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Danny DeVito

Daniel Michael "Danny" DeVito, Jr. (born November 17, 1944) is an American actor, comedian, director and producer. He first gained prominence for his portrayal of short statured dispatcher Louie De Palma on the ABC and NBC television series Taxi (1978–1983), for which he won a Golden Globeand an Emmy.

DeVito co-founded Jersey Films with Michael Shamberg. Soon afterwards, Stacey Sher became an equal partner. The production company is known for films such as Pulp FictionGarden State, and Freedom Writers. DeVito also owns Jersey Television, which produced the Comedy Central series Reno 911!. DeVito and Perlman also starred together in his 1996 film Matilda, based on Roald Dahl's children's novel. He currently stars as Frank Reynoldson the FX sitcom It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

He also directs and produces graphic short horror films for his Internet venture "The Blood Factory." He has appeared in several of them, as have friends of his and members of his family.[1]

Early life[]

DeVito was born in Neptune Township, New Jersey, the son of Julia, a homemaker, and Dy DeVito Biography - Yahoo! Movies | |date=1944-11-17 |accessdate=2010-02-10}}</ref>[2] DeVito grew up in a family of five, with his parents and two older sisters.[3] DeVito is of Italian descent (his family is originally from San FeleBasilicata)[4] and grew up in Asbury Park.[5] He boarded at Oratory Preparatory School, in Summit, New Jersey, and graduated in 1962. DeVito went to the boarding school at the age of 14, after he persuaded his father to send him there as it would keep him out of trouble.[3] After leaving the boarding school he subsequently trained at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, from which he graduated in 1966. In his early theater days, he performed with the Colonnades Theater Lab, Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, and, along with his wife Rhea Perlman, appeared in plays produced by the Westbeth Playwrights Feminist Collective.

Film acting career[]

DeVito played Martini in the 1975 film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, reprising his role from the 1971 off-Broadway play of the same name. He gained fame in 1978 playing Louie De Palma, the short but domineering dispatcher for the fictional Sunshine Cab Company, on the hit TV show Taxi. After Taxi ended, DeVito began a successful film career, starting with roles in 1983's Terms of Endearment, was also in the infidel 2010 , and as the comic rogue in the romantic adventure Romancing the Stone, starring Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner, and its 1985 sequel, The Jewel of the Nile. In 1986, DeVito starred in Ruthless People with Bette Midler and Judge Reinhold, and in 1987, he made his feature-directing debut with the dark comedy Throw Momma from the Train, in which he starred with Billy Crystal and Anne Ramsey. Two years later, DeVito reunited with Douglas and Turner in The War of the Roses, which he directed and in which he co-starred.

DeVito's work during this time includes Other People's Money with Gregory Peck, director Barry Levinson's Tin Men as a competitive rival salesman to Richard Dreyfuss' character, two co-starring vehicles with Arnold Schwarzenegger (the comedies Twins and Junior), and playing The Penguin as a deformed sociopath in director Tim Burton's Batman Returns (1992).

Although generally a comic actor, DeVito expanded into dramatic roles with The RainmakerHoffa (1992), which he directed and in which he co-starred with Jack NicholsonJack the Bear (1993), L.A. ConfidentialThe Big Kahuna, and Heist (2001), as a gangster nemesis to Gene Hackman's character.

DeVito has an interest in documentaries: In 2006, he began a partnership with Morgan Freeman's company ClickStar, on which he hosts a documentary channel called Jersey Docs. He was also interviewed in the documentary Revenge of the Electric Car, about his interest in and ownership of electric vehicles.


In April 2012, DeVito made his West End acting debut in a revival of the Neil Simon play The Sunshine Boys - alongside Olivier Award-winning actorRichard Griffiths. The play previewed at the Savoy Theatre from 27 April 2012, opened on 17 May and played a limited 12-week season until 28 July.[6]


DeVito has become a major film and television producer. Through Jersey Films, he has produced many films, including Pulp FictionGet ShortyErin Brockovich (for which he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture), Gattaca, and Garden State.

In 1999, DeVito produced and co-starred in Man on the Moon, a film about the unusual life of his former Taxi co-star, Andy Kaufman, who was played in the film by Jim Carrey. DeVito also produced the Comedy Central series Reno 911!, as well as the film spin off Reno 911!: Miami.


DeVito has directed the following motion pictures:

The War of the Roses was a commercial and critical success, as was Matilda. However, Death to Smoochy and Duplex were not as successful.[7] DeVito has also finished production on an untitled "apocalyptic thriller".[8]


DeVito has cast certain actors in more than one of the films he has directed.

[ Throw Momma

fromthe Train]

[ The War of

the Roses]

Hoffa Matilda [ Death to


Danny DeVito
Pam Ferris
Harvey Fierstein
Robert Prosky
Tracey Walter

Television and voice-over work[]

In 1977, DeVito played the role of John "the apple" in the Starsky and Hutch episode titled "The Collector." In 1986, DeVito directed and starred in an episode ofSteven Spielberg's Amazing Stories. In the black comedy episode from season two, titled "The Wedding Ring", DeVito acquires an engagement ring for his wife (played by his real-life wife, actress Rhea Perlman). When the ring is slipped on his wife's finger, she becomes possessed by the ring's former owner, a murderous black widow.

