Born January 22, 1965, in New York, NY; daughter of Burt Lane (an acting coach) and Colleen Farrington (a cabaret singer); married Christopher Lambert (an actor), October, 1988 (divorced, March, 1994); married Josh Brolin (an actor), August 15, 2004; children: Eleanor Jasmine (from first marriage). Education: Attended University of California, Los Angeles, 2000.
Addresses: Agent —Endeavor Talent Agency, 9701 Wilshire Blvd., tenth fl., Beverly Hills, CA 90212.
Actress in films, including: A Little Romance , 1979; Touched by Love , 1980; Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains , 1981; Six Pack , 1982; The Outsiders , 1983; Rumble Fish , 1983; Streets of Fire , 1984; The Cotton Club , 1984; The Big Town , 1987; Lady Beware , 1987; Love Dream , 1989; Vital Signs , 1990; Knight Moves , 1992; My New Gun , 1992; Chaplin , 1992; Indian Summer , 1993; Judge Dredd , 1995; Wild Bill , 1995; Jack , 1996; Mad Dog Time , 1996; Murder at 1600 , 1997; Gunshy , 1998; A Walk on the Moon , 1999; The Perfect Storm , 2000; My Dog Skip , 2000; Hard Ball , 2001; The Glass House , 2001; Unfaithful , 2002; Under the Tuscan Sun , 2003; Fierce People , 2005; Must Love Dogs , 2005. Television appearances include: Summer (movie), 1981; Child Bride of Short Creek (movie), NBC, 1981; Miss All-American Beauty (movie), CBS, 1982; Lonesome Dove (miniseries), 1989; Descending Angel , 1990; Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All (miniseries), CBS, 1994; A Streetcar Named Desire (movie), CBS, 1995; Grace … Glorie (movie), 1998; The Virginian , TNT, 2000. Stage appearances include: Medea , La Mama, New York City, 1971; Runaways , New York Shakespeare Festival and Broadway production, 1977-78.
Awards: New York Film Critics' Circle Award for best actress, for Unfaithful , 2002; National Society of Film Critics Award for best actress, for Unfaithful , 2002; ShoWest Female Star of the Year, 2003.
American actress Diane Lane has been acting since she was a small child and was a star by the time she hit her early teens. Though her transition into adult roles was a bit difficult, she built a solid career appearing primarily in films, with occasional appearances in television movies and minis-eries. By the early 2000s, Lane had returned to prominence in a series of successful films, including an Academy Award-nominated performance in 2002's Unfaithful.
Lane is the daughter of Burt Lane, an acting coach and cab driver, and his wife, Colleen Farrington. The marriage did not last as the couple divorced only a few weeks after their daughter was born. Farrington had primary custody of Lane until she was about six years old. At that time, Farrington left New York City and returned to her native Georgia, so Lane was primarily raised by her father, and grew up living in residential hotels in New York City.
Lane's acting career began soon after she started living with her father. After spotting an ad for a theater troupe looking for a young girl for a role, he took his daughter to the audition and she won the part. Burt Lane then acted as his daughter's manager for many years. In 1971, she appeared in a La Mama production of Medea , which was performed in Greek. Lane eventually became a member of the La Mama Repertory Troupe and traveled abroad each summer to appear in productions with the company.
In addition to such summer ventures, Lane continued to appear on stage and work on her acting skills in New York. She believed acting was a form of child care for her father. She told Jamie Diamond of the New York Times , "You can get into trouble on the streets of New York. So I'd go right from school to the La Mama workshop. We'd do exercises where we'd pretend to be animals." Lane's stage career was winding down by the late 1970s. One of her last roles of significance in the theater came in 1977 when she played a young prostitute in Runaways. The production was nominated for Tony Awards.
When she became a teenager, Lane wanted to be a model. However, she gave up this dream when Eileen Ford of the famous Ford Modeling Agency informed her that her neck was not long enough for modeling. Instead, Lane focused her attention on film roles. Her first film role came in 1979's A Little Romance. Lane played a young American girl on vacation in Europe with her parents who falls in love with a French youth. She runs away with the help of a petty criminal played by Laurence Olivier. Lane received rave reviews for her performance and strong acting skills. That same year, she appeared on the cover of Time magazine, which touted her as a rising Hollywood star.
Despite her growing success, her family life was problematic. Lane still lived with her mother on occasion, but Farrington was not always capable of mothering and also made several poor business decisions on her daughter's behalf. After running away with a boyfriend to California when she was 15 years old, Lane returned and would not live with her father. Instead she lived with friends, paid rent, and continued working. In 1981, she entered high school after taking correspondence courses for several years. Her mother found her and forced Lane to come to Georgia with her to talk. This event led to court action by her father. Within a few months Lane had returned to her life in New York, though she later reconciled with mother and even bought a house in Georgia when she was a teenager.
Lane's acting career continued to prosper in the early 1980s. She appeared in several television movies of note as well as a few films directed by Francis Ford Coppola. The television movies featured Lane playing young roles and doing well in them. She played a pageant contestant in Miss All-American Beauty , for example. More prominent were the teen-oriented films directed by Coppola. She had the female lead in both The Outsiders and Rumble Fish , and was already better known than her male co-stars.
The third film Lane appeared in that was directed by Coppola was The Cotton Club. It was a complete failure at the box office and with reviewers. Critics believed that Lane was miscast. Though only 18 years old, she played the girlfriend of a gangster, played by Richard Gere. Her character eventually has an affair with a musician. One point that critics harped on was her lack of on-screen chemistry with Gere.
