days, Diane Keaton, as the name on her Actors’ Equity card
soon read, stressed over every penny (rent, $98.32; singing
lessons, $40 a month; dancing lessons, another $30) and,
as she revealed in her memoir, developed a nasty five-year
bulimia habit that left her with 26 cavities and an emotional
hole much harder to fill.
“With bulimia, I never expected sympathy or for people to
understand,” she says now. Keaton has both hands wrapped
around a cup of coffee as she talks. “What I cared about was
the secret I kept. It felt like a burden. I never told my mother.
But when I finally told my sisters many years after the fact,
they weren’t that shocked. My sister Robin said, ‘Yeah, you
ate a lot of hamburgers back then.’ It’s amazing how the dark
secrets inside us don’t matter much to the outside world.”
OPENING SPREAD: WARDROBE STYLIST: DEBORAH WAKNIN; SET DESIGN: RON ZAKHAR; HAIR BY PETER SAVIC FOR SOLOARTISTS.COM/REDKEN; MAKEUP: COLLIER STRONG/CLOUTIER REMIX;
MANICURIST: LISA JACHNO FOR AIM ARTISTS USING SEPHORA BY OPI. THIS PAGE, CLOCKWISE, FROM LEFT: NEWSCOM; COURTESY OF DIANE KEATON; RON GALELLA/GETTY IMAGES
Then again, some secrets hold more power than others.
In the 1970s, on a visit home, she came across her mother’s
scrapbooklike journal. Keaton was already a superstar. She
exploded onto the scene in the original Broadway produc-
tion of Hair, scored a monumental movie hit with The God-
father, and was on her way to winning a Best Actress Oscar
for Annie Hall. But what she found in her mom’s journal
cut through the glitter. An entry dated August 2, 1976, read:
“WATCH OUT ON THIS PAGE. For you, the possible reader
in the future, this takes courage.” Then came an entry full
of vitriol about Diane’s dad—or “you frigin’ bastard,” as
Dorothy labeled him. It wasn’t until Dorothy’s death in 2008
that Keaton found the courage to look again at the jour-
nals—85 in all—and the torment hidden within.
On the outside, Dorothy was just another suburban house-
wife (her glory moment was winning the “Mrs. Los Angeles”
pageant for homemakers in 1955), but inside she felt trapped
by domesticity, by her failures as an aspiring writer and photographer, and, in later years, by “that strange and cruel disease” that took away her memory.
CLOSE TIES Above, Keaton strolled with
kids Duke and Dexter in 2007; she wrote
about her mother, Dorothy—above right,
in an undated photo—in her recent
memoir, and accompanied former beau
Warren Beatty to a 1978 art exhibit.
could not have a more different view
of life than the one her mom had.
“If anyone embraces the world around her, it’s Diane,”
says Lawrence Kasdan, who directed Darling Companion.
“When you consider she’s been a leading lady for 40 years,
it’s remarkable how much vibrancy and determination she
has.” He tells the story of a scene where Keaton and Kline are
caught in a rainstorm in the wilderness while searching for
their runaway mutt. “We shot in a downpour in the woods,
and it was freezing cold,” Kasdan says. “Diane’s character
ends up sliding down a hill and landing on
her butt. She insisted on doing her own
stunts. She got soaking wet and filthy but
managed to do this very intimate scene at
the end with Kevin. She’s different from any
person I can think of.”
Sarah Jessica Parker, who befriended
Keaton while filming the 2005 comedy
The Family Stone, says, “Diane has never
subscribed to the conventional way of do-
ing things. She’s endlessly curious and lives
boldly. It doesn’t matter if she’s at dinner
with you or on the Today show, she’s going to
tell you what she thinks. It’s never to shock
or show off. It’s just, Diane is who Diane is,
That’s for sure. Any conversation with
Keaton is a slightly skittery affair, popping
quickly from topic to topic, and each new sub-
ject stirs Keaton’s passion as much as the last.
“My thinking about plastic surgery is this,”
she says the second the question comes up. “I
haven’t had it, but never say never. Because
when you do, you are definitely going to go
there. I said I would (CONTINUED ON PAGE 66)