Born in Neptune, New Jersey on November 17, 1944, Daniel Michael DeVito, Jr. has amassed a formidable and versatile body of work as an actor, producer and director that spans the stage, television and film. The son of Julia and Daniel DeVito, owners of several small businesses, DeVito trained at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, from which he graduated in 1966. In the late 1960s and early 1970s DeVito wrote, directed and produced several short films while also performing in many stage productions, but struggled to find show business success. Several small film parts followed, leading to a role as Martini alongside Jack Nicholson in Milos Forman's masterpiece, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), which was nominated for 9 Oscars and won 5.
From 1978 to 1983, DeVito played one of his defining characters, Louie De Palma, on the hit show "Taxi" (1978). DeVito won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his role on "Taxi" (1978), and he also had the opportunity to play opposite his future wife Rhea Perlman - the two were married from 1982-2012 and have three children together. Following "Taxi" (1978), DeVito returned to the big screen in films such as Romancing the Stone (1984), Ruthless People (1986), Batman Returns (1992) and L.A. Confidential (1997). More recently, in addition to returning to theatre work, DeVito has been active in both television and film, playing Frank Reynolds on FX's hit show "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" (2005) and the title voice role in Dr. Seuss' The Lorax (2012).
DeVito has many directing credits to his name as well, including Throw Momma from the Train (1987), The War of the Roses (1989), Hoffa (1992), Death to Smoochy (2002) and the upcoming St. Sebastian (2013). If that weren't enough, the production company that DeVito and Perlman founded, Jersey Films, has produced more than 20 films including Reality Bites (1994), Pulp Fiction (1994), Erin Brockovich (2000) and Be Cool (2005).
Daniel Michael DeVito Jr. was born on November 17, 1944, in Neptune, New Jersey. His father, Daniel, Sr., was a small business owner whose ventures included a dry cleaning shop, a dairy outlet, a diner, and a pool hall. His mother, Julia, was a homemaker.
While growing up in Asbury Park, his parents sent him to private schools. He attended Our Lady of Mount Carmel grammar school and Oratory Prep School.
Following graduation in 1962, he took a job as a cosmetician at his sister's beauty salon. A year later, he enrolled at New York's American Academy of Dramatic Arts so he could learn more about cosmetology. While at the academy, he fell in love with acting and decided to further pursue an acting career. During this time, he met another aspiring actor Michael Douglas at the National Playwrights Conference in Waterford, Connecticut. The two would later go on to collaborate on numerous projects.
Soon after he also met an actress named Rhea Perlman. The two fell in love and moved in together. They were married from 1982 until their surprising split in 2012. They had three children together.
In 1968, Danny landed his first part in a movie when he appeared as a thug in the obscure Dreams of Glass (1970). Despite this minor triumph, Danny became discouraged with the film industry and decided to focus on stage productions.
He made his Off-Broadway debut in 1969 in "The Man With the Flower in His Mouth." He followed this up with stage roles in "The Shrinking Bride," and "Lady Liberty."
In 1975, he was approached by director Milos Forman and Michael Douglas about appearing in the film version of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), which would star Jack Nicholson in the leading role. With box office success almost guaranteed and a chance for national exposure, Danny agreed to the role. The movie became a huge hit, both critically and financially, and still ranks today as one the greatest movies of all time.
Unfortunately, the movie did very little to help Danny's career. In the years following, he was relegated to small movie roles and guest appearances on television shows.
His big break came in 1978 when he auditioned for a role on an ABC sitcom pilot called "Taxi" (1978), which centered around taxi cab drivers at a New York City garage. Danny auditioned for the role of dispatcher Louie DePalma. At the audition, the producers told Danny that he needed to show more attitude in order to get the part. He then slammed down the script and yelled, "Who wrote this sh**?" The producers, realizing he was perfect for the part, brought him on board.
The show was a huge success, running from 1978 to 1983. Louie DePalma, played flawlessly by Danny, became one of the most memorable (and reviled) characters in television history. While he was universally hated by TV viewers, he was well-praised by critics, winning an Emmy award and being nominated three other times.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Danny maintained his status as a great character actor with memorable roles in movies like Romancing the Stone (1984), Ruthless People (1986), Throw Momma from the Train (1987) and Twins (1988). He also had a great deal of success behind the camera, directing movies like The War of the Roses (1989) and Hoffa (1992).
In 1992, Danny was introduced to a new generation of moviegoers when he was given the role of The Penguin/Oswald Cobblepot in Tim Burton's highly successful Batman Returns (1992). This earned him a nomination for Best Villain at the MTV Movie Awards.
That same year, along with his then-wife Rhea Perlman, Danny co-founded Jersey Films, which has produced many popular films and TV shows, including Pulp Fiction (1994), Get Shorty (1995), Man on the Moon (1999) and Erin Brockovich (2000). In 2006, he returned to series television in the FX comedy series "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" (2005). With a prominent role in a hit series, Devito's comic talents were now on display for a new generation of television viewers.
