Diane Lane was born in New York City in 1965, the daughter of drama coach Burt Lane and Playboy centrespread Colleen Farrington; her eyes seemed to sparkle with stars from the tender age of six. Cast in a La Mama Experimental Theatre production of Medea, Lane would subsequently appear on stage in numerous productions, both in her native New York and abroad. It wasn't long before the late-'70s found Lane reaching the apex of her early career, and in 1978 she made her film debut in director George Roy Hill's A Little Romance. Cast alongside no less than Sir Laurence Olivier, Lane held her own in the role of an American student who finds love while studying abroad, and as a result gained remarkable exposure on the cover of Time Magazine in August of the following year.
Lane was touted as one of the most promising actors of her generation, and this success parlayed her into a series of neglected films. In a number of these instances, she could not be faulted for choosing substandard material; her appearance in Lamont Johnson's fresh and rousing female western Cattle Annie and Little Britches (1981), for example (alongside Amanda Plummer, Burt Lancaster and Rod Steiger) drew lavish critical praise even as the studio inexplicably threw the film into the wastecan. Lane fared better with twin roles in a pair of teen dramas from director Francis Ford Coppola in 1983 (The Outsiders and Rumble Fish) once again earned the burgeoning film actress the spotlight and reminded audiences of her immense talent; she became a Coppola favorite, but didn't fare as well with his Cotton Club, a massive critical and commercial flop that did little to boost her career, even as it introduced her to co-star Richard Gere (with whom she would reteam, professionally, years later).
After rounding out the decade with yet another memorable turn in the television miniseries Lonesome Dove (1989), Lane's career once again became a more low-key affair, though her performances frequently outshined the otherwise unremarkable series of films she appeared in.
Though roles in such efforts as Chaplin (1992), A Streetcar Named Desire (1995), and Jack (1996) kept her from falling off the radar, Lane didn't truly shine again until her role as a housewife who embarks on a fragile extramarital affair in A Walk on the Moon (1998). Following that film with a pair of memorable performances in My Dog Skip and The Perfect Storm (both in 2000), Lane's career seemed to have achieved some stability, but it wasn't before a pair of forgettable features (Hardball and The Glass House, both in 2001) that Lane scored with yet another tale of marital infidelity. Director Adrian Lyne's Unfaithful, a retooling of Claude Chabrol's La Femme Infidèle, once again found Lane in the throes of an alluring stranger. Unfaithful - the anticipated onscreen reunion of Lane with Richard Gere - pondered the crushing reverberations of extramarital carnality, and Lane provided an ample and intriguing center of gravity for the film.
When February 2003 rolled around and the Academy announced its nominations for the previous year, Lane received her first-ever Oscar nod for her emotional turn in Unfaithful. It did not pay off with a win, but Lane's follow-ups with roles in substantial fare including Just Like Mona (2002) and the wildly-popular Under the Tuscan Sun (2003) suggested that Lane's career had finally found solid box-office ground. Time validated this assertion: 2005's Must Love Dogs, a romantic comedy vehicle co-starring Lane and John Cusack, drew positive responses from many moviegoers and did decent, if not spectacular, box office, despite the excoriation of some critics (Salon's Stephanie Zacharek moaned, "It's ostensibly about adults, but there's nothing remotely adult about it.") 2006's Hollywoodland casts Lane in a mystery about the enigmatic demise of Superman's George Reeves. Over the next several years, Lane would prove she had no intention of slowing down , appearing in films like Untraceable, Nights in Rodanthe, and Secretariat. She appeared in the Superman reboot Man of Steel in 2013 as Martha Kent.
Married to Highlander Christopher Lambert from 1988 to 1994 (with a single daughter from that marriage), Lane wed actor Josh Brolin in late 2004, before divorcing in 2013. In addition to her high-profile movie career, she is also an avid photographer; the January 2005 issue of InStyle Magazine prominently published a series of landscapes that Lane shot during one of her road trips into the American west.