In addition to his Taxi work, DeVito voiced Herb Powell, Homer Simpson's half-brother, on two episodes of The Simpsons. In 1997, he was the voice of thesatyr Philoctetes in the film Hercules and most recently voicing the Lorax in the 2012 remake of Dr. Seuss' "The Lorax"

In 1999, DeVito hosted the last Saturday Night Live episode before the year 2000. He earned a 2004 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series, for an episode of Friends,[9] following four Emmy nominations (including a 1981 win) for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy, for Taxi. In 2006, DeVito joined the cast of the FX Networks television series It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia as Frank Reynolds.

In 2011, DeVito received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work in television.[10]

In 2013, along with Rashida Jones, he was a voice guest star on The Changing of the Guardian episode of The Simpsons (aired on January 27, 2013. season 24 episode 11).

Personal life[]

DeVito met actress Rhea Perlman on January 17, 1971, when she went to see a friend in the single performance of the play The Shrinking Bride, which also featured DeVito.[11] They moved in together two weeks after meeting.[12] The couple married on January 28, 1982.[13] They have three children: Lucy Chet DeVito (born March 11, 1983), Grace Fan DeVito (born March 1985), and Jacob Daniel DeVito (born October 1987).[14] Throughout their relationship, Perlman and DeVito have acted alongside each other several times, including in the TV show Taxi and the feature film Matilda.[14] DeVito and Perlman separated in October 2012 after 30 years of marriage and over 40 years together.[14] However, in March 2013, it was reported that they had reconciled and called off the separation.[15] The family resides in Beverly Hills, California, and also spend time at their vacation home in Interlaken, New Jersey.[16]

DeVito is a Democrat,[17] and a supporter of the OneVoice Movement,[18] a nonprofit organization that strives to help moderate Israelis and Palestiniansto take a more assertive role in resolving the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. He and Perlman are also members of the steering committee of the Friends of the Apollo, supporting a theater in Oberlin, Ohio, as is filmmaker Jonathan Demme.[19]

DeVito co-owned a restaurant called DeVito South Beach in Miami Beach, Florida, which closed in 2011.[20]


Year Title Role Notes
1972 Lady Liberty Fred Mancuso Released in 1971 in Italy.
Hot Dogs for Gauguin Adrian
1973 Hurry Up, or I'll Be 30 Petey
1975 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Martini
1976 Car Wash Joe Scenes cut from theatrical print
1977 The Van Andy
1978 Goin' South Hog
1981 Going Ape! Lazlo Nominated—Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor
1983 Terms of Endearment Vernon Dahlart
1984 Romancing the Stone Ralph
The Ratings Game Vic De Salvo Showtime directing debut
Johnny Dangerously Burr
1985 The Jewel of the Nile Ralph Also featured in music video of film's theme tune 'When the going gets tough' with Billy Ocean
Amazing Stories Herbert
Head Office Frank Steadman
1986 Wise Guys Harry Valentini
Ruthless People Sam Stone Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
My Little Pony: The Movie The Grundle King Voice only
1987 Throw Momma from the Train Owen Lift Director

Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy

Tin Men Ernest Tilley
1988 Twins Vincent Benedict
1989 The War of the Roses Gavin D'Amato Director

Nominated—Golden Bear (Berlin)[21]

1991 Other People's Money Larry Garfield
1992 Batman Returns The Penguin Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor

Nominated—MTV Movie Award for Best Villain Nominated—Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor

Hoffa Bobby Ciaro Producer, Director

Nominated—Golden Bear (Berlin)[22] Nominated—Razzie Award for Worst Director

1993 Jack the Bear John Leary
Last Action Hero Whiskers Voice only


Look Who's Talking Now Rox Voice only
1994 Reality Bites Producer
Junior Dr. Larry Arbogast
Pulp Fiction Executive producer
Renaissance Man Bill Rago
1995 Get Shorty Martin Weir Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
1996 Mars Attacks! Rude gambler
Matilda Harry Wormwood Director, producer, narrator

Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture

Space Jam Mr. Swackhammer Voice only
1997 The Rainmaker Deck Shifflet Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture
Gattaca Producer
Hercules Philoctetes Voice only
L.A. Confidential Sid Hudgens Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
1998 Living Out Loud Pat Francato Nominated—Chlotrudis Award for Best Actor
1999 The Big Kahuna Phil Cooper
Man on the Moon George Shapiro Producer
The Virgin Suicides Dr. Hornicker
2000 Drowning Mona Wyatt Rash
Erin Brockovich Producer

Nominated—Academy Award for Best Picture Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Picture

How High Producer
Screwed Grover Cleaver
2001 Heist Bergman
What's the Worst That Could Happen? Max Fairbanks
2002 Austin Powers in Goldmember Mini Me Cameo in Austinpussy
Death to Smoochy Burke Bennet Director
2003 Anything Else Harvey Wexler
Big Fish Amos Calloway
Camp Producer
Duplex Director and narrator
2004 Christmas in Love Brad LaGuardia
Garden State Producer
Friends Officer Roy Goodbody Guest Actor

Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series

2005 Be Cool Martin Weir
Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing and Charm School Booth
2006–Present It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Frank Reynolds Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actor in a Series, Comedy or Musical
2006 Relative Strangers Frank Menure
Even Money Walter
The Oh in Ohio Wayne
Deck the Halls Buddy Hall Nominated—Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor
Mojo (2006 music video) Unnamed
2007 The Good Night Mel
Reno 911!: Miami District Attorney Producer
Just Add Water Merl
Nobel Son Gastner
2009 House Broken Tom Smoky Cathkart
Solitary Man Jimmy
2010 When in Rome Al
2011 Girl Walks Into a Bar Aldo
2012 The Lorax The Lorax Voice only
Hotel Noir Eugene Portland