Daniel Michael DeVito Jr. (born November 17, 1944) is an American actor and filmmaker. He gained prominence for his portrayal of the taxi dispatcher Louie De Palma in the television series Taxi (1978–1983), which won him a Golden Globe Award and an Emmy Award. He currently plays Frank Reynolds on the FX and FXX sitcom It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. (2005-present)
He is known for his film roles in One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), Terms of Endearment (1983) Throw Momma from the Train (1987), Twins (1988), The War of the Roses (1989), Batman Returns (1992), Get Shorty (1995), Matilda (1996), Mars Attacks! (1996), L.A. Confidential (1997), Man on the Moon (1999), Wiener-Dog (2016) and most recently his Dumbo (2019). He is also known for his voiceovers in such films as Space Jam (1996), Hercules (1997) and The Lorax (2012).
DeVito and Michael Shamberg founded Jersey Films. Soon afterwards, Stacey Sher became an equal partner. The production company is known for films such as Pulp Fiction, Garden State, and Freedom Writers. DeVito also owned Jersey Television, which produced the Comedy Central series Reno 911!. DeVito and wife Rhea Perlman starred together in his 1996 film Matilda, based on Roald Dahl's children's novel. DeVito was also one of the producers nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture for Erin Brockovich.
DeVito's short stature is the result of multiple epiphyseal dysplasia (Fairbank's disease), a rare genetic disorder that affects bone growth.
DeVito in 2013
Daniel Michael DeVito Jr.
November 17, 1944
|Height||4 ft 10 in (147 cm)|
Rhea Perlman (m. 1982)
|Children||3 (including Lucy DeVito)|
DeVito was born in Neptune Township, New Jersey, the son of Daniel DeVito Sr., a small business owner, and Julia DeVito (née Moccello). He grew up in a family of five, with his parents and two older sisters. He is of Italian descent; his family is originally from San Fele, Basilicata. He was raised in Asbury Park, New Jersey.
DeVito was raised as a Catholic. When he was 14, he persuaded his father to send him to boarding school to "keep him out of trouble", and graduated from Oratory Preparatory School in Summit, New Jersey in 1962. He then trained at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, where he graduated in 1966. In his early theater days, he performed with the Colonnades Theater Lab at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, Connecticut, and, along with his future wife Rhea Perlman, appeared in plays produced by the Westbeth Playwrights Feminist Collective.
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 title. 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. When Taxi ended, DeVito began a successful film career, first appearing as Vernon Dalhart in the 1983 hit Terms of Endearment; then as the comic rogue Ralph in the romantic adventure Romancing the Stone (1984), starring Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner, and its sequel, The Jewel of the Nile (1985). 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. He reunited with Douglas and Turner two years later in The War of the Roses, which he directed and in which he co-starred.
DeVito's work during this time included Other People's Money with Gregory Peck; director Barry Levinson's Tin Men, as a competitive rival salesman to Richard Dreyfuss' character; the comedies Junior (1994) and Twins (1988) with Arnold Schwarzenegger; playing the villian The Penguin in director Tim Burton's Batman Returns (1992); and the film adaptation Matilda (1996), where he played Matilda's father, the villainous car dealer Harry Wormwood.
Although generally a comic actor, DeVito expanded into dramatic roles with The Rainmaker (1997); 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 of Joe Moore (Gene Hackman).
DeVito has an interest in documentaries. In 2006 he began a partnership with Morgan Freeman's company ClickStar, for whom he hosts the documentary channel 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 as Willie Clark, alongside Richard Griffiths. It previewed at the Savoy Theatre in London from 27 April 2012, opened on 17 May, and played a limited 12-week season until 28 July.
DeVito made his Broadway debut in a Roundabout Theatre Company revival of the Arthur Miller play The Price as Gregory Solomon, for which he was nominated for a Tony Award. The production began preview performances at the American Airlines Theatre on February 16, 2017 and opened on March 16 for a limited run through May 7.
