The Annie Hall icon was the guest of honour at The Hollywood Reporter’s 21st Annual Women in Entertainment Breakfast in Los Angeles, where she was handed the prize – named after former actress and film studio executive Lansing – in recognition of her work as a pioneer, mentor and philanthropist.
Speaking about the accolade, she told the audience, “My idea of a leader would be somebody like Sherry Lansing. You know why? Because she has this gift, like so many of you here today do, of organising large groups of people in order to achieve a common goal.
“And Sherry’s particular brand of leaders, you know, that kind of leader has to be charismatic and intelligent and attractive, but most of all persuasive – and that’s not me.”
The event turned personal for Keaton as she hailed her late mother Dorothy, who died of Alzheimer’s disease in 2008, as her “first and most inspired leader” during her speech.
Referencing her mother, the actress declared, “You know, mom, sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I had told you how much I love the sound of your laughter. Would that have made you feel proud of yourself? Or what if I just told you how proud I was to be the daughter of a really special former Mrs. Los Angeles? Would that have made a difference?
“Or if I’d… told you how quickly I ran home to you the day Dave Garland stuck his finger in my padded bra and made me feel humiliated? Would you have finally understood that you were irreplaceable, mom? Or what if I just told you how much fun it was for me just to sit across from the kitchen counter and watch you make your mid-afternoon snack… would you have felt fulfilled?”
The publication’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Entertainment – which included Meryl Streep, Tina Fey, Ellen DeGeneres and Lena Dunham – were also celebrated during the event at the Beverly Hills Hotel.