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Danny De Vito

Danny De Vito

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Also Known As: Daniel Michael Devito Jr. Died:
Born: November 17, 1944 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Neptune, New Jersey, USA Profession: actor, director, producer, makeup artist, screenwriter, hairdresser, car parker

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Despite his diminutive 5-foot frame, actor Danny DeVito loomed large on television and in features after his stint as the acerbic Louie De Palma on the classic sitcom, "Taxi" (ABC/NBC, 1978-1983). After gaining acclaim as the sex-obsessed mental patient Martini in both the stage and film versions of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (1975), DeVito landed the role of Louie and spent the next five years delighting in his torment of a ragtag group of New York cabbies. Once the Emmy Award-winning show was canceled, he made his way in features, delivering a variation on the Louie De Palma theme in the popular adventure comedies, "Romancing the Stone" (1984) and "Jewel of the Nile" (1985). But it was his crossover as a director, notably with the bizarre black comedy "Throw Momma From the Train" (1987), in which he also starred, that solidified DeVito as a multifaceted talent. He spent the next couple of decades deftly transitioning from directing "War of the Roses" (1989) to starring as Arnold Schwarzenegger's long-lost sibling in "Twins" (1988) and as The Penguin in "Batman Returns" (1992) to producing "Pulp Fiction" (1994) and "Erin Brockovich" (2000) under the auspices of his production company, Jersey...

Despite his diminutive 5-foot frame, actor Danny DeVito loomed large on television and in features after his stint as the acerbic Louie De Palma on the classic sitcom, "Taxi" (ABC/NBC, 1978-1983). After gaining acclaim as the sex-obsessed mental patient Martini in both the stage and film versions of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (1975), DeVito landed the role of Louie and spent the next five years delighting in his torment of a ragtag group of New York cabbies. Once the Emmy Award-winning show was canceled, he made his way in features, delivering a variation on the Louie De Palma theme in the popular adventure comedies, "Romancing the Stone" (1984) and "Jewel of the Nile" (1985). But it was his crossover as a director, notably with the bizarre black comedy "Throw Momma From the Train" (1987), in which he also starred, that solidified DeVito as a multifaceted talent. He spent the next couple of decades deftly transitioning from directing "War of the Roses" (1989) to starring as Arnold Schwarzenegger's long-lost sibling in "Twins" (1988) and as The Penguin in "Batman Returns" (1992) to producing "Pulp Fiction" (1994) and "Erin Brockovich" (2000) under the auspices of his production company, Jersey Films. By the time he returned to regular series television with "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" (FX, 2005- ), DeVito was a powerful Hollywood insider capable of making just about any project he wished.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
2.
  Duplex (2003) Director
3.
  Death to Smoochy (2002) Director
4.
  Matilda (1996) Director
5.
  Hoffa (1992) Director
6.
  War Of The Roses, The (1989) Director
7.
8.
  Ratings Game, The (1984) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
2.
 Hotel Noir (2012)
4.
5.
 Housebroken (2010)
6.
 When in Rome (2010)
7.
 Solitary Man (2009)
8.
 Just Add Water (2008)
10.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1963:
Worked as hairdresser for one year at his sister's shop in New Jersey
1966:
Met Michael Douglas while studying at the AADA and working at the Eugene O'Neill Foundation
1968:
Made feature film debut in "Dreams of Glass"
1969:
Off-Broadway debut in the leading role of one of three one-act plays jointly titled "The Man With the Flower in His Mouth"
1971:
Appeared in the off-Broadway production of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"
1972:
Had a supporting role in the Italian-French co-production "La mortadella," starring Sophia Loren
1973:
Co-wrote and produced (with Rhea Perlman) first short film, "The Sound Sleeper"
1975:
DeVito and Perlman received grant from American Film Institute to write and produce a second short film "Minestrone"; shown at the Cannes Film Festival
1975:
Reprised the role of Martini for the Milos Forman's feature adaptation of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"; Michael Douglas produced
1978:
Made TV debut as Louie De Palma, the dispatcher for the fictional Sunshine Cab Company on the hit show "Taxi" (ABC, 1978-82; NBC, 1982-83)
1982:
Made directing debut with episodes of "Taxi"
1983:
Had a small but memorable role opposite Shirley MacLaine in James L. Brooks' "Terms of Endearment"
1984:
Teamed with Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner in "Romancing the Stone"
1985:
Re-teamed with Douglas and Turner for the sequel "The Jewel of the Nile"
1986:
Starred opposite wife Rhea Perlman on the second season premiere of the NBC anthology series "Amazing Stories"; also directed the episode
1987:
Made feature directing debut with "Throw Momma from the Train"; also co-starred
1991:
Voiced the part of Herb Powell, Homer Simpson's long-lost half-brother on several episodes of "The Simpsons" (Fox)
1992:
Co-founded production company Jersey Films with wife Rhea Perlman
1992:
First feature producing credit, "Hoffa"; also directed and co-starred
1992:
Had a memorable role as the Penguin in Tim Burton's "Batman Returns"
1993:
Supplied the voice of Rocks for the feature "Look Who's Talking Now"
1994:
Produced the Ben Stiller directed film, "Reality Bites"
1994:
First executive producing credit on a feature, "8 Seconds"
1994:
Served as executive producer for Quentin Tarantino's smash hit "Pulp Fiction
1996:
Produced, directed and acted in the film adaptation of Roald Dahl's "Matilda"; also co-starred with Perlman
1997:
Portrayed a smarmy tabloid columnist in Curtis Hanson's "L.A. Confidential"
1997:
Re-teamed with Michael Douglas for "John Grisham's The Rainmaker"
1998:
Had rare romantic role opposite Holly Hunter in the comedy-drama "Living Out Loud"
1999:
Cast alongside Kevin Spacey and Peter Facinelli in the drama "The Big Kahuna"
2000:
Teamed with Bette Midler for "Drowning Mona"; also served as one of the executive producers
2000:
Produced the box-office hit "Erin Brockovich," starring Julia Roberts; earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture
2001:
Played a leading role in the screen comedy "What's the Worst That Could Happen?"
2001:
Served as an executive producer on the CBS drama series, "Kate Brasher," co-starring his wife Perlman
2002:
Directed and starred in "Death to Smoochy"
2003:
Helmed the romantic comedy "The Duplex," co-starring Ben Stiller and Drew Barrymore
2003:
Co-starred in the Woody Allen comedy "Anything Else"
2003:
Played ringmaster Amos Calloway in Tim Burton's "Big Fish"
2004:
Guest starred as a stripper on an episode of "Friends" (NBC); received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy series
2004:
Served as executive producer of Comedy Central's "Reno 911"
2006:
Returned to series TV after joining cast on the second season of the FX comedy "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia"
2007:
Co-starred in Mark Rydell's "Even Money," a series of intertwining stories on how gambling and drugs destroy people's lives
2007:
Cast in Jake Paltrow's directorial debut "The Good Night"
2010:
Played one of Kristen Bell's suitors in the comedy "When in Rome"
2011:
Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
2012:
Voiced the title character in animated feature "Dr. Seuss' The Lorax"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Wilfred Academy of Hair and Beauty Culture: New York , New York -
Oratory Preparatory School: Summit , New Jersey - 1962
American Academy of Dramatic Arts: New York , New York - 1966