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, he produced and co-starred in Man on the Moon, a film about the unusual life of his former Taxi co-star Andy Kaufman, played in the film by Jim Carrey. DeVito also produced the Comedy Central series Reno 911! and the film spin-off Reno 911!: Miami.
DeVito made his directorial debut in 1984 with The Ratings Game. He then directed and starred in Throw Momma from the Train (1987), The War of the Roses (1989), Hoffa (1992), Matilda (1996), Death to Smoochy (2002) and Duplex (2003). The War of the Roses was a commercial and critical success, as was the film adaptation of Roald Dahl's Matilda; Death to Smoochy and Duplex had mixed reviews. He also directed the TV movie Queen B in 2005.
In 1977, DeVito played the role of John 'John John the Apple' DeAppoliso in the Starsky & Hutch episode "The Collector". In 1986, he directed and starred in "The Wedding Ring", a Season 2 episode of Steven Spielberg's black comedy series Amazing Stories, where his character acquires an engagement ring for his wife (played by DeVito's real-life wife, actress Rhea Perlman). When the ring is slipped on his wife's finger, she is possessed by the ring's former owner, a murderous black widow.
In 1986, DeVito voiced the Grundle King in My Little Pony: The Movie. In 1990, he and Rhea Perlman played the couple Vic & Paula, commenting on the state of the environment in The Earth Day Special. In 1991 and 1992, DeVito voiced Herb Powell in the episodes "Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?" and "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?" of The Simpsons. In 1996, he provided the voice of Mr. Swackhammer in Space Jam. In 1997, he was the voice of 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, following four Emmy nominations (including a 1981 win) for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy for Taxi. In 2006, he joined the cast of 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. In 2012, he voiced the title character in the animated version of Dr. Seuss's The Lorax. In 2013, along with Rashida Jones, he voiced Herb for the third time on "The Changing of the Guardian" episode of The Simpsons (aired January 27, 2013). He appeared in the Angry Birds Friends "Champions for Earth" tournament advertisement in September 2015. Following the Japanese release of the Nintendo 3DS game Detective Pikachu, dedicated Pokémon fans submitted a 40,000-signature petition requesting that DeVito be the English voice actor for the titular character. However, he declined to audition for the role, commenting that he was unfamiliar with the popular franchise.
DeVito played a fictional version of himself in the music video of One Direction's song "Steal My Girl". He also appeared in the short film Curmudgeons, which he also produced and directed.
On January 17, 1971, DeVito met Rhea Perlman when she went to see a friend in the single performance of the play The Shrinking Bride, which also featured DeVito. They moved in together two weeks later, and married on January 28, 1982. They have three children: Lucy Chet DeVito (born March 11, 1983), Grace Fan DeVito (born March 1985), and Jacob Daniel DeVito (born October 1987).
Perlman and DeVito have acted alongside each other several times, including in the television show Taxi and the feature film Matilda (where they played Matilda's parents). They separated in October 2012, after 30 years of marriage and over 40 years together, then reconciled in March 2013. They separated for a second time in March 2017, but remained on amicable terms, and Perlman stated they had no intent of filing for divorce. In March 2018, Radar Online reported that DeVito and Perlman had reconciled once more and planned to renew their wedding vows.
DeVito and Perlman resided in a 14,579 square foot (1,354 m²) Beverly Hills, California house that they purchased in 1994, until selling it for US$24 million in April 2015. They also own a bungalow near Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, and a multi-residence compound on Broad Beach in Malibu.
DeVito and Perlman are members of the steering committee of the Friends of the Apollo, supporting a theater in Oberlin, Ohio, as was filmmaker Jonathan Demme. DeVito co-owned a restaurant called DeVito South Beach in Miami Beach, Florida, which closed in 2011.
