With a smoldering sensuality that perfectly complements her remarkable subtlety as an actress, critics and journalists have frequently singled out Diane Lane for her memorable work in such films as Rumble Fish (1983), A Walk on the Moon (1999) and The Perfect Storm (2000). From her earliest stage appearances to her later status as a powerful star of feature films, Lane's uncanny ability to project her character's innermost emotions into the hearts of filmgoers has earned her a much-deserved rank among the Hollywood elite. 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.