Nathan Lane is talking up about the arduous journey to coming out as gay, something he did in the late 1990s after reaching worldwide stardom in the blockbuster film The Birdcage.
The comedy great, 64, told The Hollywood Reporter‘s It Happened in Hollywood podcast that he had long been out to close friends and relatives when director Mike Nichols cast him opposite Robin Williams as Albert, aka the drag queen Starina, in Nichols’ big-budget adaptation of the 1978 Italian-French farce La Cage aux Folles.
As Lane explains, “I came out to my parents and my family when I was 21.” All the people knew. Also, it was common knowledge among the New York theatre community. No one had ever shown any interest in my sexuality before the idea of coming out openly as if I were a public person crossed my mind.
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Who is Nathan Lane?
American theatre, film, and television actor Nathan Lane (born February 3, 1956) has won two Tony Awards and an Emmy.
The Lisbon Traviata’s Mendy, The Birdcage’s Albert, The Producers’ Max Bialystock, MouseHunt’s Ernie Smuntz, Guys and Dolls’ Nathan Detroit, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum’s Pseudolus, and his voice work in The Lion King and Stuart Little are among his most notable parts.
He was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 2008 and honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2006.
Lane was born Joseph Lane in Jersey City, New Jersey, the son of Irish American Catholic parents. He was named after his uncle, a Jesuit priest.
His father, Daniel, was a truck driver and an aspiring tenor who died from alcoholism when Lane was eleven; his mother, Nora, was a housewife and secretary who suffered from bipolar disorder, and died in 2000.
He has two brothers, Robert and Daniel. Lane attended Roman Catholic schools in Jersey City, including Jesuit-run St. Peter’s Preparatory High School, where he was awarded Best Actor in 1974.
Is Nathan Lane Gay?
On Modern Family, an ABC smash comedy-drama, Nathan played Pepper Saltzman, a funny homosexual wedding planner and close friend of Cam and Mitchell. Several viewers have pondered whether or not the actor identifies as gay off-screen.
Well, Nathan Lane has been out as gay for a very long time. Nathan claims that at the age of twenty-one, he told his loved ones and friends that he was gay.
“I’m not ready to address whether I’m gay or not with Oprah,” he said, referring to the 1996 Oprah interview in which she pressed him on the subject.
I can’t even handle meeting Oprah, much less coming out to her as homosexual. Nathan Lane married his longtime lover Devlin Elliott in 2015. The couple had been together for close to two decades. The actor had a small, private wedding.
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Nathan Lane Avoid To Talk About His Sexuality
The actor’s stardom was bound to skyrocket after the 1996 release of Birdcage, and Lane had to make a tough choice about his future.
The publicist I hired out of the blue asked me, “So, what do you want to do? You’re going to walk into a room full of reporters, and this is going to be the first thing they ask you about. In response, I just remarked, “I’m not sure if I’m ready to start discussing this.” Finally, I have a role in a film, and I don’t want it to be a coming-of-age story. That was my choice, for better or worse,” he says now.
In promoting the picture, Lane chose to not discuss his sexuality. The topic was eventually discussed, most notably on an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show, as his publicists had predicted.
Earlier, Lane had told producers, “I’m not ready to address whether I’m gay or not with Oprah. I can’t even handle meeting Oprah, much less coming out to her as homosexual.
It goes something like this: “Oh, you’re so excellent at that girly stuff,” she compliments me. What have you. He goes on to say, “And Robin definitely recognised she would be headed towards the sexuality topic, and he quickly swoops in and diverts the interview away from that to protect me.”
Actually, Winfrey questions Lane straight out on the show, “Were you frightened of being typecast as ‘are you, are you not?'” As in, “Is he, isn’t he…?” Once Winfrey asks the awkward question with a lighthearted tone, Williams cuts in to make fun of her.
American actor Nathan Lane has been working in show business for more than four decades. Nathan Lane has been in many films and TV shows over his career.
Pepper Saltzman on Modern Family was arguably Nathan’s most famous role. Over the years, a lot of people have speculated about whether or not Nathan Lane is gay.