Nathan Lane was born Joseph Nathan Lane in New Jersey in 1956. He was set to attend St. Joseph’s College on a drama scholarship, but ultimately decided against it when he learned that he wouldn’t be able to cover all the expenses of attending the school on his scholarship money alone. Instead, he practiced acting on his own, changing his name to Nathan Lane as there was already a Joseph Lane registered with Actors Equity. Under this name, he moved to New York City where, after many years of toil, he began to find some success in the world of stand-up comedy. He then moved into Off-Broadway stage productions, and eventually Broadway shows as well. It was during this time (the 1980s) that Lane started acting in film and television as well, with some early roles in movies such as Ironweed, The Lemon Sisters, Joe Versus the Volcano, and Addams Family Values. The mid-90s brought Lane much recognition, in particular for his voice work in The Lion King and also his role in The Birdcage. During this period, he also received his first Tony nomination for his performance in the revival of Guys and Dolls, and won a Tony in 1996 for his role in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. By this point, Nathan Lane was quite famous, and continued acting in theatre and movies, with some of his notable film roles being in MouseHunt, Nicholas Nickleby, Austin Powers in Goldmember, Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!, Swing Vote, and the upcoming Mirror, Mirror. And I would be remiss in my duties if I neglected to mention Lane’s award-winning starring role in the Broadway production of Mel Brooks’ The Producers as well as the movie adaptation of that play…based on a movie. Nathan Lane turns 56 today. Hakuna Matata!