Danny DeVito, born November 17, 1944, is an accomplished actor, director, and producer across films, television, and stage shows. He is best known for his role as ‘Frank Reynolds’ on the T.V. show “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” He made his debut with a small part in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” in 1975 but got his big break in 1978 with the sitcom “Taxi.”
DeVito also produced silver screen hits starring big Hollywood names like Uma Thurman, Julia Roberts, and Ethan Hawke. He continues collaborating with many of today’s top performers as a director, producer, and actor.
Danny DeVito was born on November 17, 1944, in Neptune Township, New Jersey. He is a much-beloved actor, producer, director, and screenwriter known for his comedy chops. DeVito, whose real name is Daniel Michael DeVito Jr., was born to Italian-American parents. His father, Daniel Devito Sr., was a small business owner and his mother, Julia Moccello, was a homemaker. DeVito was raised as a devout Catholic. He graduated in 1962 from Summit, New Jersey’s Oratory Preparatory School. In 1966, he received his degree from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
In the beginning, DeVito gave theater performances in Waterford, Connecticut. He received his first acting role in 1968, playing a thug in the underrated “Dreams of Glass” (1970). But he wasn’t satisfied with the industry and shifted his focus to stage productions. In 1975, he was offered the role of Martini in the theater adaptation of Ken Kesey’s novel “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” In 1978, he starred in the American sitcom “Taxi,” which was a huge success and earned him fame. He starred alongside comedy heavyweight actress Bette Midler in the 1986 film “Ruthless People.” In 1991, he established a production studio, Jersey Films, which has produced blockbuster hits like “Pulp Fiction” (1994), “Gattaca” (1997), and “Erin Brokovich” (2000). The following year, he played D.C. villain ‘The Penguin’ in the massively popular 1992 film “Batman Returns,” directed by Tim Burton. DeVito also directed and co-produced “Matilda” (1996) and played Matilda’s father, Harry Wormwood.
In 2003, he began producing the Comedy Central comedy T.V. series “Reno 911!” He starred in an episode of “Friends” for which he was nominated for the Emmys in 2004. DeVito joined the main cast of the comedy series “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” in 2006. In 2011, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in recognition of his work in television. He did the voice for the title character in the 2012 adaption of “The Lorax” by Dr. Seuss. He continued working with Tim Burton, portraying Maximillian “Max” Medici, the ringmaster, in the live-action remake of the beloved Disney cartoon classic “Dumbo.” His most recent role was Edward “Eddie” Gilpin in the 2019 film “Jumanji: The Next Level.” In 1982, Danny married his wife, Rhea Perlman, and they have three children. After numerous highs and lows in their relationship, they finally separated in March 2017. They do not intend to file for divorce and remain on amicable terms.
The actor completes his studies at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
DeVito stars in the film adaptation of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."
DeVito joins the cast of the comedy sitcom "Taxi."
He starts his production house, Jersey Films, and becomes a television and film producer.
DeVito stars as The Penguin in the film "Batman Returns."
In addition to producing blockbuster drama films, he starts producing the comedy series "Reno 911!"
The actor joins the main cast of the comedy series "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia."
Why We Love Danny DeVito
He and his ex-wife are still friends
He separated from his former wife and "Taxi" co-star, Rhea Perlman, twice after spending four decades together. The couple finally decided to separate in 2017. However, they continue to remain on amicable terms.
DeVito is a member of the Friends of the Apollo steering committee, which works to support the iconic Apollo Theater in Oberlin, Ohio. He is also a part of other charities, including the Hollywood Arts Council, International Myeloma Foundation, etc.
He's politically active
DeVito is dedicated to participating in American democracy. He has been identified as a Democrat and supports Bernie Sanders.
5 Surprising Facts
He was a beautician
DeVito worked at his sister's salon after finishing high school before he went to college.
He's on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
He earned his star on the prestigious celebrity landmark in 2011.
He's performed on London's West End
DeVito played 'Willie Clerk' in the production of Neil Simon's play "The Sunshine Boys."
He has acted on Broadway
Devito starred as 'Gregory Solomon' in Arthur Miller's "The Price," for which he received a Tony nomination.
He's an Oscar and Golden Globe nominee
He was nominated for Best Picture for "Erin Brokovich" starring Julia Roberts, and for Supporting Actor in "Taxi," respectively.
Danny DeVito FAQs
Does Danny DeVito have dwarfism?
No, he has a condition called multiple epiphyseal dysplasias, also known as Fairbank’s disease.
Is Danny DeVito a billionaire?
His net worth is $80 million.
Who is Danny DeVito's best friend?
He has been best friends with Michael Douglas for over 50 years now.
Danny DeVito’s birthday dates