Dorothy was a Kansas born native in 1921. Her parents drifted into CA when Dorothy was a young age. Dorothy gave up her college dreams when her father took off leaving her & her sisters to fend for themselves. Everything changed when Dorothy Keaton met Jack Hall. He had come to meet her sister, but only had eyes for her. They had eloped in Vegas at the Stardust.
Dorothy would enter contesting on the back of cereal boxes. She loved game shows. The family loved the game show 'Queen For A Day'. After Dorothy had applied for a Mrs. America pageant, Diane was 9-yrs-old at the time. It was something exciting, yet unpleasant. Diane secretly wished it was her on that stage. Six months later, Dorothy Hall was crowned again in this honor. When she was home, Dorothy was a homemaker to her husband & children. Even though some seen Dorothy as a housewife. Diane seen her mom struggling to find a medium.
|Diane & Dorothy Keaton|
Diane was looking for an audience, so she auditioned for EVERYTHING POSSIBLE! For 15 years, Diane's mom was saying good-bye to EVERYTHING. Somewhere in the middle of it, Diane, at age 50, adopted a baby girl, Dexter, then a few years later, her son, Duke, came along. When Diane's mother, Dorothy Keaton, died, Diane promised to carry her mom's legacy and THINK. Dorothy continues to be Diane's biggest influence.
Dorothy had Diane when she was 24-yrs-old. At the time, Dorothy's words were influenced by the few movies her mother allowed her to see, like 1938's Broadway Melody. Dorothy believed her daughter was extraordinary. Diane had to be. Dorothy would write sweet letters to her husband, Jack, who was stationed in Boston in the Navy. She would tell about Diane and how happy they were for her and each other - expressing her love for both of them (her husband & new daughter).
There are certain things that stand out for Diane, like their next door neighbor catching Diane singing 'Over The Rainbow' and thinking she was a talented young lady. Diane loved the hustling & bustling of downtown Los Angeles. But nothing compared to Diane tugging her mom to look. Diane's father, Roy Keaton, nicknamed his daughter, Diane, "Perkins" at a very young age. They moved ALOT and always had cats. Even though Diane had 3 sisters, she also seen herself as their dad's favorite. Being the first born, Diane had their parents attention.
|Diane as a teen|
Even before becoming a teen, Diane couldn't understand why all of the good looks went to her sisters. When Diane was 15, to express her fashion freedom, her & her mom would go to Goodwill & thrift shops, cut up clothes and re-patch them to create The Look. Diane was browsing around at another different thrift shop and found an old man's bowlers hat. She put it on her head - and that was it!
There was ALOT of "hush hush" about the whereabouts of Diane's grandfather, Jack, her dad's dad after he disappeared in the 1920s. It wasn't until shifting through old newspapers that Diane found out what happened to her paternal grandfather. He had left his wife, Diane's grandmother, 9 yrs prior in Omaha, NE. She never heard from him and believed he was dead.
When Diane was beginning to enter adolescence, Jack told her as a father of someday a boy would love her for all of who she is. Diane didn't want a boy loving her. She thought it would be better if ALOT if people loved her other than some boy. It was during a Santa Ana High School production that Diane's finale was a showstopper. Afterwards in the dressing room, Diane's parents found her and their faces were beaming. Her dad was crying w/ excitement & surprise. For one minute, Diane was multiple characters rolled into one. She was her dad's heroine. There was no going back from that moment.
Diane Keaton, the massive documentary Dorothy, had done on her daughter's career from 1969-1984 was hard to grasp. The documentary, as well as Diane, had mixed reviews. After a 2-pg ad in 'The LA Times' w/ Diane and other LEGENDARY celebs w/ her, she said "stardom wasn't what she thought it would be." Diane's parents averse to discuss their daughter in the press. They felt a burden it seemed. After what Dorothy said in the press of Diane's new fame, it will forever be in the past, in the press recording the journey of a woman soon to be 'Annie Hall'.
|Diane in "Hair"|
After overhearing a cast member talk about it, Diane tried the eat/purge. After 6 months, she became hypoglycemic with health problems. Trips to the doctor and the dentist. Diane didn't acknowledge the shame in any of this. She had work to do.
|Diane and Woody Allen|
Woody didn't have a clue what Diane was up to w/ her bulimia. A year after 'Play It Again Sam' ended and no work, Diane couldn't get a job except for a deodorant ad. She hit bottom. Diane's bingeing was off the charts. She was 25. After a year of purging, jobless and talking w/ her back to a sofa, six months later Diane stopped w/ the purging. It was talking it out that did it. That gave her a way out. Why bother telling any of this MANY years later? To be released of the burden of hiding.
After conquering bulimia, Diane got back into her passion - acting. She studied w/ those who helped her rediscover the world of expressed feelings. Diane had taken a class in drawing & silk screening. She learned to print photographs. She was still longing for a mother's guidance. She found a substitute in her doctor. She wasn't the listener Dorothy was, but they hung out and that made all the difference. Diane's doctor's goal was to help her deal w/ GRANDIOSE expectations.
|Diane & Al Pacino|
. Dorothy made her choice early - she married
. Diane made her choice late - she adopted
. Dorothy was laid to rest at 54
. Diane is not lonely and is still going
. Dorothy was quietly penciled in her 50s
. 11 yrs older Diane is still running around crazy like a cut-off chicken - loving life w/ her 2 kids Dexter & Duke who have changed her life.
|Diane & Warren Beatty|
In February 1978, it was news that Diane had been nominated for an Academy Award For Best Actress in Annie Hall. That same year Diane's date, Warren's sister, Shirley MacLaine, was nominated for the same award. What Diane remembers MOST about that night was meeting both Audrey Hepburn & Richard Burton. Even though she admits to fastly leaving her company that night, Diane also admits regrets for not staying and conversing w/ Audrey.
