Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton and Dyan Cannon among those paying tribute to Warren Beatty: AFI Life Achievement Award
Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Dyan Cannon, and Elaine May were some of the Hollywood celebrities who spoke at the 36th AFI Life Achievement Award ceremony held at the Kodak Theatre on June 12, '08 in Los Angeles. Warren Beatty was this year's honoree.
At the ceremony, two-time Best Actress Oscar winner Jane Fonda (Klute, 1971; Coming Home, 1978) recalled meeting Beatty when they were set to costar in Joshua Logan's Tall Story (1960). Considering that Logan was gay, she assumed that the young and handsome budding actor with no film experience was also gay. Time would prove her wrong. And that little story got a big laugh from the attendees.
Perhaps just as funny – or not – is that Warner Bros. turned Beatty down, insisting that Logan cast a “name” actor in the lead; a necessity, the studio felt, as newcomer Fonda was little more than the daughter of a Hollywood celebrity (i.e., Henry Fonda), with unproven box office appeal.
Eventually, Tall Story's male lead went to Anthony Perkins (Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominee for Friendly Persuasion, 1956), who would became a sensation that year thanks to Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho.
Punchline: Perkins, of course, was gay.
Punchline II: Tall Story was no big shakes either at the box office or with critics, whereas Elia Kazan's Splendor in the Grass, released the following year, was a prestige production that earned Natalie Wood – by then an established leading lady – a Best Actress Academy Award nomination and turned Beatty into a movie “name.” It was also a Warner Bros. release.
In the U.S., the AFI Life Achievement Award ceremony honoring Warren Beatty will air on the USA Network at 9 p.m. PST on June 25.
See below more AFI Life Achievement Award ceremony images.
Jane Fonda photo: Kevin Winter / Getty Images for AFI.
Born on Jan. 4, 1937, in Tacoma, Washington, Dyan Cannon – like Jane Fonda and, almost, Warren Beatty – also began her film career in 1960 (The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond, This Rebel Breed).
She would play opposite Beatty nearly two decades after her debut, in the 1978 blockbuster Heaven Can Wait, a remake of Alexander Hall's Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941). Beatty, Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominee Cannon, Julie Christie, and James Mason were featured in the old Robert Montgomery, Rita Johnson, Evelyn Keyes, and Claude Rains roles. (Montgomery's prizefighter became Beatty's football star.) Beatty and Buck Henry directed.
Apart from her two 1960 releases, Dyan Cannon's movie career began in earnest in 1965. Since then, she has been featured in about 30 features, notably:
- The (somewhat) sexually daring Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969), which earned her a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination.
Dir.: Paul Mazursky.
Cast: Natalie Wood. Robert Culp. Elliott Gould. Dyan Cannon.
- Doctors' Wives (1971), as one of the titular characters.
Dir.: George Schaefer.
Cast: Dyan Cannon. Richard Crenna. Gene Hackman. Carroll O'Connor. Rachel Roberts. Janice Rule. Diana Sands. Richard Anderson. Cara Williams. Ralph Bellamy. John Calicos. George Gaynes. Scott Brady.
- The Love Machine (1971), from Jacqueline Susann's bestseller.
Dir.: Jack Haley Jr.
Cast: John Phillip Law. Dyan Cannon. Robert Ryan. Jackie Cooper. David Hemmings. Eve Bruce. Sharon Farrell. Uncredited: Gayle Hunnicutt.
- The mystery thriller The Last of Sheila (1973), co-written by Anthony Perkins and Stephen Sondheim.
Dir.: Herbert Ross.
Cast: Richard Benjamin. Dyan Cannon. James Coburn. Joan Hackett. James Mason. Ian McShane. Raquel Welch. Yvonne Romain.
- Deathtrap (1982), as a murder victim.
Dir.: Sidney Lumet.
Cast: Michael Caine. Christopher Reeve. Dyan Cannon. Irene Worth. Henry Jones.
Dyan Cannon's most recent big-screen effort was Susan Seidelman's ensemble comedy-drama Boynton Beach Club (2005), interspersing several stories about love and sex after 60. Also in the cast of veterans: Brenda Vaccaro, Joseph Bologna, Michael Nouri, Sally Kellerman, Renée Taylor, and Len Cariou.
On television, she will next be seen in Bradford May's TV movie A Kiss at Midnight (2008), with Faith Ford, Cameron Daddo, and Hal Linden.
Dyan Cannon director: Oscar-nominated 'Number One'
Dyan Cannon was also nominated for an Academy Award for the 1975 live action short film Number One, which she wrote and directed. The short deals with children and sex, as two little girls hide in the boys' bathroom and are later caught. Some parents go berserk upon hearing the news; others deal more sanely with the issue.
In the cast: Nan Martin, Allen Garfield, Gary Lockwood, Philip Boyer, and Cannon herself.
Dyan Cannon photo: Kevin Winter / Getty Images for AFI.
Diane Keaton (born Jan. 5, 1946, in Los Angeles) began her film career in Cy Howard's comedy of manners Love and Other Strangers (1970). Since then, Keaton has been featured in nearly 40 movies, both big and small. Notable titles include:
- The blockbuster Father of the Bride (1991), in the old Joan Bennett role as the Mother of the Bride.