In March 2016, DeVito endorsed democratic socialist Bernie Sanders for President. In July 2016, he endorsed Jeremy Corbyn's 2016 campaign in the Labour Party leadership election. In May 2017, before the 2017 UK general election, DeVito said of Corbyn: "I like the idea of people telling the truth. I like them to get to the bottom of things, really." He endorsed Corbyn as Prime Minister, saying he was "way better than [David] Cameron" and Tony Blair, whom he called "that sketchy guy that hung out with [George W.] Bush". Prior to the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries and presidential election, DeVito once again expressed his support for democratic candidate Bernie Sanders.
DeVito has a large and varied body of work as an actor, producer and director in stage, television and film. He has been nominated for Academy awards, Creative Arts Emmy awards, Golden Globe awards, Primetime Emmy awards, Producers Guild awards, Screen Actors Guild awards and Tony awards. In 2011 he was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at 6909 Hollywood Blvd., for his contributions to television.
|1979||Taxi||Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film||Nominated|
|Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series||Nominated|
|1980||Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film||Won|
|1981||Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film||Nominated|
|Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series||Won|
|Going Ape!||Stinkers Bad Movie Award for Worst Supporting Actor||Nominated|
|1982||Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor||Nominated|
|Taxi||Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series||Nominated|
|1985||The Ratings Game||CableACE Award for Actor in a Movie or Miniseries||Nominated|
|1987||Ruthless People||American Comedy Award for Funniest Lead Actor in a Motion Picture||Nominated|
|Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy||Nominated|
|1988||Throw Momma from the Train||American Comedy Award for Funniest Lead Actor in a Motion Picture||Nominated|
|Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy||Nominated|
|1989||ShoWest Convention Award for Male Star of the Year||Won|
|1990||The War of the Roses||Golden Berlin Bear||Nominated|
|Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Director||Nominated|
|Batman Returns||Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor||Nominated|
|MTV Movie Award for Best Villain||Nominated|
|Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor||Nominated|
|1996||Matilda||Cinekid Audience Award||Won|
|Get Shorty||Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture||Nominated|
|Matilda||Sitges - Catalonian International Film Festival Award for Best Film||Nominated|
|1997||Oulu International Children's Film Festival Starboy Award||Won|
|Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical||Nominated|
|1998||The Rainmaker||Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Supporting Actor - Drama||Nominated|
|Gattaca||Online Film & Television Association Award for Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror Picture||Nominated|
|Wag the Dog||Online Film & Television Association Award for Best Comedy/Musical Picture||Nominated|
|Hercules||Online Film & Television Association Award for Best Voice-Over Performance||Nominated|
|The Rainmaker||Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama||Nominated|
|L.A. Confidential||Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture||Nominated|
|1999||Living Out Loud||Chlotrudis Award for Best Actor||Nominated|
|2001||Erin Brockovich||Academy Award for Best Picture||Nominated|
|BAFTA Award for Best Film||Nominated|
|Online Film & Television Association Award for Best Picture||Nominated|
|Producers Guild of America Award for Best Theatrical Motion Picture||Nominated|
|2004||Friends||Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series||Nominated|
|Gold Derby Award for Best Guest Actor in a Comedy Series||Nominated|
|Taxi||TV Land Award for Bossiest Boss||Won|
|2006||Deck the Halls||Stinkers Bad Movie Award for Worst On-Screen Couple (shared with Matthew Broderick)||Nominated|
|2007||Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor||Nominated|
|Karlovy Vary International Film Festival Special Prize for Outstanding Contribution to World Cinema||Won|
|Taxi||TV Land Medallion Award||Won|
|2008||It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia||Satellite Award for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy||Nominated|
|2010||Golden Camera Award for Lifetime Achievement - International||Won|
|2011||Critics Choice Television Icon Award||Won|
|2016||Curmudgeons||Tribeca Film Festival Award for Best Narrative Short||Nominated|
|2017||Frameline San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival Award for Best Short Film||Won|
|The Price||Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play||Nominated|
|2018||San Sebastián International Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award||Won|
8 Seconds is a 1994 American biographical drama film directed by John G. Avildsen. Its title refers to the length of time a bull rider is required to stay on for a ride to be scored. It stars Luke Perry as American rodeo legend Lane Frost and focuses on his life and career as a bull riding champion. It also features Stephen Baldwin as Tuff Hedeman, and Red Mitchell as Cody Lambert. Notably, there is an early appearance by Renée Zellweger.