After the disappointment of The Cotton Club , Lane stopped acting for a couple of years. She was already a millionaire several times over. She spent time on tour with a rock musician boyfriend and worked in her garden. Lane also pondered her future as an actress. She felt pushed into the career by her father and was unsure if she wanted it for herself. Eventually, Lane decided that she did and worked to rebuild it.
The late 1980s and early 1990s were tough for Lane. Though she worked on a fairly steady basis, her choice in roles was not always great. Lane even turned down parts in what became hit films. For example, Lane was offered the mermaid role, played by Daryl Hannah, in Splash. Lane chose instead to play a singer in the bust Streets of Fire. Roles in films like Lady Beware also did not show Lane at her best. Despite these problems, her personal life was improving. She married actor Christopher Lambert in October of 1988. The couple had a daughter, Eleanor, before divorcing in 1994.
Lane did make a few acting good choices in this time period as well. Only a few were in films. She had a small role in the 1992 Robert Downey Jr. vehicle, Chaplin , as actress Paulette Goddard. A lead role in the indie comedy My New Gun was well-received, though the film was only a minor hit.
More high profile, career-building roles came on television. In 1989, she played a prostitute named Lorena Wood in the miniseries Lonesome Dove , which was based on a novel by Larry McMurtry. This role was seen as a comeback for the young actress. Lane earned an Emmy Award nomination for her portrayal of Wood. In another miniseries, Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All , she played the young version of the title character, Lucy Marsden. The teenaged Marsden marries a much older man, who served in the Confederate Army. Another role of significance for Lane was A Streetcar Named Desire. She played Stella in the television version of the Tennessee Williams stage play.
Lane's film career continued to struggle in the midto late 1990s, but her film roles were in higher profile productions. She appeared in the 1995 action-adventure flop, Judge Dredd , which starred Sylvester Stallone. Lane later admitted taking the role was not a great move. She told Jamie Portman of the Ottawa Citizen , "My agents absolutely filibustered me into doing that movie. They told me it would give me high visibility and improve my 'foreign stock.' I said to them: 'Look at Stallone's last eight movies. What did they do for any of the women he worked with in those?'" She later fired her agents.
Some of her roles were in better films. Lane appeared in another Francis Ford Coppola film, Jack , which was a minor hit. She played the mother of the title character, a young boy with a disease that ages him rapidly, played by Robin Williams. She also had a role in Murder at 1600 as a security agent in the White House.
Lane finally had a breakout role in 1999's A Walk on the Moon. She played Pearl Kantrowitz, a somewhat repressed, world-weary Jewish housewife who has never really lived on her own or for herself. She has an affair with a salesman, Walker Jerome, played by Viggo Mortensen, while on vacation with her family in the Catskills. She leaves her family to go to Woodstock with him. Lane received great reviews for the role. In a review of the film in Time , Richard Corliss wrote, "She locates Pearl's yearning in vagrant sighs and in sidelong glances at the big world exploding, outside her small one, into sex, drugs and external adolscence." Lane's career in films was rejuvenated.
Lane had roles of more significance in the early 2000s. One high profile role was in the drama The Perfect Storm in 2000. She played Christina Cotter, the girlfriend of one of the men caught at sea in a fishing boat in a deadly storm. That same year, she had a small role in My Dog Skip , a high quality children's movie set during World War II. She played the mother of the main character, a boy who acquired the dog.
Lane's career took another step forward with her appearance in 2002's Unfaithful , which was directed by Adrian Lyne. She played the lead role in the erotic drama. Her character, Connie Sumner, is a rich woman with a good life at home and a family. One day for no particular reason, she starts what becomes an all-consuming affair with a younger Frenchman, Paul Martel, played by Olivier Martinez. Lane's deft portrayal of Sumner won critical raves and took her to leading lady status. She also was nominated for several prominent awards, including an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and a Screen Actors Guild Award.
She landed the lead in 2003's Under the Tuscan Sun. The movie was a small hit. Lane played a writer whose husband has had an affair. While they are divorcing, Lane goes on vacation in Italy, decides to buy a home in Tuscany, renovates it, and falls in love with a local. The film was based on the nonfiction book by Frances Mayes.
Though Lane's career was again reaching a high point, she was not afraid to play hardball on the business side if necessary. She sued Intermedia Film Equities USA for several million dollars in 2003 when the company signed her to a deal to star in a film entitled Me Again , which was never made. Lane's case stipulated that her contract was to pay her whether or not the film was made. The matter was later settled out of court.
Lane's personal life also blossomed. She had been a single mother to her daughter for nearly a decade when she married for a second time. She had known actor Josh Brolin for years and after two years of dating, married him in August of 2004. Around the same time, she filmed a somewhat successful romantic comedy, Must Love Dogs. In the film, which was released in 2005, Lane played a recently divorced teacher, Sarah Nolan, who is looking for a husband via internet dates, many of which turn out badly. The film co-starred John Cusack, who eventually turns out to be the right man for her character.
Lane planned to continue to challenge herself with future film roles. She told Bob Thompson of the Toronto Sun , "My mind is always on autoscan for what's different, fun and innovative. As long as I'm drawing breath in this business, I've got to have creative fantasies in my head."
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— A. Petruso