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Biography #2 (for Be Cool)

Danny DeVito is an actor, producer and director; he has been called one of the entertainment industry's most versatile players.

DeVito wrote, directed and produced several short films in his early Hollywood years before his emergence as a feature-length filmmaker in 1984. DeVito's trademark is films that have darker comedic themes. He directed Duplex, which stars Drew Barrymore and Ben Stiller. Other projects he has directed include Throw Momma From the Train, The War of the Roses and Death to Smoochie.

In 1992 DeVito added another dimension when he co-founded Jersey Films. Jersey has produced over 20 motion pictures, including the Academy Award nominated Erin Brockovich, Man on the Moon, Pulp Fiction, Out of Sight, Get Shorty, Hoffa, Matilda and Living Out Loud.

Though two films co-starring DeVito won the Academy Award for Best Picture (One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest and Terms of Endearment), it was the part of Louie De Palma that propelled him into national prominence as star of the hit television show Taxi. In a 1999 readers' poll conducted by TV Guide, DeVito's Louie De Palma was voted number one in TV's Fifty Greatest Characters Ever.

DeVito has also starred in many films not produced by Jersey. They include Anything Else, Big Fish, Renaissance Man, The Big Kahuna, and Heist.

Following Taxi and before the creation of Jersey Films, DeVito starred in such films as Junior, Batman Returns, Twins, Romancing the Stone, Jewel of the Nile, Ruthless People and Tin Men.

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. Finally he applied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York and was accepted.

Unable to get work, Danny bought a roundtrip 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 Danny was into big money ($60 a week), and other stage performances followed in rapid succession. 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, Danny 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 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."

Bio courtesy MGM for "Be Cool" (12-Mar-2005)


Biography #3 (for Heist)

Danny DeVito began his acting career on the stage, starring in one of three one-act plays presented together under the title of The Man With the Flower in His Mouth. DeVito went on to perform onstage in 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 emerged as a feature-length filmmaker in 1984, when he directed The Ratings Game for Showtime/The Movie Channel. In 1987 DeVito directed his first feature for theatrical release, Throw Momma from the Train. That led to other directing projects: The War of the Roses, Hoffa, and Matilda. DeVito has just completed directing Death to Smoochy, in which he stars with Robin Williams and Edward Norton.

In 1992 DeVito partnered with producers Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher to form Jersey Films, which has produced 18 motion pictures, including Erin Brockovich, Man on the Moon, Pulp Fiction, Out of Sight, Get Shorty, Hoffa, Matilda, Living Out Loud and Drowning Mona. In 2000, Jersey Television was launched with the TV series Kate Brasher. Jersey has sold two series for the upcoming 2001-02 season, UC Undercover and Emma Brody.

Though two films co-starring DeVito won the Academy Award for Best Picture (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Terms of Endearment), it was the part of Louie De Palma that propelled him into national prominence as star of the hit television show Taxi.

DeVito has also starred in many films not produced by Jersey. They include Junior, Renaissance Man, Jack the Bear, The Big Kahuna and The Virgin Suicides. Following Taxi and before the creation of Jersey Films, DeVito starred in such films as Junior, Batman Returns, Twins, Romancing the Stone, Jewel of the Nile, Ruthless People and Tin Men.

Bio courtesy Warner Bros. for "Heist" (08-Feb-2003)


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