Notes

Besides his connection with Michael Douglas, DeVito acted in father Kirk's feature directing debut, "Scalawag" (1973)

"He also has an uncanny ability to simultaneously repulse, amuse and move an audience--thanks, in part, to his not-so-secret weapon: shortness.

Indeed, that he stands only five feet tall is a key to De Vito's comedy. His height, combined with his stocky frame, unusually large head and thinning hair, gives him the appearance of a child-man, which exonerates him from responsibility for his actions. With his nastiness construed--and understood--as a natural lashing out against his physical 'handicap', he can get away with being mean. Also, there's something inherently funny about a child-man who's nasty. On first glance, you'd expect him to be more, say, adorable, but when he turns out to be a monster, you still don't believe he's bad and laugh at the apparent contradiction." --From "Funny as Hell" by Robert Seidenberg, AMERICAN FILM, September 1989

"The joy of working with Danny DeVito? Well, for starters, I can see the top of his head. Also, the man is one of the most insightful directors I've ever had. His passion for his work is infectious, he's enormously gifted, and he's absolutely wild and wonderful. Remember the Tasmanian devil in Bugs Bunny? Well, this guy is like the Tasmanian devil with a good heart." --Billy Crystal on DeVito

"I got this 150-some-odd-page script that said 'Pulp Fiction, by Quentin Tarantino, final draft', and I knew that there was something going on. And I read it and loved it, and I said to Rhea while I was reading it, 'Either I'm the sickest individual alive or I think this is hysterically funny.' I never thought it would take off as big as it did." --Danny DeVito in US, August 1996

On the tabloids: "First of all, you want to be in the newspapers, you know people want to see [you], but there's no need for people to hunt you down like an animal. I usually just smile, [let them] take the picture and go on my merry way, and the people who are chasing me, I don't look at them.

[But] if it's so belligerent, so in-your-face, and you have no defense against it, you probably act like a frightened animal and run away. Anything can happen when you're in that situation and unfortunately sometimes the consequences are very grave. In this very tragic thing, I was moved and saddened by Princess Diana and Dodi [Fayed]. . . that's uncalled for." --DeVito to CHICAGO TRIBUNE, October 16, 1997

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Rhea Perlman. Actor. Married January 8, 1982; met in 1970 in New York and began living together after two weeks; have worked together on various projects since the 1970s.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Daniel DeVito Sr. Small business owner. At various times owned a dry cleaning store (Dan-Dee Cleaners), a dairy outlet (From Our Farm to You), a luncheonette and a pool hall.
mother:
Julia DeVito.
sister:
Angela DeVito. Beauty-salon owner. Older.
daughter:
Lucy Chet DeVito. Born March 1983.
daughter:
Grace Fan DeVito. Born March 1985.
son:
Jacob Daniel Sebastian DeVito. Born October 1987.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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