Daniel Michael DeVito Jr. was born in Neptune, New Jersey on November 17, 1944 to Daniel Sr. and Julia DeVito. Throughout his childhood, he attended private schools including Our Lady of Mount Carmel grammar school and Oratory Prep School. Once he graduated, he began his first job at his sister’s beauty salon where he worked for a year. His love for cosmetology persuaded him to attend New York’s American Academy of Dramatic Arts where he first met his lifetime friend Michael Douglas. While attending the academy, DeVito realized he had a passion for acting and began pursuing the film industry. Shortly after his epiphany, he met Rhea Perlman. They fell in love instantly and in 1982 were married.They are presently still together and have three chidren.
His first movie role came in 1968 when he appeared in ““Dreams of Glass” as a thug. The film did not fair well with audiences and DeVito began to venture towards stage performances rather than film roles. In 1969 came his first Off-Broadway role in “The Man with the Flower in His Mouth.” His stage career also includes roles in “The Shrinking Bride” and “Lady Liberty.”
It was not until 1972 that DeVito began contemplating his return to the film industry. He appeared in the film “Lady Liberty” opposite Sophia Loren. In 1975, his good friend, Michael Douglas, asked him to reprise his stage role as Martini in an upcoming movie called, “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest” which he agreed to take part in. Though the movie became a huge success, DeVito’s career in film did not take off as he had hoped and he spent the next three years appearing only in guest spots on television shows and very small supporting roles in films.
He did not receive his “big break” until 1978 when he was cast as Louie DePalma in the TV sitcom “Taxi.” The show became a sensation and critics praised his performance. He was nominated for three Emmy Awards finally winning one in 1981.For the next ten years, DeVito appeared in numerous films, gaining acclaim as a character actor for his roles in “Romancing The Stone,” “Ruthless People,” “Throw Momma Off the Train,” and “Twins.” In 1989, DeVito started working behind the camera and gain even more success directing the films, “The War of the Roses” and “Hoffa.”
His most noticed acting role came in 1992, when he was cast as The Penguin in Tim Burton’s “Batman Returns.” This role gave him recognition to a new generation of moviegoers just. In that same year, he co-founded Jersey Films with his wife Rhea Perlman. The film company has produced a number of famous movies including “Pulp Fiction” and “Erin Brockovich.”
Danny DeVito does not have the typical appearance of a proclaimed actor, only measuring five feet tall. He has also been balding since his start in the film industry and his considered overweight. However, this has stopped this man from becoming a household name. He has appeared in more than sixty films, directed eight, and produced upward of twenty. This actor is sure to be remembered throughout the film industry for years to come.
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