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Danny DeVito

Danny DeVito is one of the entertainment industry's most versatile players, excelling as actor, producer and director.

He wrote, directed and produced several short films in his early Hollywood years before emerging as a feature-length filmmaker. Dark comedic themes characterize his trademark films, including The Ratings Game, Throw Momma From the Train, The War of the Roses, Hoffa and Matilda.

This fall DeVito returns as Frank Reynolds in the fifth season of FX's critically acclaimed comedy It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Soon to be released, DeVito appears in Mark Steven Johnson's When In Rome, a romantic comedy for Disney. DeVito also just completed principal photography on Brian Koppelman and David Levien's Solitary Man, which reunites him on the screen with Michael Douglas.

DeVito is the principal of Jersey Film's 2nd Avenue, a predecessor company of Jersey Films. Jersey Films has produced over 20 motion pictures, including Freedom Writers, Be Cool, Garden State, Along Came Polly, Erin Brockovich, Man on the Moon, Pulp Fiction, Out of Sight, Get Shorty, Hoffa, Matilda and Living Out Loud.

Two films co-starring DeVito won the Academy Award for best picture (One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest and Terms of Endearment), but it was the part of Louie De Palma on the television show Taxi that propelled him to national prominence. He won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for the role and in a 1999 readers' poll conducted by TV Guide, DeVito's Louie De Palma was voted number one among TV's Fifty Greatest Character's Ever.

Apart from his work with Jersey Films, DeVito has starred in such films as Junior, Batman Returns, Twins, Romancing the Stone, Jewel of the Nile, Ruthless People, Tin Men, Anything Else, Big Fish, Renaissance Man, The Big Kahuna and Heist. He starred more recently in The Good Night, Deck The Halls, Relative Strangers, The OH in Ohio, Be Cool, Nobel Son and Even Money.

DeVito attended Our Lady of Mt. Carmel grammar school and Oratory Prep School in Summit, New Jersey, but appeared in only one school play, as St. Francis of Assisi. After graduation, he pursued several odd jobs, always with the idea of acting in the back of his mind.

He finally entered the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. They had fencing and a speech class, he said mockingly, So you don't talk funny.

Unable to get work, DeVito bought a round-trip ticket and headed to Hollywood. After years of unemployment, he returned to New York. He called an old friend and former American Academy professor who, coincidentally, had been seeking him out for a starring role in one of three one-act plays presented together under the title of The Man With the Flower in His Mouth.

Soon DeVito was into big money ($60 a week), and other stage performances followed. Among his credits were Down the Morning Line, The Line of Least Existence, The Shrinking Bride and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

In 1975, under a grant from the American Film Institute, DeVito and his wife, actress Rhea Perlman, wrote and produced Minestrone, which has been shown twice at the Cannes Film Festival and has been translated into five languages. Later they wrote and produced a 16-millimeter black-and-white short subject, The Sound Sleeper, which won first prize at the Brooklyn Arts and Cultural Association competition. DeVito has also directed Death to Smoochy and Duplex.

DeVito carries his success well. Never forgetting that there were more difficult times, he maintains a healthy sense of perspective. As Taxi character Louie DePalma, would say, "If you don't do good today, you'll be eatin' dirt tomorrow."


Note: This profile was written in or before 2009.
Read earlier biographies on this page.

Danny DeVito Facts

Birth NameDanny Michael DeVito
OccupationActor, Producer
BirthdayNovember 17, 1944 (73)
SignScorpio
BirthplaceNeptune, New Jersey, USA
Height5' (1m52)  How tall is Danny DeVito compared to you?
Social Media Danny_DeVito

Selected Filmography

Dr. Seuss' The Lorax
Matilda
The Big Kahuna
Get Shorty
Wiener-Dog
Space Jam
Big Fish
Hercules
When in Rome
Screwed
Continue » Find more details on the Danny DeVito Movies page