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 loved and moved in together. They would later get married and have three children.
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," "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and "Lady Liberty."
In 1975, he was approached by director Milos Forman and Michael Douglas about reprising his role 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 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).
Despite being a diminutive 5' tall, overweight and balding, Danny has managed to overcome long odds to become one of Hollywoods most versatile actors. These days, he continues to work with many of today's top talents as an actor, director and producer.… Expand
Danny DeVito's Scores
- By date
- By user score
|Salinger||Sep 6, 2013||Himself||7.3|
|Hotel Noir||Oct 12, 2012||Eugene Portland||4.5|
|Dr. Seuss' The Lorax||Mar 2, 2012||The Lorax / The Lorax||6.5|
|Revenge of the Electric Car||Oct 21, 2011||Himself||4.7|
|Solitary Man||May 21, 2010||Jimmy Merino||5.4|
|Guest of Cindy Sherman||Mar 27, 2009||Himself||tbd|
|Nobel Son||Dec 5, 2008||George Gastner||7.5|
|The Good Night||Oct 5, 2007||Mel||6.1|
|Even Money||May 18, 2007||Producer||6.8|
|Reno 911!: Miami||Feb 23, 2007||Producer / District Attorney||5.3|
|Freedom Writers||Jan 5, 2007||Producer||7.9|
|Deck the Halls||Nov 22, 2006||Buddy Hall||5.5|
|The Oh in Ohio||Jul 14, 2006||Wayne The Pool Guy||7.7|
|Be Cool||Mar 4, 2005||Producer / Martin Weir||4.4|
|Garden State||Jul 28, 2004||Executive Producer||8.1|
|Along Came Polly||Jan 16, 2004||Producer||4.2|
|Duplex||Sep 26, 2003||Director||6.5|
|Anything Else||Sep 19, 2003||Harvey Wexler||6.4|
|Camp||Jul 25, 2003||Producer||8.2|
|Death to Smoochy||Mar 29, 2002||Director / Burke Bennett||6.7|
|How High||Dec 21, 2001||Producer||8.4|
|Heist||Nov 9, 2001||Mickey Bergman||5.3|
|What's the Worst That Could Happen?||Jun 1, 2001||Max Fairbanks||5.4|
|The Caveman's Valentine||Mar 2, 2001||Producer||6.7|
|Screwed||May 12, 2000||Grover Cleaver||6.5|
|The Big Kahuna||Apr 28, 2000||Phil Cooper||6.8|
|The Virgin Suicides||Apr 21, 2000||Dr. Horniker||7.7|
|Erin Brockovich||Mar 17, 2000||Producer||7.7|
|Drowning Mona||Mar 3, 2000||Executive Producer / Chief Wyatt Rash||6.6|
|Man on the Moon||Dec 22, 1999||Producer / George Shapiro||8.6|
|Living Out Loud||Oct 30, 1998||Producer / Pat Francato||8.0|
|Out of Sight||Jun 26, 1998||Producer||7.3|
|The Rainmaker||Nov 21, 1997||Deck Shifflet||6.9|
|Gattaca||Oct 24, 1997||Producer||8.4|
|L.A. Confidential||Sep 19, 1997||Sid Hudgens||8.8|
|Mars Attacks!||Dec 13, 1996||Rude Gambler||6.1|
|Feeling Minnesota||Sep 13, 1996||Producer||5.0|
|Get Shorty||Oct 25, 1995||Producer / Martin Weir||7.8|
|Pulp Fiction||Oct 14, 1994||Executive Producer||9.0|
|Renaissance Man||Jun 3, 1994||Bill Rago||6.0|
|Hoffa||Dec 25, 1992||Director / Producer / Bobby Ciaro||6.8|
|The War of the Roses||Dec 1, 1989||Director / Gavin D'Amato||7.0|
|Twins||Dec 9, 1988||Vincent Benedict||6.3|
|Terms of Endearment||Nov 23, 1983||Vernon Dahlart||8.5|
|One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest||Nov 19, 1975||Martini||8.8|