From Films To Broadway, And Back Again: Heres How Nathan Lane Earned Made His $20 Million Fortune

He’s known for his sense of humor, strong friendships, working relationships and ability to smoothly jump from silver screen to Broadway stage. With a career cemented in New York City, Nathan Lane has shown he can handle just about any role and though he’s earned success in Hollywood, his heart lies in the live audience of the theatre.

Lane has shared his love for the lights going down, the curtain going up and the chance to do it all over again the next night and audiences flock to his next performance. With a net worth of $20 million, the comedian and performer has more than 80 credits in film and television and that doesn’t begin to cover the huge success the three-time Tony award winner has seen throughout his career.

Take a look back at the twists and turns of a comedian’s career that earned him millions in the process.

Always A Performer

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Nathan Lane (born Joseph Lane) grew up in a Catholic household with two older brothers, attending St. Peter’s Preparatory School. Lane discovered his love for musical comedies at an early age, performing in a high school production of No, No, Nanette and knew he wanted to pursue acting in college.

When he attempted to join the Actors’ Equity, Lane learned there was already a Joseph Lane in the membership. With a love for the character Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls (which he played in his early days at dinner-theaters), Lane chose the name Nathan, eventually becoming a household name.

His Early Days On Stage

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In the late 70’s, Lane teamed up with actor Patrick Stark, performing stand up at nightclubs and opening for concerts to make ends meet while he also landed some smaller roles off-Broadway. His first Broadway role was 1982’s Present Laughter, earning Lane a Drama Desk Award nomination.

From there, he appeared in Merlin, alongside a young Christian Slater. According to IMDb, the show stands today as one of the most expensive flops in Broadway history but is a clear reminder of the determination and gratitude Lane shows still today.

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Making It In Hollywood

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In the early 80’s, Lane was still finding his place in the acting community. He made his television debut as Jonathan Burns on the NBC sitcom One of the Boys and first took on the big screen with 1987’s Ironweed, followed by Joe Versus the Volcano with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.

As his career developed, Lane appeared in The Birdcage alongside Robin Williams and grabbed numerous television roles, appearing on Frasier, Mad About You with Paul Riser and most recently, a recurring role as Pepper Saltzman on ABC’s Modern Family and Clarke Hayden on CBS’ series The Good Wife according to Celebrity Net Worth.

Lane joined the cast of the Steve Martin and Martin Short Hulu hit, Only Murders in the Building last year.

Back To Broadway

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In a coincidental turn of events, Lane landed the role of Nathan Detroit in the 1992 Broadway revival of Guys and Dolls, earning his first Tony nomination. It wasn’t until 2001, however, that Lane’s collaboration with Matthew Broderick skyrocketed him to stardom, co-staring in The Producers. The teamed up again in The Odd Couple in 2005 and It’s Only a Play in 2014.

The duo reprised their roles in the 2005 film version of The Producers as well.

Lane received critical acclaim in 2018’s Angles in America and 2021’s Broadway revival of Death of a Salesman.

Working Behind The Scenes

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In 1994, Lane starred in his best-known vocal work to date, providing the personality and comedy relief as Timon in The Lion King; a role he would reprise in subsequent films featuring the meerkat.

Lane later voiced the cat in Stuart Little starring Geena Davis and Stuart Little 2. In 2000, he was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Performer in the animated series George and Martha.

An Author In His Own Right

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According to Simon and Schuster, Lane and his husband, Devlin Elliot, wrote “Naughty Mabel” followed by “Naughty Mabel Sees it All”. The story of the fanciest French bulldog in New York City that takes on her parents’ party by storm was a hit among audiences and led to a sequel.

Lane’s Awards And Recognition

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Lane has earned six Tony nominations and won three for Best Actor in a Musical in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Producers and Angels in America. He’s won six Drama Desk Awards and numerous Primetime Emmy nominations for his work in television comedies. Lane has also received two Golden Globe nominations for his turn in The Birdcage and The Producers.

Lane received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame alongside friend and collaborator Matthew Broderick in 2006.

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Sources: IMDb, Celebrity Net Worth, Simon and Schuster

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