Woody Allen defender Diane Keaton's long history with the director

Raechal Shewfelt
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
Diane Keaton starred alongside Woody Allen in 1977’s “Annie Hall.” (Photo: Getty Images)

While Greta Gerwig, Colin Firth, and many others are voicing their regrets about having worked with Woody Allen, Diane Keaton has consistently backed the writer and director. Her support never wavered in the wake of allegations by Allen’s daughter, Dylan Farrow, that the director sexually abused her as a child.

Keaton reiterated her stance in a tweet posted Monday.

Keaton, 72, has defended Allen before. In May 2014, in an interview with the Guardian after Dylan Farrow called her out for standing by Allen in a New York Times story, she was asked to respond.

“I have nothing to say about that,” Keaton said at the time. “Except: I believe my friend.”

Keaton and Allen became friends in 1968 when the aspiring actress auditioned for his play, “Play It Again, Sam.” She immediately took to him.

“What I remember about Woody was that he was short and he was cute,” Keaton said in PBS’s 2011 Woody Allen: A Documentary. “And that’s what I remembered about Woody and that day is just that, oh, my God, he is… you know, I just had a big crush, instantly.”

The two grew close working on the show. Eventually, they moved in together, and their romance lasted nearly five years.

In her 2011 memoir Then Again, Keaton wrote that the eating disorder she had in her 20s was an obstacle for the relationship because she’d try to avoid dates to stay home binging and purging. Allen didn’t know she was bulimic, but he sent her to a psychoanalyst to help her cope with her insecurity. Keaton grew healthier.

The couple ended their relationship in 1974 after making a movie of Allen’s play and another Allen script, Sleepers. But they were soon back together, at least professionally, for movies, including the 1977 Oscar-winning movie Annie Hall, featuring a main character Allen wrote with Keaton in mind. She was surprised to win the 1978 Oscar for best actress for playing what she called, “an affable version of myself.”

Diane Keaton embraces Woody Allen during the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award tribute to her. (Photo: Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Turner)

Movies such as The Godfather, Father of the Bride, and First Wives Club followed. She reteamed with Allen several more times — after all, as she saw it, he made it all happen. Keaton even suggested that an interview with Yahoo — done just before the American Film Institute gave her its Lifetime Achievement Award — should be called “Because of Annie Hall.”

And she obviously has meant just as much to Allen. The famous New Yorker, now 82, made the trek to Hollywood to present that AFI honor to her himself. Allen cracked a few jokes and then added, “From the minute I met her, she was a great, great inspiration to me. Much of what I have accomplished in my life, I owe for sure to her.”

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