Nathan Lane

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Date of Birth: February 3rd 1956

Nathan Lane is a Tony Award- and Emmy Award-winning actor of the stage and screen. Lane was born Joseph Lane in Jersey City, New Jersey, the son of Irish American Catholic parents.

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, the Roundabout Theatre and the Manhattan Theatre Club, 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.Matthew Broderick (top), Nathan Lane in a poster for the 2005 revival of The Odd Couple.

Lane, who came out publicly after the death of Matthew Shepard, jokingly describes himself as an "old-fashioned homosexual, not one of those new fangled gays who are born joining parades." When he was asked once by a reporter whether he was gay, rather than providing a blunt yes-or-no answer, he famously declared, "I'm 40, single and I work a lot in the musical theatre. You do the math." He has been a long-time board member of and fundraiser for B'way Cares/Equity Fights Aids, and he has been honored by The Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, and The Trevor Project for his work in the gay community.

Though he played a chef in Mousehunt, as mentioned on an episode of Martha in which he appeared as a guest, he is not good in the kitchen. He resides in New York, has a long-time partner, and remains very good friends with Matthew Broderick, Mel Brooks and Ernie Sabella.

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