|Lane Pryce (Deceased)|
|Portrayed by||Jared Harris|
|First appearance||Out of Town|
|Final appearance||Commissions and Fees|
|Employer|| Puttnam, Powell, and Lowe (former) |
Sterling Cooper Advertising Agency (former)
|Occupation|| Founding and Senior Partner and Financial Chief of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce (former) |
Financial Chief of Sterling Cooper Advertising Agency for Puttnam, Powell, and Lowe (former)
New York City
Lane was raised in a strict London household (mostly under his father). In his adult years, he met the girl of his dreams, named Rebecca, and eventually married her. She later gave birth to their son. During the Second World War, Lane joined the British armed forces, receiving an assignment where he ensured resupply of deployed forces.
At some point after WWII he earned a degree in advertising and landed a job at Puttnam, Powell, and Lowe, where he eventually became their go-to man for handling recent mergers and takeovers. PPL later assigned him to the United States to oversee financial operations at the newly-aquired Sterling Cooper. After the planned sale of Sterling Cooper and PPL to McCann Ericson, Lane learned that he would be reassigned to India. Not wanting to uproot his family yet again, Lane offered to fire Bert Cooper, Don Draper, and Roger Sterling in exchange for a partnership in their new firm; this would release them to form a new firm without breaching their respective PPL contracts. This act subsequently led to him being fired by Saint John Powell (which he cheerfully accepted). The four men struggled for a while afterwards to make their new firm, Sterling Cooper Draper & Pryce, successful. Lane invested in SCDP heavily and was a partner.
Although Lane was a good partner in SCDP, his financial status did not reflect his success: he eventually amassed a large amount of debt due to the combination of no bonuses for three years, steep living expenses, and England's high tax rate. A better fiscal year for SCDP showed promise of a long-awaited bonus, so Lane tried to repay his debt by forging Don's signature on a business check (hoping to cover his embezzlement when he received his bonus). However, when Don announced there would be no executive bonuses for a fourth year, Lane was stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Draper found out about his forged signature mysteriously appearing on checks he did not remember cutting and asked Pryce about it. When Lane confessed to stealing the money, Don fired him by demanding that Lane resign from SCDP permanently.
Lane took the confrontation badly and shortly thereafter tried to commit suicide by gassing himself in the new Jaguar his wife had bought for him the same day. After this attempt failed because the "lemon" Jaguar wouldn't start, Lane went to the Madison Avenue office at night and hanged himself.
His hanging corpse was later found by co-workers as a result of the strong smell emanating from his office. Don—visibly upset that the others had left Lane's corpse hanging—insisted that they cut him down immediately. The thought of Lane hanging himself seems to have reminded Don of his brother Adam's suicide.
The only message that Lane left behind was a boilerplate letter of resignation. No one other than Don knew what had happened and Don didn't tell anyone about the words that he'd had with Lane before his suicide.
When Puttnam, Powell, and Lowe purchased Sterling Cooper, Lane was sent to be PPL's financial officer in New York City.
A New Company
Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce was formed in December 1963 when it became clear that McCann Erickson was going to purchase Puttnam, Powell, and Lowe. After the merger would occur, Lane was slated to be sent to India. Lane was convinced to free Don Draper, Bertram Cooper, and Roger Sterling from their employment contracts to start a new advertising agency after being promised a partnership in the new firm.
After being fired, they began to collect their client portfolios to convince the companies to move to their new firm. They were able to convince Pete Campbell, Peggy Olson, Harry Crane, and Joan Holloway to join the new firm.
After Don discovered that Lane had been both embezzling from the company and forging Don's signature, Lane was forced to resign. With no idea what to tell his family or what he would do afterward, Lane hanged himself in his office and left a boilerplate letter of resignation for some of the senior staff to find.
Ironically, Lane's death cost SCDP far more than the embezzled money: besides the loss of a skilled partner, Lane had been under a "key man" life insurance policy at SCDP. This policy stated that in the event of his death, his next of kin would receive a substantial settlement payment to cover his lost wages. The policy did not stipulate that certain causes of death (e.g., suicide) would void coverage, and rather than face legal battles on an already questionable issue, Don elected to make full payment to Rebecca Pryce.
Joan: "Were you celebrating with Don?"
Joan: "Scarlett told me about your four A's chairmanship. Congratulations."
Lane: "Are you busy?"
Joan: "I'm thinking about taking a vacation this Easter."
Lane: "Oh. Where are we going?"
Joan: "Do you think there's a difference between Bermuda and Hawaii?"
Lane: "Well, neither are suitable for commemorating the death and resurrection of Our Lord."
Joan: "Can you imagine me, locked in a hotel room with a baby and my mother?"
Lane: "I suppose you'd rather I imagined you bouncing in the sand in some obscene bikini."
Joan: "… I think you should take your party elsewhere."
— An inappropriate comment lands Lane in hot water with Joan in "Commissions and Fees".