Who Is Diane Lou Oswald, Woody Harrelson’s Mother?

Diane Lou Oswald is the mother of Woody Harrelson, the award-winning Hollywood actor who is famous for works such as White Men Can’t Jump, Cheers, and Indecent Proposal. Born in 1937, Diane Lou Oswald is currently 87 years old and is a retired legal secretary.

Diane Lou Oswald was previously married to convicted murderer Charles Harrelson with whom she had three sons, including Woody. They later divorced in the 60s, and she raised the boys by herself. To her credit, she never turned her sons against their dad, allowing them to pursue a relationship with him later in their lives. They continue to praise her for this and other rare qualities.

Summary of Diane Lou Oswald’s Bio

  • Full name: Diane Lou Oswald
  • Gender: Female
  • Date of birth: 1937
  • Diane Lou Oswald’s Age: 87 years old
  • Ethnicity: Caucasian
  • Nationality: American
  • Sexual Orientation: straight
  • Religion: Christianity
  • Marital Status: divorced
  • Diane Lou Oswald’s ex-Husband: Charles Harrelson
  • Diane Lou Oswald’s Children: Jordan, Woody, and Brett Harrelson
  • Diane Lou Oswald’s Parents: Kenneth and Mary Lou Oswald
  • Diane Lou Oswald’s Height in Inches: 5 feet 2 inches
  • Diane Lou Oswald’s Height in Centimeters: 156
  • Diane Lou Oswald’s Weight: 60 kg
  • Diane Lou Oswald’s Net worth: $500K
  • Famous for: Woody Harrelson’s mom

Woody Harrelson’s Mom is Former Legal Secretary, Diane Lou Oswald

Woody Harrelson’s mother is Diane Lou Oswald. She was born in the year 1937 and is presently 87 years old. Her birthplace is the town of Lebanon, Warren, Ohio, meaning that she is an American citizen. She is also of Caucasian ethnicity.

Diane Lou was brought up in Warren, Ohio, by her parents, Mary Lou Oswald and Kenneth Oswald. It is possible that she had siblings, but there is no confirmation of that. It is, however, known that she is a deeply religious person, and her upbringing may have influenced this.

Diane Lou Oswald attended school in her town and achieved a reasonable level of education. With her education and other skills acquired, she built a career as a legal secretary for several years and used the proceeds to take care of her three children.

Diane Lou Oswald Was Married To Woody’s Dad, Charles Harrelson, For Several Years

In 1959, 22-year-old Diane Lou Oswald got married to 21-year-old Charles Harrelson. The nuptials likely took place in Texas, and the couple also settled down to build a family life there, specifically in the town of Midland.

They welcomed three sons in quick succession, namely Jordan Harrelson (born 1960), Woodrow Tracy Harrelson (born July 23, 1961), and Brett Harrelson (born June 4, 1963). The couple worked hard to provide for their kids. Diane Lou was a legal secretary while her husband held all sorts of odd jobs, including working as a salesman at some point.

Diana Lou Oswald
Woody Harrelson and mom, Diane Lou Oswald in 1992 Image Source

They Later Divorced As a Result of Charles’ Criminal Activities

Diane Lou Oswald and Charles Harrelson did not have much of a peaceful marriage, and this was due to Charles’ criminal tendencies. He was a gambler and often took loans from mafia syndicates. When he couldn’t pay up the loans, he took to a life of crime to make ends meet with the mafia breathing down his throat.

Charles was convicted for armed robbery in 1960, barely a year into his marriage with Diane. Other arrests and convictions followed in the 60s and 70s, and the crimes escalated from armed robbery to murders. He was tried and convicted for the murders of Sam Degelia and Judge John H. Wood Jr. (a district judge) in 1973 and 1979, respectively.

Diane Lou couldn’t stand this life of crime and the impact it was having on her kids, so she divorced Charles Harrelson. Some reports have it that the divorce occurred in 1964, while others say that it was in 1968, the same year that her husband was arrested for the murders of both Alan Harry Berg and Sam Degelia.

Diane Lou Raised Her Three Children By Herself

Upon divorcing her husband and following his subsequent incarceration for murder, Diane Lou Oswald pretty much raised Woody Harrelson and his brothers alone. Her ex-husband left home in 1968, and from then onwards, the responsibility of taking care of the three young boys fell on her. She did the best she could, but they still struggled to live decently on her legal secretary’s salary.

As a result, in 1973, she decided to move back with the boys to her hometown of Lebanon and make a new life there. While they lived there, they got some help from her relatives, and she continued working hard to fend for them. She also instilled in them various values as they grew up and turned into adults.

Diane Lou Oswald
Diane Lou Oswald’s ex-husband, Charles Harrelson Image Source

Her Son, Woody Harrelson, is Now a Popular Hollywood Actor

Diane Lou Oswald still shares a close relationship with her children, who are all grown up and thriving presently. Her first son, Jordan, who is about 64 years old, prefers living out of the spotlight.

Her third son, the 60-year-old Brett, is a Hollywood actor. He has landed minor roles in several movies and TV series such as A Mom For Christmas, Inferno, Go Further, From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money, Dante’s View, Strangeland, and The People V Larry Flynt.

Lou’s second child, Woody, is now a popular Hollywood actor. He has portrayed a diverse range of unforgettable characters on both the small screens and big screens. His notable works include White Men Can’t Jump, Cheers, Frasier, Hunger Games, Indecent Proposal, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. He has landed three Oscar nominations, one for best actor and two for best-supporting actor.

Woody Harrelson has also won accolades such as the 1989 Primetime Emmy Award for outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series for his portrayal of the lovable but dimwitted bartender, Woody, on Cheers.

Diane Lou Oswald
Woody Harrelson and brother, Brett (R) in 2013 Image Source

Woody Has Described His Mom As a Great Role Model

Diane Lou Oswald maintains a close relationship with her children, including the famous Woody. She once visited him on set during the filming of Indecent Proposal (1993). She also accompanied him to the red carpet for the premiere of White Men Can’t Jump in 1992.

Woody Harrelson has described his mom as being quite an influence on him and a great role model. He has also thanked her for instilling in him values such as a great work ethic, treating people in the right manner, and behaving honorably.

Woody is also grateful for the fact that his mom never badmouthed their dad, even when she had reasonable grounds to do so. She chose to take the high road, and as such, he and his brothers were still able to have a stable relationship with their dad, often visiting him while incarcerated.


Featured Today

Fact Check

We strive for fairness and accuracy, if you've found a possible error or something that needs updating, please contact us

Related Stories