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Diane Keaton: Movie Trivia from Her Famous Roles

As the newly minted honoree of the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award, Diane Keaton has had an enduring film career that has spanned close to five decades. We’ve gathered some fun trivia about some of her most significant roles.

With hilarious jokes, stories, and nostalgic song, Diane Keaton was celebrated by her famous friends earlier this month at American Film Institute‘s 45th AFI Life Achievement Award Gala Tribute. Some of the celebs in attendance included: Warren Beatty, Al Pacino, Steve Martin, Martin Short, Meryl Streep, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, Meg Ryan, and a rare appearance by Woody Allen.

The event, which will air on TNT tonight, honors Keaton’s longstanding cinematic legacy and the empowering feminist spirit she’s conveyed through her roles.

In honor of Keaton’s AFI Life Achievement Award, here’s some fun movie trivia from some of the most memorable films in her career.

The Godfather (1972)

  • Diane Keaton has no sentiments about strolling down memory lane and re-watching her first major film role as Kay Adams-Corleone in The Godfather. In fact, it took her 30 years to revisit it. “I was so shocked because I never did pay that much attention to The Godfather because I always thought I was the most outsider, weird person in the movie, and, ‘Why was I cast in it?’ and I had no voice. But then I had a couple of good scenes with Al.” she said.
  • Keaton and Al Pacino actually fell in love during the film and had a long-term relationship. On describing Pacino, Keaton said in her 2011 memoir Then Again!: “Charming, hilarious, a nonstop talker. There was an aspect of him that was like a lost orphan, like this kind of crazy idiot savant. And oh, gorgeous! I was mad for him. I worked hard on that one.” Their relationship ended when she demanded they get married. “I went about it not in a perfect way.”

Annie Hall (1977)

  • After going through a slew of awful film titles (e.g. It Had to be Jew; A Rollercoaster Named Desire; Me and My Goy; Anxiety; and Alvy and Me), the film ended up embracing its heroine — played by Keaton — and was entitled Annie Hall. Keaton went by the name “Annie” and her real last name is Hall.
  • Diane Keaton’s “Annie Hall look” was actually a reflection of her own personal style. Most of the clothes were actually from Keaton’s closet (bowler hats, baggy pants, neckties, etc.), which the film’s costume designer detested. Thankfully, Keaton got her way and consequently, started a fashion craze after the film was released.

Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977)

  • Looking for Mr. Goodbar was Keaton’s first dramatic role — an attempt on her part not to be typecast as a comic actress.
  • Looking Mr. Goodbar is actually based on a true crime involving the 1973 murder of a 28-year-old New York City school teacher named Roseann Quinn. Looking for a quick one-night stand, she was stabbed to death by a man named John Wayne Wilson. Her death was a symbol of the changing social era of the 1970s where young women were defying sexual norms and hooking up with strangers.

Reds (1981)

  • Co-star Jack Nicholson actually wrote the poem he gave to Keaton in the film.
  • During the shooting of Reds, Keaton was romantically involved with Warren Beatty, who wrote, directed and acted in the film. Reds was so emotionally intense for Keaton and took its toll on Beatty’s health that the couple’s relationship began to deteriorate as well. By the time Reds was finished shooting, the couple were no longer an item.

Baby Boom (1987)

  • Baby Boom was part of a spate of Hollywood role-reversal comedies that came out in the early-to-mid ’80s. Other films included Mr. Mom (1983) and 2 Men and a Baby (1987).
  • According to Keaton biographer Jonathan Moor, the film crew fell silent on the first day of shooting when they saw Diane Keaton walk out on set looking sleek and glamorous. Accustomed to Keaton’s baggy menswear style, one person admiringly said to her, “You look like…,” to which Keaton jokingly replied: “A female of the species?”

The First Wives Club (1996)

  • Born less than two months of each other, actresses Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler and Keaton all celebrated their 50th birthdays during filming.
  • Keaton and actress Jennifer Dundas’ mother-daughter role in The First Wives Club was actually there second go round. They also played mother-daughter in 1984’s Mrs. Soffel.

Something’s Gotta Give (2003)

  • Jack Nicholson plays a notorious bachelor, while Diane Keaton plays a confident divorcée in Something’s Gotta Give. The irony in these roles is that in real-life, Keaton has been the consummate bachelorette, while Nicholson is the divorcée.
  • Famously against showing skin, Keaton went full frontal nude for the film, although her first topless scene was in Looking for Mr. Goodbar