Diane Keaton Turns 70: Celebrate With These 7 Essential Movies

From Annie Hall to Something's Gotta Give, check out these essential Keaton roles

By Natalie Finn Jan 05, 2016 1:30 PMTags
Diane KeatonRob Kim/Getty Images

Oscar winner. Style icon. One of Hollywood's most enduring independent spirits.

All describe Diane Keaton, who wears a hat and tie better than most men; whose little black book lists some of the most dashing actors of all time; and who has starred in some of the most enduring films of the last 40 years, from all-time classics such as The Godfather to everyone's favorite quote-fest, The First Wives Club.

Keaton celebrates her 70th birthday today, believe it or not, and while she's still racking up the rom-com credits, often as the still-hot sixtysomething mom type, let's take a deserved moment to look back at some of the most memorable roles of her estimable career.

If you haven't seen some of these, there's no time like today to get started.

Paramount Pictures

1. The Godfather: Lest we forget, Keaton starred in one of the most revered movies ever, plus its two (for better and worse) sequels. In what was only her second feature film, she's Michael Corleone's school-teacher girlfriend Kay—and boy does she suffer, slow-burn style. She thinks she's marrying a nice Army boy, but thanks to a twist of fate...whoops, she actually becomes the unwitting first lady of one of New York's most powerful mafia families. "Oh, who's being naive, Kay?"

MGM Home Entertainment; United Artists

2. Annie Hall: There's a reason why the title character of Woody Allen's 1977 classic comedy of neuroses is the role that Diane Keaton is most inextricably linked to. Her role as the cheerful, menswear-rocking girl who got away is a subtle comedic masterpiece. No wonder it also scored its leading lady the Oscar for Best Actress.

United Artists

3. Manhattan: Another one of Allen's best films, this time an ensemble in which the director-star's struggling sitcom writer falls for his friend's mistress, played by the always-fetching Keaton. "I say what's on my mind and, if you can't take it, well then f--k off!" she explains to him in true, words-to-live-by fashion.

Paramount Pictures

4. Reds: Keaton was nominated for another Best Actress Oscar for playing real-life journalist Louise Bryant, famous for her sympathetic coverage of the Russian Revolution in the early 20th century, as well as her marriage to writer John Reed (Keaton's real-life onetime beau Warren Beatty, who also directed the gritty, politically charged epic) and her affair with playwright Eugene O'Neill (Jack Nicholson), a member of the couple's artistic circle.

Touchstone Pictures

5. Father of the Bride: Keaton's calm, cool and collected mother of the bride is the perfect foil for Steve Martin's nerve-wracked dad who's having major issues with the idea of giving his little girl away.

Paramount Pictures

6. The First Wives Club: If you haven't seen this... first of all, sorry to hear about all that time wasted. And second, you're in for a treat. Keaton is doormat housewife Annie who finds her footing after reuniting with her college besties (and fellow scorned first wives) Bette Midler and Goldie Hawn. With Keaton celebrating her milestone birthday today, all three divalicious ladies are now proof of just how sexy septuagenarians can be.

7. Something's Gotta Give: Menopause as birth control. One of the many brilliant moments of Nancy Meyers' photogenic comedy about a super-successful playwright-of-a-certain age finding love with Jack Nicholson's lifelong playboy. Never has a two-minute-long crying jag been so hilarious—or looked so productive!