Dir.: Charles Shyer.
Cast: Steve Martin. Diane Keaton. Martin Short. Kimberly Williams-Paisley. Kieran Culkin. George Newbern.
- Crimes of the Heart (1986), as one of three troubled sisters.
Dir.: Bruce Beresford.
Cast: Sissy Spacek. Diane Keaton. Jessica Lange. Tess Harper. Sam Shepard. David Carpenter. Hurd Hatfield.
- Shoot the Moon (1982), as a wife whose husband is having an affair.
Dir.: Alan Parker.
Cast: Albert Finney. Diane Keaton. Karen Allen. Peter Weller. Dana Hill.
- Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977), as a schoolteacher by day, sexually free spirit by the night.
Dir.: Richard Brooks.
Cast: Diane Keaton. Tuesday Weld. William Atherton. Richard Kiley. Richard Gere. Tom Berenger. Priscilla Pointer.
- Best Picture and Best Director Academy Award winner Annie Hall (1977), which also earned Keaton – playing a character based on herself – the Best Actress Oscar.
Dir.: Woody Allen.
Cast: Woody Allen. Diane Keaton. Tony Roberts. Shelley Duvall. Carol Kane. Paul Simon. Janet Margolin. Colleen Dewhurst. Christopher Walken.
- Best Picture Academy Award winner The Godfather (1972), as the wife-to-be of mobster's son Michael Corleone.
Dir.: Sidney Lumet.
Cast: Marlon Brando. Al Pacino. James Caan. Robert Duvall. Diane Keaton. Talia Shire. Sterling Hayden. John Marley. Richard Conte. Abe Vigoda.
Diane Keaton reprised her role in Shyer's 1995 sequel – a remake of Father's Little Dividend (1951) – Father of the Bride Part II.
Diane Keaton was also featured in real-life companion Woody Allen's Play It Again Sam (1972), Sleeper (1973), Love and Death (1975), Interiors (1978), Manhattan (1979), and Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993).
Diane Keaton was also featured in Coppola's two sequels, Best Picture Oscar winner The Godfather: Part II (1974) and Best Picture Oscar nominee The Godfather: Part III (1990).
Diane Keaton Oscar nominations
Besides her win for Woody Allen's semiautobiographical Annie Hall, Keaton was nominated for three other Best Actress Academy Awards:
- Something's Gotta Give (2003).
Dir.: Nancy Meyers.
Cast: Diane Keaton. Jack Nicholson. Keanu Reeves. Frances McDormand. Amanda Peet. Paul Michael Glaser.
Winner: Charlize Theron for Patty Jenkins' Monster.
- Marvin's Room (1996).
Dir.: Jerry Zaks.
Cast: Meryl Streep. Diane Keaton. Leonardo DiCaprio. Hume Cronyn. Gwen Verdon. Robert De Niro. Cynthia Nixon. Dan Hedaya.
Winner: Frances McDormand for Joel and Ethan Coen's Fargo.
- Reds (1981), under the direction of her real-life companion at the time.
Dir.: Warren Beatty.
Cast: Warren Beatty (as idealist American communist John Reed). Diane Keaton (as Reed's lover, American journalist Louise Bryant). Jack Nicholson (as Eugene O'Neill). Maureen Stapleton (as Emma Goldman).
Winner: Katharine Hepburn for Mark Rydell's On Golden Pond.
Diane Keaton photo: Kevin Winter / Getty Images for AFI.
Actress, screenwriter, and director Elaine May has sporadically worked on films since the late 1960s – e.g., in all three capacities on A New Leaf (1971), costarring Walter Matthau; as a director/screenwriter on Mikey and Nicky (1986), starring Peter Falk and John Cassavetes.
Elaine May has been nominated for two Academy Awards, both in the Best Adapted Screenplay category:
- Primary Colors (1998).
Dir.: Mike Nichols.
Cast: John Travolta (as the Bill Clinton-ish lead). Emma Thompson (Hillary Clinton-ish). Kathy Bates. Larry Hagman.
Winner: Screenwriter/director Bill Condon for Gods and Monsters.
- Heaven Can Wait (1978), co-written by Warren Beatty.
Dir.: Warren Beatty and Buck Henry.
Cast: Warren Beatty. Julie Christie. Charles Grodin. Dyan Cannon. Jack Warden. James Mason.
Winner: Oliver Stone for Alan Parker's Midnight Express.
Notably, Elaine May is also featured in Herbert Ross' all-star omnibus comedy California Suite (1978), in the segment costarring Walter Matthau.
Elaine May's 'Heaven's Gate': 'Ishtar'
Notably, Elaine May directed Warren Beatty, Dustin Hoffman, and Isabelle Adjani in the 1987 mega-production Ishtar, a sort of reboot of the old Bing Crosby-Dorothy Lamour-Bob Hope Road movies of the 1940s.
Unlike its predecessors, however, Ishtar turned out to be a gigantic critical and box office bomb. May would never direct another movie.
Elaine May photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images for AFI.
AFI Life Achievement Award website.