Danny DeVito is a man of many talents. He’s an actor, comedian, director, producer, AND screenwriter. And today, he stands poised to celebrate a very special milestone.
Happy Birthday, Danny DeVito!
And that’s because he was born on November 17, 1944, in Neptune Township, New Jersey, which means that the uber-talented multi-hyphen is turning 76 years old today! DeVito honed his acting craft at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and frequently took to the stage in a variety of productions.
He made his professional on-camera debut in 1970 with a bit part in the drama film Dreams of Glass, which was quickly followed by roles in pictures such as Lady Liberty (1971), Hot Dogs for Gauguin (1972), and Hurry Up, Or I’ll Be 30 (1973).
DeVito had won great acclaim for his portrayal of Martini in the off-Broadway production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and it would be a role that he’d revive in the hugely successful 1975 film adaption.
DeVito made his TV debut within an episode of the series Delvecchio (1977), which soon led to work in programs such as Starsky and Hutch (1977) and Police Woman (1977). Between 1978 and 1983, DeVito starred in the sitcom Taxi as dispatcher Louie De Palma and won the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy or Variety or Music Series in 1981.
Following Taxi’s end, DeVito made a concerted effort to resume his feature film career – a feat he accomplished by appearing in the romantic melodrama Terms of Endearment (1983). He went on to appear in such silver screen efforts as Romancing the Stone (1984), The Jewel of the Nile (1985), Ruthless People (1986), and Throw Mama from the Train, which also served as the first theatrically released film that he directed. His pairing with Arnold Schwarzenegger for the 1988 film Twins was a huge success.
DeVito would subsequently appear in, and direct, the Michael Douglas/Kathleen Turner film The War of the Roses (1989), Matilda (1996), and the Robin Williams vehicle Death to Smoochy (2002).
DeVito’s other film credits include the Tim Burton superhero picture Batman Returns (in which he played Oswald Cobblepot AKA The Penguin; 1992), Hoffa (1992), Jack the Bear (1993), Mars Attacks! (1996), The Rainmaker (1997) and What’s the Worst That Could Happen? (2001).
DeVito provided a voice for such animated fare as Space Jam (1996), Hercules (1997), The Lorax (2012), Animal Crackers (2017), Smallfoot (2018), and The One and Only Ivan (2020).
DeVito’s TV credits also include episodes of Amazing Stories (1985), The Larry Sanders Show (1994), Ed (2002), Karen Sisco (2003), and Friends (2004). He has played Frank Reynolds in the basic cable comedy series It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia since 2006.
A prolific producer of both feature films and television series, DeVito was nominated for that job on the movie Erin Brockovich in 2000.
DeVito is a father of three – Lucy Chet (born March 11, 1983), Grace Dan (born in March 1985), and Jacob Daniel (born in October 1987) – and married his partner, and frequent collaborator, Rhea Perlman, in 1982. The couple separated in October 2012 but later reconciled, only to do so again in 2017.
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