Diane Lou Oswald: Know Everything About The Mother Of Woody Harrelson

Diane Lou Oswald, an American native, gained recognition not for her own career, but as the mother of the accomplished Hollywood actor and playwright, Woody Harrelson. Before achieving fame through her son’s success, she dedicated herself to a career as a secretary. Despite being in the background, Diane played a significant role in shaping her son’s prosperous career. Her strong religious beliefs and unwavering dedication infused her children with energy and influence. Diane’s life, characterized by resilience and strength, serves as an inspiration to many.

Diane Lou Oswald profile summary 

Full NameDiane Lou Oswald
Date of Birth1937
Age87 (as of 2024)
Zodiac SignLeo
Place of BirthLebanon, Warren, Ohio, USA
Height (feet)5’6
Height (cm)167
Weight (lbs)121
Weight (kg)55
MotherMary Lou Oswald
FatherKenneth Oswald
Marital StatusUnmarried
PartnerCharles Harrelson (m. 1959–1964)
Children3 (Brett Harrelson, Woody Harrelson, Jordan Harrelson)

Diane Lou Oswald Early Life 

She is the mother of the renowned actor Woody Harrelson, hails from Lebanon, Warren, Ohio, United States. Born in 1937 to Kenneth and Mary Lou Oswald, she enjoyed the upbringing of an upper-middle-class family, laying the foundations for her life.

Beyond being the mother of a famous actor, Diane’s narrative is one of resilience and strength. Her journey includes the experience of raising three sons – Woody, Brett, and Jordan Harrelson – with her former husband, Charles V. Harrelson. Diane’s life story revolves around nurturing and guiding her children through their unique journeys.

Diane Lou Oswald Professional Career 

Diane Lou Oswald Professional Career 

Diane professional journey showcased her meticulous attention to detail and organizational prowess, qualities that not only contributed to her success at work but also influenced her personal life.

Raising three children single-handedly revealed her strength and resilience, aspects of her character that often go unnoticed behind her son’s fame. Despite being in the shadows of her son’s achievements, her career as a legal secretary significantly molded her values, which she passed on to her children.

Diane’s refined skills continue to hold relevance, highlighting her enduring impact even today. Her dedication to her profession serves as an inspiration to aspiring legal secretaries. Though Diane Lou Oswald is no longer with us, her legacy lives on through her children and the lasting influence she had on Woody Harrelson’s life.

Diane Lou Oswald Ex-Husband Was A Contract Killer 

In 1959, Diane embarked on a journey of matrimony with Charles Harrelson, a man who wore many hats, working as an encyclopedia salesman and trying his luck as a professional gambler in California. This union brought forth three children, but by 1964, the marital bliss had faded, leading to Charles leaving the family home.

Charles’s life took a dark turn during their marriage, delving into a world of crime. In 1960, he faced conviction for armed robbery, revealing later that he had been involved in numerous murders from the early 1960s onwards. His criminal activities escalated, transforming him into a contract killer. Notably, he was tried for the 1968 murder of Alan Harry Berg, and while luck was on his side with an acquittal in 1970, he faced another trial in 1968 for the murder-for-hire killing of Sam Degelia Jr., receiving probation initially.

However, fate had more in store, leading to a retrial in 1973 that resulted in a conviction and a 15-year sentence. Charles’s path took a more sinister turn after his release in 1978, as he, along with his then-wife Jo Ann, was implicated in the murder of US District Judge John H. Wood Jr., for which he received two life terms.

In a bizarre twist, in 1980, Charles surrendered to the police after a dramatic standoff, during which he made claims of being involved in the killing of Judge Wood and even President John F. Kennedy. Despite later retracting the story, Charles Harrelson’s life continued to be marred by legal troubles. In 1995, he attempted an escape from prison but was met with a warning shot, leading to his surrender. Unfortunately, Charles Harrelson passed away on March 15, 2007, at the age of 68, succumbing to a heart attack, having battled cancer in the preceding years.

Diane Lou Oswald: Children

Diane Lou Oswald stands as a dedicated mother to three remarkable sons: Woody Harrelson, Brett Harrelson, and Jordan Harrelson. The eldest, Woody, has carved his name in the film industry with critically acclaimed performances, showcasing his talent and earning widespread recognition. Following in his brother’s footsteps, Brett Harrelson has also ventured into acting.

The bonds Diane shared with her children were woven with closeness and warmth. Her resilience and unwavering determination played pivotal roles in molding the paths of her sons. Even in her absence, Diane’s enduring influence continues to shape the lives of her children. This legacy is most evident in Woody’s flourishing acting career and the values instilled in all her sons, creating a lasting impact that transcends time.

Diane Lou Oswald Raised Her Children Alone 

Diane Lou Oswald Raised Her Children Alone 

In 1964, Diane Lou Oswald and Charles Harrelson parted ways after a five-year marriage. The separation took a significant turn in 1968 when, according to Woody Harrelson, his father vanished from their Houston home, leaving Diane to shoulder the responsibility of raising him and his two siblings. The family lost contact with Charles until 1981 when he resurfaced, arrested and subsequently convicted for the murder of Judge Wood.

