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Nathan Lane: Take a Look Back on His Vast and Diverse Career

Nathan Lane: Take a Look Back on His Vast and Diverse Career

Nathan Lane returns to Broadway this season in the new play Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus. Lane has had an extremely diverse career, spanning over 30 years. From comedic musicals, to heart-wrenching plays, to screen work, voiceovers, and much more, Lane has become a household name.

Get excited for his Broadway return by taking a look back on just a sampling of highlights from his career!


In 1982, Lane made his Broadway debut in Noel Coward's Present Laughter as Roland Maule. This role earned him his first Drama Desk nomination.

Lane did not win a Drama Desk Award until 1990, when he was honored for his role of Mendy in The Lisbon Traviata Off-Broadway.

Lane received his first Tony nomination in 1992 for his portrayal of Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls. He also received the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical, and the Outer Critics Circle Award.

Fun Fact: Lane's birth name was Joseph, and he changed it to Nathan, after the character from Guys and Dolls, when he began his career.

Watch Lane perform 'Sue Me' from the show, along with Faith Prince:


In 1995, Lane appeared in Love! Valour! Compassion! as Buzz Hauser. He won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play, as well as the Outer Critics Circle Award.

Watch clips of Lane in the show below:


Lane's next Tony Award was received in 1996 for his role as Prologus and Pseudolus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. In addition, he won the Drama Desk for Outstanding Actor in a Musical, as well as Outer Critics Circle Award.

Watch a clip from the opening number below:


The Producers was a career-defining show for Lane. In 2001, he originated the role of Max Bialystock on Broadway. He remained in the production from March 2001-March 2002, and then returned from December 2003-April 2004.

For this role, Lane won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical and the Drama Desk for Outstanding Actor in a Musical, as well as the Outer Critics Circle Award.

In 2004, Lane made his West End debut in The Producers, reprising his role as Max Bialystock. He replaced Richard Dreyfuss a week before previews began. For this production, Lane won his first Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical.

Watch a performance from the West End production below:


In 2005, the film adaptation of The Producers was released, and Lane was nominated for a Golden Globe.

Watch a clip of Lane singing 'Betrayed' in the film below:


In 2010, Lane made his musical return in The Addams Family as Gomez Addams. For this role, Lane received Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations. Also in 2010, Lane received a Drama League Award for Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theater.

Watch Lane and the cast performing the opening number below:


Another notable role for Lane was in 2013 when he played Chauncey in The Nance. For this performance, he received a Tony nomination and Drama Desk nomination. He also won the Outer Critics Circle award and received a Drama League Award for Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theater.

Watch a clip from the show below:


In 2014, Lane starred as James Wicker in It's Only a Play, alongside an extremely notable cast including F. Murray Abraham, Matthew Broderick, Stockard Channing, Rupert Grint, Megan Mullally, and Micah Stock.

Watch clips from the show below:


Lane starred as Walter Burns in The Front Page in 2017, which earned him a Tony nomination, Drama Desk nomination, and Outer Critics Circle Nomination.

Nathan Lane: Take a Look Back on His Vast and Diverse Career
Lane taking his opening night bow in The Front Page.
More photos here!

Lane's most recent career-defining role occurred just last year, when he appeared as Roy M. Cohn in the revival of Angels in America. This role won Lane his third Tony for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play, as well as the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play, and the Outer Critics Circle Award.

Watch clips from the show below:


This is, of course, just a sampling of Lane's incredibly vast career. His other Broadway credits include: Merlin (1983), Wind in the Willows (1985), Some Americans Abroad (1990), On Borrowed Time (1991), Laughter on the 23rd Floor (1993), The Man Who Came to Dinner (2000), The Play What I Wrote (2003), The Frogs (2004), The Odd Couple (2005), Butley (2006), November (2008), and Waiting For Godot (2009).

In addition to his many theatrical credits, Lane has made a name for himself in film and television as well. He is well known for his voice role of Timon in the film The Lion King (1994). Lane also played the role of Albert in the hit film The Birdcage (1996). The Birdcage received many awards including the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. Lane himself was nominated for both a Golden Globe, and a SAG Award for this role.

Lane has received two Daytime Emmy Awards, one in 1996 for Timon & Pumbaa, and the second in 2001 for Teacher's Pet.

In 2006, Lane received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and in 2008 he was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.



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