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June 09, 2017 12:55 PM

Diane Keaton is feeling the love from her famous exes.

The actress was honored at the 45th Annual AFI Life Achievement Award ceremony  (sponsored by Audi) Thursday night where her friend and early collaborator Woody Allen made a surprised Hollywood appearance. Though the private Allen tends to stay from the spotlight, he ventured out to the West Coast to pay tribute to his longtime muse. 

“The minute I met her, she was a great, great inspiration to me,” Allen said while introducing Keaton at the event. “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.”

Though he attended to honor the legendary actress, Allen, who briefly dated Keaton, spent most of the speech roasting her with a series of jokes that seemed playfully based in truth — including her well-documented love life.

“Over the years, we have remained very friendly. We walk the streets, talk, talk about movies, her love life,” Allen said. “She’s been involved romantically with a half a dozen of the most gifted, charismatic, attractive men in Hollywood, and it’s very interesting because every one of them has dumped her. We discuss her love life. We discuss her film career. We discuss just general stuff, life, death, friends.”

Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Turner
Martin, Keaton, Martin Short and Streep at the ceremony

Allen was just one in a series of speeches that honored the actress, with Al Pacino, Warren Beatty, Meryl Streep, Reese Witherspoon, Jane Fonda, Emma Stone and Steve Martin also taking the stage.

Beatty, who also dated Keaton, praised the actress’ many talents and thanked her for their friendship.

“There’s so much that I could say about Diane, and so much has been said already, but I have a list of things that I think she is,” Beatty said. “I would start with saying she’s such a brilliant, beautiful, passionate, authentic, political, dramatic, hilarious, honest, generous, spontaneous, ethical, independent, feminist, actor, director, writer, producer, singer, photographer, designer, real estate developer, and mother of two kids.”

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Pacino, another one of Keaton’s famous exes, recalled the first time they met at a The Godfather dinner before filming started. He said Keaton, then in her mid-twenties, was left speechless by Marlon Brando.

“That was supposed to be a rehearsal to bring the family together over an Italian dinner, which I thought was very clever and appropriate,” he says of the cast’s first meeting. “So there was Marlon Brando. He was there, the Godfather, the head of the table, and Diane sort of liked him. Kind of was enamored. I remember that, and I remember he got up, early on, and introduced himself, and walked over to Diane, and he said, ‘Hi, Diane. I’m Marlon Brando.’ She looked up, shook his hand, and said, ‘Yeah, right, okay, good, that’s fine.’ I remember it well. I was the only one laughing.”

  • Reporting by SCOTT HUVER

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