Despite Charles Harrelson’s repeated convictions, Diane Lou Oswald never encouraged her children to harbor resentment against their father. Woody Harrelson, acknowledging the complexities of his feelings, shared that he maintained regular visits to his father in federal prison. Diane’s unwavering support and understanding allowed her children to navigate a challenging relationship with their father, emphasizing empathy over animosity.

Diane Lou Oswald’s Famous Son, Woody Harrelson

Diane Lou Oswald’s Famous Son, Woody Harrelson

Diane Lou Oswald is the proud mother of Woodrow Tracy Harrelson, a renowned actor and playwright. Born on July 23, 1961, in Midland, Texas, USA, Woodrow Tracy Harrelson, professionally known as Woody Harrelson, has made a significant impact in the entertainment industry for over three decades. Diane’s roots in Lebanon, Ohio, shaped Woody’s upbringing.

Woody, who graduated from Lebanon High School in 1979, furthered his education with degrees in theater arts and English from Hanover College. His journey into the world of acting began with notable roles, including the bartender Woody Boyd on the NBC sitcom Cheers (1985–1993). His versatile acting skills have left an enduring mark, particularly in films like “White Men Can’t Jump,” “The Hunger Games,” “The People vs. Larry Flynt,” and “Kingpin.”

Beyond acting, Woody Harrelson has pursued a career as a playwright, contributing to his multifaceted success. He has received accolades, including a Primetime Emmy Award and two Screen Actors Guild Awards, along with nominations for three Academy Awards and four Golden Globe Awards.

His engagement in environmental events, such as the PICNIC’07 festival in Amsterdam in September 2007, reflects his commitment to various causes beyond the screen. Her influence has undoubtedly played a role in shaping Woody’s character and values, contributing to his remarkable journey in the spotlight.

Diane Lou Oswald: Instilled A Love For Nature And The World In Woody

Diane Lou Oswald, the proud mother of acclaimed actor Woody Harrelson, has always been a source of immense pride for her son. Woody cherishes a heartfelt note he received from his mother when he was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in “The Messenger” in 2009. Diane’s joy for Woody’s nomination, alongside Christopher Plummer, was evident in her note.

Woody attributes his empathy towards the world and nature to his mother, Diane. He believes that she instilled these values in him, profoundly shaping his perspective on life. Woody credits his strong work ethic to his mother, stating that she generously imparted her energy to him.

Diane Lou Oswald emerges as a beacon of resilience and influence in Woody’s life. Her role in instilling a deep love for the environment has left an indelible mark on Woody.

Diane Lou Oswald has three grandchildren 

Diane Lou Oswald’s family tree has deep roots, starting with her grandparents, Dutch and Izora Oswald. The next generation includes Diane’s parents, Kenneth Oswald and Mary Lou Oswald. She shared her life with Charles Harrelson, and together they brought three wonderful individuals into the world: Brett Harrelson, Woody Harrelson, and Jordan Harrelson. Diane Lou Oswald’s cherished role as a grandmother extends to Deni Harrelson, Zoe Harrelson, and Makani Harrelson, completing the branches of her loving family tree.

Diane Lou Oswald Net Worth

While Diane’s reported net worth is estimated to be around $1 million, her genuine wealth surpasses financial metrics and lies in the profound legacy she has left behind. Beyond mere numbers, Diane’s influence is immeasurable and echoes through the successful careers and cherished values embraced by her children.

Her impact is not confined to quantifiable measures. Diane’s true legacy manifests in the achievements of her sons, with Woody Harrelson’s triumphant acting career standing out prominently.

Through the lives of Woody, Brett, and Jordan Harrelson, Diane’s legacy lives on. Each son, in their unique way, reflects the indelible imprint of their mother’s teachings and the unwavering strength she exhibited throughout her remarkable life.


Q. When and where was Diane Lou Oswald born?

Diane Lou Oswald entered the world in 1937 in Lebanon, Warren, Ohio, USA, marking the beginning of her life journey.

Q. Who were Diane’s parents?

Diane’s parents were Kenneth Oswald and Mary Lou Oswald, individuals who played significant roles in shaping her early years.

Q. What was Diane’s marital status, and who was her partner?

Diane, at the time of her passing, remained unmarried. In the past, she shared a marital bond with Charles Harrelson from 1959 to 1964, creating a chapter in her life’s story.

Q. How many children did Diane Lou Oswald have?

Diane was the proud mother of three children: Brett Harrelson, Woody Harrelson, and Jordan Harrelson, each contributing to the unique fabric of her family.


Diane Lou Oswald’s life unfolded as a tapestry woven with resilience, strength, and unwavering dedication. While she garnered recognition as Woody Harrelson’s mother, her personal journey as a legal secretary showcased not just her professional skills but also her deeply held values. Confronting challenges head-on, she successfully raised three accomplished sons, leaving behind a lasting legacy. Diane’s impact transcends mere numbers, and her influence on her children’s lives, especially Woody’s, is immeasurable. Her narrative stands as an inspiration, embodying the fortitude of a woman who played a pivotal role in shaping the trajectory of a Hollywood icon.

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