The film was completed and premiered shortly after what would have been Frost's 30th birthday, in late 1993.Along Came Polly
Along Came Polly is a 2004 American romantic comedy film written and directed by John Hamburg, starring Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston in the lead roles. The story follows Reuben Feffer (Ben Stiller), a tightly-wound newly-wed who finds his life falling into chaos when he discovers his wife cheating on him with a scuba diver on their honeymoon and then quickly finds himself falling in love with his old classmate, Polly Prince (Jennifer Aniston). The movie made a gross of $88,097,164 in the US.Be Cool
Be Cool is a 2005 American crime-comedy film adapted from Elmore Leonard's 1999 novel of the same name and the sequel to Leonard's 1990 novel Get Shorty (itself adapted into a 1995 film of the same name) about mobster Chili Palmer's entrance into the music industry.
The film adaptation of Be Cool began production in 2003. It was directed by F. Gary Gray, produced by Danny DeVito (who produced and co-starred in the first film), and starred John Travolta, reprising his role from the first film. The film opened in March 2005 and was released to video and DVD distribution on June 7, 2005. This was Robert Pastorelli's final film, as he died one year before its theatrical release.Curmudgeons (film)
Curmudgeons is a 2016 American comedy short film directed, produced by, and starring Danny DeVito. It is written and co-produced by Joshua Conkel.
The film was nominated for the Best Narrative Short award in the Tribeca Film Festival. It was also selected as Vimeo's first official Staff Pick.Duplex (film)
Duplex is a 2003 American black comedy film directed and narrated by Danny DeVito, and starring Ben Stiller and Drew Barrymore. The film was called Our House for its release in the United Kingdom and Ireland.Even Money (film)
Even Money is a 2006 American crime film.
The story concerns three strangers who are addicted to gambling and how their lives come to be intertwined. They are a novelist who struggles to write her follow-up book, a former stage magician and an older brother of a college basketball star. The film was directed by Mark Rydell, and stars Forest Whitaker, Nick Cannon, Kim Basinger, Danny DeVito, Kelsey Grammer, Tim Roth, Carla Gugino, Jay Mohr and Ray Liotta. It was released on May 18, 2007 in theaters.Get Shorty (film)
Get Shorty is a 1995 American crime comedy film based on Elmore Leonard's novel of the same name. Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld and starring John Travolta, Gene Hackman, Rene Russo, and Danny DeVito.
A sequel, titled Be Cool, was released in 2005.Hoffa
Hoffa is a 1992 American biographical crime film directed by Danny DeVito and written by David Mamet, based on the life of Teamsters leader Jimmy Hoffa. Most of the story is told in flashbacks before ending with Hoffa's mysterious disappearance. Jack Nicholson plays Hoffa, and DeVito plays Robert Ciaro, an amalgamation of several Hoffa associates over the years. The film features John C. Reilly, Robert Prosky, Kevin Anderson, Armand Assante, and J. T. Walsh in supporting roles. The film received mixed reviews and grossed just $29 million against its $35 million budget.How High
How High is a 2001 stoner film starring Method Man and Redman, written by Dustin Lee Abraham, and director Jesse Dylan's debut feature film.Living Out Loud
Living Out Loud is a 1998 comedy-drama film written and directed by Richard LaGravenese and set in New York City, starring Holly Hunter, Danny DeVito, Queen Latifah, Martin Donovan, and Elias Koteas.Man on the Moon (film)
Man on the Moon is a 1999 American biographical comedy-drama film about the late American entertainer Andy Kaufman, starring Jim Carrey as Kaufman. The film was directed by Miloš Forman and also features Danny DeVito, Courtney Love, and Paul Giamatti.
