood History Plan (2024), and is also set to reunite with Gere, along with Blake Lively, in the Marshall Herskovitz-Edward Zwick-scripted The Making Of (date to be announced), followed by writer-director Raymond De Felitta’s Artist in Residence (date to be announced), with Andy Garcia and Josh Hutcherson.
Los Angeles-born Diane Keaton was born with the name Diane Hall and raised by father John “Jack” Hall and Dorothy Hall, who won the “Mrs. Los Angeles” homemakers pageant. The eldest of four children, Keaton’s siblings are brother Randy and sisters, Robin and Dorrie. Keaton graduated from Santa Ana High School in Orange County and went to attend semesters at both Santa Ana College and Orange Coast College junior colleges, before dropping out and moving to New York to study acting at the Neighborhood Playhouse with the acting coach master Sanford Meisner.
For membership in the Actors’ Equity Association, she changed her stage name to “Diane Keaton” (adopting her mother’s maiden name) since another Diane Hall was already registered with the association. Keaton was an unmarried partner with Woody Allen from 1970 to 1971; Keaton had a long-running relationship with Al Pacino from 1971 and through the filming of The Godfather and The Godfather Part II until 1991.
Keaton dated renowned Los Angeles-based painter Ed Ruscha in the mid-1970s. She was in a relationship with Warren Beatty from 1979 to 1981, ending during the stormy post-production of Beatty’s Reds. Keaton has two adopted children: Dexter, adopted in 1996, and Duke, adopted in 2001. Keaton’s height is 5’ 6½”. Her net worth is an estimated $100 million.
Photographer: Diane Keaton is an avid and active photographer, many of which have been published in several books.
Obscure (but Major) Credit: Seldom noted is the fact that Diane Keaton directed an episode of the first iteration of David Lynch’s series, Twin Peaks, in 1990.
Just Say No: Keaton has articulated her opposition to plastic surgery, noting that “I need to be authentic.”
Writer: Diane Keaton has served as a blogging contributor to The Huffington Post.
Preservationist: A native Angelino, Keaton is an active member of the Los Angeles Conservancy, one of the country’s most aggressive and creative non-profits dedicated to urban preservation, in this case preserving buildings and sites of historical and cultural value in Los Angeles.
High Praise: Diane Keaton’s frequent director-writer collaborator Woody Allen declared that “with the exception of Judy Holliday, she’s the finest screen comedienne we’ve ever seen.”
Lifestyle Quirks: In an interview with InStyle Magazine in 2019, Diane Keaton stated that she hasn’t been on a date in approximately 35 years.