Nathan Lane is an American actor and writer. Born Joseph Lane in Jersey City, New Jersey, he was the youngest of three brothers. He attended St Joseph's University in Philadelphia on a drama scholarship but soon dropped out when he realized the scholarship would not cover all of his expenses. He joined the queues of jobbing actors in New York City and changed his name to Nathan Lane, as there was already a Joseph Lane registered with Actors' Equity.
Lane began his career as half of a stand-up comedy duo, alongside Patrick Stack. He then worked on a series of Off-Broadway productions, before making his Broadway debut in the 1982 revival of Noel Coward's Present Laughter, which earned him a Drama Desk nomination. He worked regularly on Broadway and Off-Broadway, before starring in the 1992 hit revival of Guys and Dolls. Lane took on the role of Nathan Detroit (the character who inspired his stage name) and received his first Tony nomination.
Lane has worked regularly on stage and on screen throughout his career. With a running total of six Tony nominations, he has won three for his performances in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1996), The Producers (2001), and Angels in America (2018). He also won the Olivier Award for his West End performance in The Producers, after he stepped into the role just one week before previews began.
Lane has a long-standing association with Stephen Sondheim, beginning with his participation in the workshop of Assassins in 1989. In 2004, Lane revised the book of The Frogs and starred in the Broadway premiere at the Lincoln Center. He also has a successful onstage partnership with Matthew Broderick, appearing in The Producers, The Odd Couple (2005), and It's Only a Play (2014). The pair have hosted the Tony Awards together and received adjacent stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2006.
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