Drosophila lamin C (LamC) is a developmentally regulated component of the nuclear lamina. The lamC gene is situated in the fifth intron of the essential gene tout velu (ttv). We carried out genetic analysis of lamC during development. Phenotypic analyses of RNAi-mediated downregulation of lamC expression as well as targeted misexpression of lamin C suggest a role for lamC in cell survival. Of particular interest in the context of laminopathies is the caspase-dependent apoptosis induced by the overexpression of lamin C. Interestingly, misexpression of lamin C in the central nervous system, where it is not normally expressed, did not affect organization of the nuclear lamina. lamC mutant alleles suppressed position effect variegation normally displayed at near-centromeric and telomeric regions. Further, both downregulation and misexpression of lamin C affected the distribution of heterochromatin protein 1. Our results suggest that Drosophila lamC has a tissue-specific role during development and is required for chromatin organization.