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definition - Danny_DeVito

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Danny DeVito

Danny DeVito

DeVito at a ceremony to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in August 2011
Born Daniel Michael DeVito, Jr.
(1944-11-17) November 17, 1944 (age 67)
Neptune Township, New Jersey, United States
Occupation Actor, comedian, director, producer
Years active 1970–present
Religion Judaism
Spouse Rhea Perlman
(m. 1982–present; 3 children)

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 Globe and an Emmy.

DeVito and his wife, Rhea Perlman, founded Jersey Films, a production company known for films such as Pulp Fiction, Garden 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 Reynolds on the FX sitcom It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.


  Early life

DeVito was born in Neptune Township, New Jersey, the son of Julia, a homemaker, and Daniel Michael DeVito, Sr., who owned several small businesses, including a dry cleaning store, a dairy outlet, a luncheonette, and a pool hall.[1][2] DeVito is of Italian descent (his family is originally from San Fele, Basilicata)[3] and was raised a Roman Catholic,[4] growing up in Asbury Park.[5] He boarded at Oratory Preparatory School, in Summit, New Jersey, graduating in 1962, and 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, 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).

  DeVito at the San Diego Comic-Con International in July 2010

Although generally a comic actor, DeVito expanded into dramatic roles with The Rainmaker, Hoffa (1992), which he directed and in which he co-starred with Jack Nicholson, Jack the Bear (1993), L.A. Confidential, The 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 actor Richard Griffiths. The play will preview at the Savoy Theatre from 27 April 2012, opening on 17 May and playing 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 Fiction, Get Shorty, Erin 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:

DeVito is due to start filming his latest feature Charlotte Doyle early this year. The feature will be shot on location around Ireland and will feature actors Pierce Brosnan and Morgan Freeman[7]

His films often have a bizarre, neo-surrealistic sensibility and gallows humor, though these elements were absent in the straightforward Hoffa biopic. The approach served him well at times, especially in The War of the Roses, a commercial and critical success, as well as Matilda, where it matched the style of Roald Dahl's story of a young girl and a strict teacher; however, his last two films, Death to Smoochy and Duplex, have not been as financially successful.[8]

  Television and voice-over work

  DeVito at the Beverly Hills Film Festival, 2008

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 of Steven 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 the satyr Philoctetes in the film Hercules.

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.

Voice actor in guest appearances in The Simpsons: Episode 7F16 "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?" and Episode 8F22 "Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?".

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

  Personal life

DeVito married actress Rhea Perlman on January 28, 1982.[11] They have three children: Lucy Chet DeVito (born March 1983), Grace Fan DeVito (born March 1985) and Jacob Daniel DeVito (born October 1987). The family lives in Beverly Hills, California, and has a vacation home in Interlaken, New Jersey.[12] Lucy starred as Anne Frank in a production of Anne Frank at the Intiman Theatre in Seattle, Washington, in 2008.

DeVito is a staunch Democrat, and a supporter of the OneVoice Movement, a non-profit organization that strives to help moderate Israelis and Palestinians to take a more assertive role in resolving the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. He is also a member of the steering committee of the Friends of the Apollo Theater in Oberlin, Ohio along with his wife, and filmmaker Jonathan Demme.[13]

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


Year Title Role Notes
1971 Lady Liberty Fred Mancuso
1972 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
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)[14]
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)[15]
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 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
2006 Relative Strangers Frank Menure
Even Money Walter
The Oh in Ohio Wayne
Deck the Halls Buddy Hall
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
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle Director, screenwriter


  1. ^ "Danny DeVito Biography - Yahoo! Movies". Movies.yahoo.com. 1944-11-17. http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/contributor/1800019132/bio. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  2. ^ "Danny DeVito Biography (1944-)". Filmreference.com. http://www.filmreference.com/film/91/Danny-DeVito.html. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  3. ^ Dani Shapiro (29 June 2010). "My favorite place: Danny DeVito". articles.cnn.com. http://articles.cnn.com/2010-06-29/travel/tl.italian.getaway.devito_1_sea-view-rooms-restaurant?_s=PM:TRAVEL. Retrieved 31 May 2012. 
  4. ^ "Kevin Spacey and Danny DeVito". Reel.com. http://reel.com/reel.asp?node=features/interviews/kahuna. Retrieved 2010-02-10. [dead link]
  5. ^ Shaw, David. "DeVito! Although He Has a Penchant for Dark Comedies, Actor-Director Danny DeVito Is Serious About His Craft, His Family and His Cigars", Cigar Aficionado profile, accessed May 2, 2007. "Danny DeVito was born in 1944 in the shore town of Neptune, New Jersey—hence the name of his production company—and raised in neighboring Asbury Park, the youngest of five children (two of whom died before he was born)."
  6. ^ http://www.whatsonstage.com/news/theatre/london/E8831327931244/Danny+DeVito+makes+West+End+debut+alongside+Richard+Griffiths+in+The+Sunshine+Boys.html
  7. ^ "Morgan Freeman & Pierce Brosnan in Danny DeVito's 'Charlotte Doyle', Filming in Ireland 2012". IFTN. http://iftn.ie/news/?act1=record&only=1&aid=73&rid=4284238&tpl=archnews&force=1. Retrieved 09 September 2011. 
  8. ^ "Danny DeVito Movie Box Office Results". Boxofficemojo.com. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/people/chart/?view=Director&id=dannydevito.htm. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  9. ^ Danny Devito Emmy Nominated
  10. ^ "Danny DeVito gets star on Hollywood Walk". KTAR.com. Associated Press (Bonneville International). August 18, 2011. http://ktar.com/category/tv-news-articles/20110819/Danny-DeVito-gets-star-on-Hollywood-Walk/. Retrieved August 19, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Danny DeVito & Rhea Perlman Sell Up On Their Anniversary". starpulse.com. 29 Jan 2007. http://www.starpulse.com/news/index.php/2007/01/29/danny_devito_aamp_rhea_perlman_sell_up_o. Retrieved 2011-01-16. 
  12. ^ "Monmouth County, New Jersey Tax Assessor's Office property record for Danny De Vito and Rhea Perlman". Tax1.co.monmouth.nj.us. http://tax1.co.monmouth.nj.us/cgi-bin/m4.cgi?district=1322&l02=132200013____00016_________M. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  13. ^ "Friends of the Apollo". Oberlin College. http://new.oberlin.edu/apollo/friends.dot. Retrieved 2009-07-06. 
  14. ^ "Berlinale: 1990 Programme". berlinale.de. http://www.berlinale.de/en/archiv/jahresarchive/1990/02_programm_1990/02_Programm_1990.html. Retrieved 2011-03-20. 
  15. ^ "Berlinale: 1993 Programme". berlinale.de. http://www.berlinale.de/en/archiv/jahresarchive/1993/02_programm_1993/02_Programm_1993.html. Retrieved 2011-05-31. 

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