Today is Hollywood legend Diane Keaton’s 75th birthday. Let’s celebrate her life and her continued impact on the entertainment industry with a compilation of some of her best moments and roles to date.
Without the film “Annie Hall,” Keaton may have not launched into stardom as powerfully as she did. This was her first role with Woody Allen. The two would develop a longstanding working career and friendship together after this film.
The movie is about comedian Alvy Singer (Woody Allen) who is in a relationship with nightclub singer Annie Hall (Diane Keaton). Singer speaks directly to the audience as he tells the tale of modern romance. There are elements of fantasy sequences, comedy, and emotional drama in the film.
Her role was based on her. That meaning, Allen incorporated Keaton’s real-life personality, such as her stunning use of self-deprecating humor. While the unique romantic tale helped guide her into Hollywood, it was also a massive step for her as a cultural icon. In the film, Annie Hall wears men’s clothing that is restyled in fun, quirky ways. After the film, pantsuits became wildly popular for women.
“Move around like a real person. Don’t make too much of the words, and wear what you want to wear,” Keaton wrote in her 2011 memoir “Then Again,” according to Medium. She wanted to incorporate cool-looking menswear so bad that she stole from “The Godfather’s” wardrobe. The year following the film’s release, her clothing choices would be spewed out in London and Paris in “Vogue.”
Despite roles in films like “The Godfather,” her role in “Annie Hall” is Keaton’s shining moment.
This 1979 Woody Allen film was another unforgettable moment during Keaton’s career. This 1979 film was her last collaboration with the American director.
“Manhattan,” tells the story of a divorced, sad TV writer. His wife, played by the wonderful Meryl Streep, cheats on him with a woman. Allen’s character moves on to a young high school girl before beginning to wonder if his best friend’s mistress, played by Keaton, is perfect match after all. The New York romance is another star moment for the actress.
She plays a pushy, cultural snob. However, she grows throughout the film into something so much more delicately relatable and vulnerable.
She was nominated for a BAFTA award for Best Leading Actress in a Film.
Diane Keaton’s role in “Red” showcases her ability to play a wide variety of characters. From lighthearted, comedic, loving, to strong-willed.
In this film directed by Warren Beatty, she plays the role of journalist Louise Bryant. She left her husband and began to work for a man named John Reed. Together, the two chronicle the Russian Civil War. Critics say this is her best acting role during her career. It earned her an Academy Award and Golden Globe nomination.
In this film, Keaton stars alongside big actors such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Meryl Streep, and Robert De Niro. She plays Bessie who has been estranged from her sister Lee (Streep) for nearly 20 years.
Bessie had been caring for their ill father, while Lee had moved, gotten married, and started a family. The two come together after Bessie is diagnosed with leukemia and needs a bone marrow transplant.
She becomes familiar with Lee’s family, such as her son, as they deal with difficult news and an awkward family reunion. This dramatic and emotional film was a highlight in Keaton’s career.
‘Something’s Gotta Give’
Keaton’s leading role in “Something’s Gotta Give” deserves recognition for its ability to break through barriers in Hollywood itself. She stars alongside Jack Nicholson in the fun romantic comedy.
She stars as Erica Barry, a divorced playwright, who becomes involved with Nicholson’s character, Harry Sanborn. He has a wealthy playboy attitude, which includes dating women that are in their 20s.
Her role in this 2003 film forced Hollywood to step out of some of its ageist ideas. Very rarely is a film centered around two actors ages 60 and up.
However, it became a success nonetheless. She earned an Academy Award nomination for the film.
Other Key Films and Moments
Some of her other key films during her career were “Baby Boom,” “First Wives Club,” “Shoot The Moon,” “Looking For Mrs. Goodbar,” and “The Family Stone.”
She is beloved in the industry for her personality that doesn’t stray too far from her roles. She is fun, quirky, deprecating, loving, and a bit insecure.
The Golden Globe winner also continues to give back. Most recently, she donated $25,000 to Urban Partners food bank in Los Angeles to help during COVID-19, according to Daily Mail.
From dramatic roles, to comedic masterpieces to romantic tales, Keaton has been on the screen for over four decades.