Belfast Telegraph

Woody Allen honours Diane Keaton in rare public appearance

The actress was also reunited with fellow exes Warren Beatty and Al Pacino at the special event.

Filmmaker Woody Allen made a rare public appearance on Thursday (08Jun17) to honour his ex-girlfriend and muse Diane Keaton as she was celebrated with a Life Achievement prize.

The actress was the toast of the evening at the American Film Institute (AFI) event in Hollywood, where her famous friends and collaborators, including her other co-stars and ex-lovers Warren Beatty and Al Pacino, gathered to pay tribute.

Allen helped to introduce Keaton to the audience at the 45th Annual AFI Life Achievement Award ceremony and heaped praise on the actress, who he worked with on eight projects, starting with 1972's Play It Again, Sam, and going on to include Annie Hall, Manhattan, and Love and Death.

"The minute I met her, she was a great, great inspiration to me," he said. "Much of what I've accomplished in my life I owe, for sure, to her. Seeing life through her eyes. She really is astonishing. This is a woman who is great at everything she does."

Beatty, who worked with Keaton on the films Reds and Town & Country, also took the stage earlier in the night, branding the star "brilliant, beautiful, passionate, authentic", while there were further compliments from Jane Fonda, Steve Martin, Reese Witherspoon, Emma Stone, Meryl Streep, and Keaton's The Godfather co-star Pacino, who told her, "I feel as if I have known you my whole life."

An emotional Keaton had her chance to respond to the outpouring of love as the ceremony came to a close, but instead of reading her pre-prepared speech, she decided to speak from the heart.

"I just want to say that tonight was just astonishing," the actress gushed. "I don't know what to say that would express my gratitude so I am not going to give a speech. So I thought I could sing a song that Woody once gave me to sing."

She ended the night with an a cappella version of her Annie Hall tune Seems Like Old Times.

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