Diane Keaton's Bond With Her Mom Shows That Strong Women Raise Independent Daughters | "I'm Fearless About What I Like"

Diane Keaton's Bond With Her Mom Shows That Strong Women Raise Independent Daughters | "I'm Fearless About What I Like"

Diane Keaton first decided to be a performance artist when she saw her mom win a Mrs. America contest.

Source: Getty Images | Photo by Rachel Luna

A strong woman's presence lives on through her children forever. She is able to shape her children and imbue them with strong values, which they carry with them forever. A strong woman can raise strong daughters and sons, who go on to become independent people with a mind of their own.

For actress Diane Keaton, her mom, Dorothy Keaton Hall, was her partner in life. Hall was born during the Depression-era and had been abandoned by her father. Not having a father's love, she made sure that she would be there for her four kids.


The Annie Hall actress has three siblings. Hall encouraged one to write poetry, another to be a singer, and the third one was the smart one in the family. She also inspired Keaton to be an actress, as per NPR


Hall had written 85 journals throughout her lifetime. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in June 1993 and even her anxieties she recorded in her journal. "She had, in fact, been quite secretive about her thoughts and feelings and the only place she actually put them down was when she'd sit alone at a desk and write," Keaton says.



Keaton meticulously read through all of them and felt closer to her mother. She also wrote a memoir Then Again for both of them. "The two of us were partners in life. My mother really was this person who was in love with my aspirations," she said. "That's really why I forced myself to read them. And of course, I was completely unprepared for the depth that I encountered."


It was through those journals, she realized that her mom wanted her kids to have the childhood she never had. Her mom influenced the Something's Gotta Give actress by taking part in the Mrs. America contest.



When the judges came to their house Hall had to show her skill as a housewife. "They were looking at our house because (as Mrs. Los Angeles) you had to show that you were a good housekeeper, that your house was nice and what your specialty was. My mom’s was baking a cake," she told Inquirer.net


"There was Ms. America, but there was also Mrs. America, and this was the world's greatest housekeeper," Keaton explained to NPR. "I saw my mother on the stage with other women, and suddenly they announced her name and she was crowned Mrs. Highland Park and the curtain opened and then there was this cornucopia of gifts... And all I remember was I wanted to be on that stage. It really did define the fact that I was going to definitely go into the performing arts."



She said that her mother had ambition not enough opportunity. "She instilled that in me—to follow my dream." The American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award winner never got married but she adopted two children and pursued her interests in fashion and architecture, something her dad, Jack Hall, a civil engineer, influenced in her. Her love for fashion comes from her mother. 

"Fashion was a huge link between my mother and I. We never really quite had a lot of money in the beginning, right? So we would go to the Goodwill and Salvation Army. We’d discover the thrift stores, my mother and I. We would buy some old fabric and we’d go and get some McCall’s pattern and then I would say, ‘This is the best one, mom. You make this.’ So she became my first assistant. I want her back!" she said according to spokesman.com.


Her mom encouraged her just as much as she encouraged her other kids. "I’m fearless about what I like... I’ve had a lot of independence, and nobody’s telling me what to do. I had a mother who encouraged that and helped me achieve the things I wanted to achieve. I’ve followed the paths I’ve wanted to follow. I like redoing houses, I like architecture, I like visuals, I like fashion, I like all of it," she told USA Today.


She became a single mom at the age of 50 when she adopted her children, daughter Dexter and son Duke. "My mother wasn’t a stickler for the more practical approaches to life,” she told the crowd. "She never told me what to think. She just let me think. And I’m trying to instill that in my kids. I want to know what they think and for them to tell me, instead of me going, ‘Oh, you think that’s a good idea? Maybe not.’ Instead, I just want to listen and shut my mouth," she said, as perHuffPost.


She raised them on her own but she did wonder if it would have been easier had she had a man by her side. But, when she was asked why she never married, she told Daily Mail, "I think it was just my whole life. How I responded first to boys and then to men. It had nothing to do with reality. Relationships are hard. You’re lucky if you find someone."

At 74, she still doesn't want to slow down or retire. She is still working in Hollywood and intends to keep doing it until she can't anymore.