The story traces Kaufman's steps from childhood through the comedy clubs and television appearances that made him famous, including his memorable appearances on Saturday Night Live, Late Night with David Letterman, Fridays, and his role as Latka Gravas on the sitcom Taxi, which was popular among viewers but disruptive for Kaufman's co-stars. The film pays particular attention to the various inside jokes, scams, put-ons, and happenings for which Kaufman was famous, most significantly his long-running feud with wrestler Jerry "The King" Lawler and his portrayal of the bawdy lounge singer Tony Clifton.
Although the film was unsuccessful commercially and received mixed reviews, Carrey received critical acclaim for his performance and won a Golden Globe, his second in a row after his award for The Truman Show. His nomination was in the Musical/Comedy category.
The documentary Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond was released in 2017 and chronicles Carrey's performance as Kaufman in the film, a performance he maintained during much of the film's production.Matilda (1996 film)
Matilda is a 1996 American fantasy comedy film directed by Danny DeVito, who also produced with Michael Shamberg, Stacey Sher, and Lucy Dahl. It was written by Nicholas Kazan and Robin Swicord, based on Roald Dahl's novel of the same name. Mara Wilson, DeVito, Rhea Perlman, Embeth Davidtz, and Pam Ferris star. The film is about a young genius named Matilda Wormwood, who uses telekinesis to deal with her parents and older brother, who do not value education, and Agatha Trunchbull, the oppressive principal of Crunchem Hall Elementary School.
The film was released in the United States on August 2, 1996.Relative Strangers
Relative Strangers is a 2006 American comedy film directed by Greg Glienna.Rhea Perlman
Rhea Jo Perlman (born March 31, 1948) is an American actress and author, best known for her role as head-waitress Carla Tortelli on the sitcom Cheers from 1982 to 1993. Over the course of 11 seasons, she was nominated for 10 Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress – winning four times – and was nominated for a record six Golden Globe Awards for Best Supporting Actress in a Television Series.Taxi (TV series)
Taxi is an American sitcom that originally aired on ABC from September 12, 1978 to May 6, 1982 and on NBC from September 30, 1982 to June 15, 1983. The series won 18 Emmy Awards, including three for Outstanding Comedy Series. It focuses on the everyday lives of a handful of New York City taxi drivers and their abusive dispatcher. Taxi was produced by the John Charles Walters Company, in association with Paramount Network Television, and was created by James L. Brooks, Stan Daniels, David Davis, and Ed Weinberger.The Ratings Game
The Ratings Game is a 1984 cable television film directed by Danny DeVito and produced by David Jablin. The Showtime comedy stars DeVito and Rhea Perlman, and features Huntz Hall, Michael Richards, George Wendt and Jerry Seinfeld.The War of the Roses (film)
The War of the Roses is a 1989 American dark comedy film based upon the 1981 novel of the same name by Warren Adler. The film follows a wealthy couple with a seemingly perfect marriage. When their marriage begins to fall apart, material possessions become the center of an outrageous and bitter divorce battle.
The film co-stars Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, and Danny DeVito. The three actors had previously worked together in Romancing the Stone and its sequel The Jewel of the Nile. DeVito directed the film, which also had producer James L. Brooks and actor Dan Castellaneta working on a project outside of The Simpsons. The opening title sequence was created by Saul Bass.
In both the novel and the film, the married couple's family name is Rose, and the title is an allusion to the battles between the Houses of York and Lancaster (English Civil War) during the Late Middle Ages.Throw Momma from the Train
Throw Momma from the Train is a 1987 American black comedy film directed by and starring Danny DeVito, Billy Crystal and Anne Ramsey, with Rob Reiner, Branford Marsalis, Kim Greist and Kate Mulgrew appearing in supporting roles.The title comes from Patti Page's 1956 hit song, "Mama from the Train (A Kiss, A Kiss)". The film was inspired by the 1951 Alfred Hitchcock thriller Strangers on a Train, which is also seen in the film.The film received mixed reviews, but was a commercial success. Anne Ramsey was singled out for praise for her portrayal of the overbearing Mrs. Lift; she won a Saturn Award and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award and the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Films by Danny DeVito
Awards for Danny DeVito