Oscar-winner Diane Keaton (“Annie Hall”) became the 45th recipient of the American Film Institute’s Lifetime Achievement award on Thursday, June 8, in Hollywood. Once a year, the AFI singles out an actor or filmmaker who’s distinguished career is worthy of inclusion. In honor of Keaton’s achievement, let’s tour through the 45 legendary stars and directors that have been lionized by this prestigious group now celebrating its 50th anniversary.
Keaton won the Best Actress prize at the Academy Awards for Woody Allen‘s Best Picture victor “Annie Hall” (1977). The film, a romantic comedy about the up-and-down relationship of a neurotic comic (Allen) and an eccentric singer (Keaton) made the actress a star, and Annie’s unique fashion sense became synonymous with her own personal style. Allen was a surprise presenter of the award to Keaton at the ceremony, which airs Thursday, June 15, on TNT.
She later competed three more times in the same Oscar category (“Reds” in 1981, “Marvin’s Room” in 1996, and “Something’s Gotta Give” in 2003). Other films in her career included “The Godfather” trilogy, “Sleeper,” “Interiors,” “Manhattan,” “Father of the Bride,” and “The First Wive’s Club.” She was recently seen in HBO’s miniseries “The Young Pope.”
Prior to picking composer John Williams in 2016, the AFI had only opted for actors, actresses, and directors beginning way back in the 1970s when the recipients were director John Ford (1973), actor James Cagney (1974), director/actor Orson Welles (1975), director William Wyler (1976), actress Bette Davis (1977), actor Henry Fonda (1978), and director Alfred Hitchcock (1979).
Warren Beatty, Jane Fonda, Morgan Freeman, Steve Martin, Al Pacino, and Meryl Streep are all prior AFI life achievement recipients themselves, and all were on-hand to honor Keaton. Along with those six icons and Williams, others still alive are: actor Kirk Douglas (1991), actor Sidney Poitier (1992), actor Jack Nicholson (1994), director Steven Spielberg (1995), actor/director Clint Eastwood (1996), director Martin Scorsese (1997), actor Dustin Hoffman (1999), actor Harrison Ford (2000), actress/director Barbra Streisand (2001), actor/director Tom Hanks (2002), actor Robert De Niro (2003), director George Lucas (2005), actor Sean Connery (2006), actor/producer Michael Douglas (2009), actress Shirley MacLaine (2012), and director/actor Mel Brooks (2013).
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