Nathan Lane (born February 3, 1956) is an award-winning American actor of the stage and screen. Born Joseph Lane to Irish American Catholic parents in Jersey City, New Jersey, he was named after a paternal uncle, a Jesuit priest. His father Daniel was a truck driver and an aspiring tenor who died from alcoholism when Lane was 11; his mother Nora was a manic-depressive housewife. Lane attended Catholic schools in Jersey City, including Jesuit-run St.
Peter's Preparatory High School where he was elected Best Actor in 1974. Deciding between college and an acting career, Lane opted for the latter, saying that college was for people who didn't know what they wanted to do, while he did. Because there already was a Joseph Lane registered with Actors Equity, he changed his name to Nathan after the character Nathan Detroit from the musical Guys and Dolls. He moved to New York City where, after a long struggle, his career began to take off, first with off-Broadway productions at Second Stage Theatre, and then his 1982 Broadway debut in a revival of Noel Coward's Present Laughter with a cast headed by George C.
Scott, Kate Burton, Dana Ivey, and Christine Lahti. His second Broadway appearance was in the 1983 flop Merlin, which starred magician Doug Henning and Chita Rivera. Commenting on the show, Lane later said, "Doug Henning's greatest magic trick was making the audience disappear". His major breakthrough came with the 1992 revival of Guys and Dolls, in which he portrayed the character who lent him his name opposite Peter Gallagher and Faith Prince.Make Nathan Lane Playlist