Even TODAY, many years later, Diane misses Woody Allen. He may feel different. But she'll always love him. Annie Hall changed her life. She was trying to avoid the attention post Awards and Woody's first drama w/ Maureen Stapleton fit that potion.The movie & rate weren't right. A total miscast.
Dorothy didn't finish her own memoir "Memories". It was like God's Will had taken over her future. After 10 yrs in New York, Diane was given a little show of photos she had taken in hotel lobbies around the U.S. A few years later, Diane, along w/ Marvin Heiferman, collaborated on a book of publicity shots from old movies. After her book, Still Life, was published, Diane received a letter from one of her idols & features in the book, LEGENDARY Gregory Peck, who was one of Diane's long list of regrets she wished forgiveness for.
|Diane & Al Pacino|
Diane goes into her year long struggle to make her documentary, 'Heaven'. Because as a little girl, even though she knew she wanted to go there. Even though critics hated it, Diane LOVED making it. She also got something else out of it: working w/ Al Pacino. It was different. They were older & NOT their previous perspective roles. Her love of Al Pacino was his creativity. He was an artist. She wanted him to want her as she did in return.
In the middle of this came 'Baby Boom'. Diane was J.C. Wyatt. Diane read a letter journaling Dorothy's life at age 63, feeling it mirrored ALOT of what Diane's feelings were as well. At 63, Dorothy was finished raising her kids, Diane is doing NOW what her mom did at 24. Diane delves into cute & funny stories from her kids, Duke & Dexter. Diane takes comfort in the fact that her & Dorothy will be bound by the need to communicate. She tells stories from behind 'The Godfather III' Around this time, Diane & Dorothy had their own personal trauma. Jack was 68 and sick w/ a brain tumor. Diane was there w/ her dad's medical care. To watch her dad in these conditions was unbearable.
It was in the afternoon when Jack dispersed six legal pads at the dining room table. The last time the Hall family would be together again. They all went through Jack's financial accomplishments. Filming the final scene to the 'The Godfather III' was easy. Diane's emotions were on edge. It was easy to sob, thinking of her dad. When she wasn't thinking of her dad, Diane was thinking of Al Pacino, whom she was somewhat back with.
Al hated good-byes, Diane states that she was not too plain, she was too much. He had no intention of marrying Diane. She did keep a few things from their relationship. Diane officially lost her dad, Jack, in 1990. When he died, it was a preparation for Al's good-byes. It was predicable, losing her dad was NOT. In a letter to him Diane wrote "she wished she had been a daddy's girl and wished they had been closer and figured out a way to love him w/ a little less effort."
HBO offered Diane the role of Hedda Nussbaum in a movie. She passed on it. No more victims for her. Diane did direct Belinda Carlisle's music video 'Heaven Is A Place On Earth'. After taking a screenwriting class, she met a producer who gave Diane a shot at directing a TV movie, 'Wildflower'. Diane cast Patricia Arquette and Reese Witherspoon. EVERYONE was moving on. Warren married Annette Benning. Diane kept moving.
When Woody (Allen) asked Diane to fill in for Mia Farrow on 'Manhattan Murder Mystery', Diane took the job. The movie was made and wrapped in one day. Personal problems didn't interfere w/ work. After directing the film 'Unstrung Heroes', Diane is more accurately aware of how many impossible it is to direct a good film. Thanks to a flight to L.A. that rattled her nerves, Diane made a life decision to re-invent the future. Considering adoption and adapting to conditions that require care, responsibility & management skills.
In 2003, Diane had worked in what she called "a string of bombs", 'The Other Sister' and one that she directed 'Hanging Up' (both of which I personally loved.) She also states she was washed up as an actress & as a director. Over salad, Nancy Meyers had told Diane of a romantic comedy she was writing and the details she had in mind. The romantic comedy was 'Something's Gotta Give'. Jack Nicholson sent Diane a piece of his own percentage, a kiss from him and Nancy's godsend.
Dorothy's Alzheimer's at this point was getting worse, forgetting who her own daughter was. Diane writes in, not exactly pissiness, but anger about who her mom was, who she is now b/c of what Alzheimer's is responsible for. Diane just wanted Dorothy's brain back. Diane received a call in the car about her mom having bronchitis. She headed to the hospital where Dorothy was. When Diane got there, she found Dorothy plugged into an I.V. She was also revealed to have been victim to a recent, undetected stroke. When Dorothy was released from the hospital, here comes hospice.
|Diane w/ her mom, Dorothy|
After everyone ate tacos around the dinner table, they either left for a minute or took a break, leaving Dorothy & Diane alone together for the last time. After 11 days of being driven crazy, Diane put her finger in Dorothy's mouth, hoping she'd bite, just to shake things up. But Dorothy's fight back spirit was gone. Diane & Dorrie pushed her hospital bed in front of a window. Enough with darkness. Dorothy had become a still life. Taking GENUINE CARE of their mother.The only part of Dorothy that showed any life was her clutched hand on the rail of the hospital bed. On 9-18-2008. there was no sign to see it coming. The only thing was the purple in Dorothy's hands fading. She had passed away w/o so much as a sound.
Diane talks about belovedly cherished moments w/ her mom, as well as with Duke & Dexter, wishing she could rewind the clock. In a final letter to her mom, Diane updates the "Where Are They Now?" of her family. Feeling so blessed and cherished to recreate it all w/ not just her words, but Dorothy's as well - Then Again.
|Mother & Daughter Dorothy & Diane Keaton (Hall)|