Danny DeVito is one of the entertainment industry’s most versatile players, excelling as actor, producer and director.
The award-winning performance as “Louie De Palma” on the television show Taxi was what propelled DeVito to national prominence. He won both an Emmy® and a Golden Globe®. In a 1999 readers’ poll conducted by TV Guide, DeVito’s Louie De Palma was voted number one among “TV’s Fifty Greatest Character’s Ever.”
In 2012, DeVito received rave reviews in the London stage revival of Neil Simon’s comedy The Sunshine Boys. The following year, DeVito reprised his critically acclaimed role together with former Taxi co-star Judd Hirsch in Los Angeles.
In 2016, he will be seen in the September Films’ comedy Weiner-Dog. DeVito is in post-production for the thriller St. Sebastian, which he produced and directed. Most recently, he was a producer of Universal Pictures’ crime drama A Walk Among the Tombstones. In 2014, he starred in All The Wilderness.
He will next be heard voicing “Chesterfield” in the animated film Animal Crackers. In 2012, DeVito voiced the “Lorax” in Universal Pictures’ animated feature The Lorax, based on the book of the same name by Dr. Seuss.
DeVito runs TheBloodFactory.com, an online collaboration with screenwriter John Albo of horror shorts he affectionately refers to “splatter cuts.” He is also the principal of Jersey Film’s 2nd Avenue, a successor company of Jersey Films. Jersey Films has produced over 20 motion pictures, including Freedom Writers, Be Cool, Garden State, Along Came Polly, Man on the Moon, Pulp Fiction, Out of Sight, Get Shorty, Hoffa, Matilda, Living Out Loud and Erin Brockovich (which was nominated for an Academy Award®).
Apart from his work with Jersey Films, DeVito has starred in such films as Junior, Batman Returns, Twins, Romancing the Stone, Jewel of the Nile, Ruthless People, Tin Men, Anything Else, Big Fish, Renaissance Man, The Big Kahuna and Heist. He starred more recently in The Good Night, Deck The Halls, Relative Strangers, The OH in Ohio, Be Cool, Nobel Son and Even Money.
DeVito attended Our Lady of Mt. Carmel grammar school and Oratory Prep School in Summit, N.J. He entered the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. Unable to get work, Danny bought a round-trip ticket and headed to Hollywood. After years of unemployment, he returned to New York. He called an old friend and former American Academy professor who, coincidentally, had been seeking him out for a starring role in one of three one-act plays presented together under the title of The Man With the Flower in His Mouth.
In 1975, under a grant from the American Film Institute, Danny and his wife, actress Rhea Perlman, wrote and produced Minestrone. Later they wrote and produced a 16-millimeter black-and-white short subject, The Sound Sleeper, which won first prize at the Brooklyn Arts and Cultural Association competition.
DeVito carries his success well. Never forgetting that there were more difficult times, he maintains a healthy sense of perspective. As Taxi character “Louie DePalma,” would say, "If you don't do good today, you'll be eatin' dirt tomorrow."