Despite being a diminutive 5' tall, overweight and balding, Danny has managed to overcome long odds to become one of Hollywood's most versatile actors. These days, he continues to work with many of today's top talents as an actor, director and producer.
|Rhea Perlman||(28 January 1982 - present) 3 children|
Directs and produces mean-spirited dark comedies with elements of crime in them.
His short stature
Often portrays ruthless and sinister people in the movies he's in
Deep Raspy Voice
Has his own film company: Jersey Films.
Went to Oratory Prep. School in Summit, New Jersey.
Before he became an actor he was a qualified hairdresser (stylist)
Son-in-law of Philip Perlman.
Brother-in-law of Heide Perlman.
In his New Jersey hometown, one of his relatives ran a hair salon with the relatives of another actor from his neighborhood, Jack Nicholson.
He was considered for the role of Sallah in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) but couldn't do it due to his TV commitments.
Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald L. Smith. Pg. 136-137. New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387
Brought a bag of carrots to munch on during the 73rd Annual Academy Awards. Host Steve Martin presented him with an impromptu bowl of ranch dip in the middle of the ceremony.
Often appears in Tim Burton movies.
In 1975, under a grant from the American Film Institute, he and Rhea Perlman wrote and produced 'Minestrone', which was screened at the Cannes Film Festival and has been translated into five languages.
Often portrays sinister people in the movies he's in. He played the Penguin, a mutant crime boss, in Batman Returns (1992), a cynical gambler in Space Jam (1996) and Mars Attacks! (1996), a sleazy talent agent in Death to Smoochy (2002) and ruthless and greedy businessmen in Ruthless People (1986), What's the Worst That Could Happen? (2001), Matilda (1996) and Other People's Money (1991).
Graduated from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts (AADA) in Hollywood, California in 1966.
Attended the final Phish concert with his son and 75,000 others in Coventry, Vermont on August 16, 2004.
Appeared alongside his former roommate Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner in three films, Romancing the Stone (1984), its sequel The Jewel of the Nile (1985), and the black comedy The War of the Roses (1989).
Has appeared alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in three films/movies - two of these films directed and produced by Ivan Reitman - Twins (1988) & Junior (1994), and in Last Action Hero (1993), playing a minor-role, as the voice of Detective Whiskers. Both have played Batman villains, DeVito as The Penguin in Batman Returns (1992), Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze in Batman & Robin (1997).
Was considered for the role of George Costanza in "Seinfeld" (1990).
Provides the voice of Herbert Powell, Homer Simpson's half-brother.
Cousin of filmmaker Jonathan M. Parisen.
Frequently appears in films with Jack Nicholson, including Goin' South (1978), One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), Terms of Endearment (1983), Hoffa (1992), and Mars Attacks! (1996). They have also both played Batman villains: The Joker in Batman (1989) and The Penguin in Batman Returns (1992).
Lives in Beverly Hills, California and attended the Beverly Hills Film Festival in 2008.
A staunch supporter of The Democratic Party.
Has been nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor, three different times in three different decades. In the 1980's for Going Ape! (1981), in the 1990's for Batman Returns (1992) and in the 2000's for Deck the Halls (2006). He has never won.
He was inducted into the 2010 New Jersey Hall of Fame for his services and contributions to Arts and Entertainment.
Close friend of Lucy Liu.
Co-owner of a restaurant, called DeVito South Beach, in Miami, Florida.
Has part of his family living in New Canaan, Connecticut.
Has a vacation home in Interlaken, New Jersey.
Lives in Los Angeles and Malibu, California.
In Romancing the Stone (1984), he makes a Batman-related joke, when he corners Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner in the cave ("Move it, before Batman comes home!"). Eight years later, he played "the Penguin" in Batman Returns (1992).
Drives a Nissan Leaf 100% electric car.
In the late 1960s, Danny shared a New York apartment with fellow actor Michael Douglas at 338 West 89th Street in Manhattan where the rent was $75 each per month.
Co-starred with Michael Douglas in "Romancing the Stone", "Jewel Of the Nile", "War of the Roses", and "Solitary Man". DeVito also starred in "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest", which Michael Douglas produced.
Danny and Rhea met when she went to see him appearing in the off-Broadway play, "The Shrinking Bride" in 1971.
It's fun to be on the edge. I think you do your best work when you take chances, when you're not safe, when you're not in the middle of the road, at least for me, anyway.
Jersey is always with me. I was one of the lucky ones. Asbury Park is just the greatest place in the world to spend your childhood.
I'll watch Ricky Gervais in anything he does. The guy's hilarious.
Rhea loves "Downton Abbey" (2010). The costumes are great, let's put it that way.
I enjoy watching Piers Morgan over here. He also took to task a couple of people who needed it during the gun-control debate. Piers is OK by me.
|You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.|
|With our Resume service you can add photos and build a complete resume to help you achieve the best possible presentation on the IMDb.|
Click here to add your resume and/or your photos to IMDb.