Date of Birth : Nov 17th 1944
Daniel Michael DeVito Jr. survived a Catholic school upbringing and started his career from the ground up, laboring as a cosmetician in his sister’s beauty parlor. Working under the name “Mr. Danny,” DeVito decided to enter New York’s American Academy of Dramatic Arts for the purpose of acquiring additional makeup expertise. However, he soon discovered his true theatrical calling and made his screen debut with a small part in the 1968 drama Dreams of Glass.
After a few discouraging experiences within the film industry, DeVito decided to concentrate on stage work. During this time, he met actress Rhea Perlman, whom he later married in 1982. In 1972, the actor made his way back into films with a role in Lady Liberty, a comedy starring Sophia Loren. His first notable film part came three years later, when he reprised his stage role of Martini, a sweet-natured mental patient, in Milos Forman’s screen version of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Produced by DeVito’s old friend Michael Douglas (the two roomed together when DeVito was starting out) and co-scripted by Lawrence Hauben and Bo Goldman, the film won wide acclaim and nine Oscar nominations, eventually gleaning five statuettes (including Best Picture). Despite the adulation surrounding the film, DeVito’s screen career remained lackluster, but he skyrocketed to fame three years later with his role as the obnoxious dispatcher Louie on the long-running television sitcom Taxi. According to legend, the actor walked into the audition, script in hand, and yelled, “Who wrote this sh*t?!” Jim Brooks hired him on the spot. From there, DeVito’s career swung upward and he spent the next decade playing similarly repugnant characters with enormous success. He reunited with Douglas for Romancing the Stone (1984) and its 1985 sequel, Jewel of the Nile, teamed up with co-star Joe Piscopo and director Brian De Palma (as a scam artist on the run) in Wise Guys (1986), and signed with Disney’s R-rated offshoot, Touchstone, for two comedies, the 1986 Ruthless People (as a wealthy husband overjoyed to discover that his obnoxious wife has been kidnapped) and the 1987 Barry Levinson-directed Tin Men (in which he plays one of two conniving Cadillac salesmen, opposite Richard Dreyfuss).
DeVito and wife Rhea Perlman have three children