Diane Keaton gets the AFI spotlight with latest Life Achievement Award


“Well, lah-dee-dah.”

Diane Keaton may not be quite as nonchalant about receiving the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award as she was in her Oscar-winning “Annie Hall” performance. That’s certain to be among her portrayals cited when she receives the AFI honor in a new TNT special Thursday, June 15, a week after the event’s taping at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre. (It also will be shown July 31 on Turner Classic Movies, in tandem with “Reds” and “Manhattan Murder Mystery.”)

Here’s a subjective list of Keaton’s best movies, all likely to be featured in clips during the star-studded program.

“The Godfather, Part II” (1974): Keaton had more of a workout in the sequel than in the original, as her Kay became more aware of the nature of her gangster husband Michael Corleone’s (Al Pacino) “business.”

“Love and Death” (1975): A terrific Keaton delivers some hilariously smart lines as the not-as-enamored love of a distant relative (Woody Allen) in Czarist Russia.

“Annie Hall” (1977): The ultimate Keaton role came in Allen’s witty, hugely creative tribute to their real-life romance that also made the actress something of an alternative-fashion icon.

“Looking for Mr. Goodbar” (1977): A strong reminder that Keaton wasn’t all about laughs, this drama based on Judith Rossner’s best seller cast her as a promiscuous schoolteacher.

“Baby Boom” (1987): Another instant Keaton classic, this comedy featured her as a workaholic whose life changed radically through her sudden guardianship of an infant.

“The Good Mother” (1988): Powerful drama – as directed by Leonard Nimoy – again comes from Keaton as a divorcee whose new relationship (with Liam Neeson) could mean losing custody of her young daughter.

“Father of the Bride” (1991): Keaton made a charming “wife” for Steve Martin in this update of the classic about a dad distraught about his daughter’s (Kimberly Wiliams) upcoming nuptials.

“The First Wives Club” (1996): Keaton, Goldie Hawn and Bette Midler are a dynamic trio as jilted spouses who live the credo, “Don’t get mad, get everything.”

“Something’s Gotta Give” (2003): Keaton’s five-minute (approximately) crying jag is a high point of her screen career and of her teaming with Jack Nicholson in this mature but amusing romance.

“Morning Glory” (2010): This underrated television-morning-show comedy gives Keaton a terrific showcase as a broadcast-charmer, backstage-terror co-host.


Diane Keaton to Receive 45th AFI Life Achievement Award Thursday, June 15, on TNT.
Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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