Danny DeVito has become a well-loved actor in the Hollywood industry. As he celebrates his 78th birthday today, we dive into his rookie years, starting out as a hairstylist and how he ended up winning major awards.
Before he went into acting and became a huge star with an estimated net worth of $80 million, DeVito trained as a hairdresser and worked alongside his sister Angela, who owned a beauty parlor.
With more than five decades working as an actor, comedian, and filmmaker, it’s safe to say that Danny has had an impressive career. And his 5ft height was never a problem to succeed in Hollywood.
Danny DeVito’s successful career
Danny rose to fame for his portrayal of the taxi dispatcher Louie De Palma in the television series titled Taxi. Early in his career, his interpretation of the character led him to win an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe Award.
Danny, along with his wife, Rhea Perlman, co-founded a production company called Jersey Film. It’s one of the companies responsible for the production of the successful flick Pulp Fiction. The actor was also its executive producer.
In 2017, Danny made his Broadway debut in Roundabout’s revival of Arthur Miller’s The Price at the American Airlines Theatre.
Some of the best highlights of his career include participating in the hit 1996 film Matilda as Harry Wormwood and in 2019’s Dumbo as Medici. After Matilda, the actor went on to star in many successful projects.
Most recently he’s been seen in Jumanji: The Next Level (2019) and The Survivor (2021). The 78-year-old is set to make a comeback in 2023 for the supernatural horror comedy film, Haunted Mansion.
The actor is currently starring as Satan in the FXX adult animated sitcom, Little Demon.
A whirlwind romance with Rhea Perlman
Danny fell head over heels for Rhea and the two took their romance to the altar in 1982. The two met 10 years earlier when the actress saw him for the first time perform for The Shrinking Bride.
The two actors also shared the screen, since she also appeared in several episodes of the comedy Taxi. Most notably, Danny and Rhea were a married couple for the hit movie Matilda.
The beloved Hollywood couple broke the hearts of many when they announced their split in October 2012 after 30 years of marriage. They reconciled a year later but sadly went their separate ways once more in March 2017.
Although they are no longer together, Danny and Rhea never filed for divorce – and are not planning to. Together, they have three children: Lucy, Grace, and Jack.
In an interview with PEOPLE earlier this year, Rhea said: “Sometimes I wish we were still together because those were the glory days, but these are other kinds of glory days.”
Friendship with Michael Douglas and sweet gesture for co-star
Danny has kept a very close relationship with Hollywood actor Michael Douglas since the 1960s, as they were both based in New York at the time. The two have shared the screen and worked together for popular films such as War of The Roses, Romancing the Stone, and Jewel of the Nile.
Danny reunited with his longtime friend for the award-winning Netflix series, The Kominsky Method, which aired from 2018 to 2021.
The Hollywood star has stood out for his big heart and good relationship with his co-stars. During the filming of Matilda, both Danny and his wife Rhea, who played Matilda’s parents alongside actress Mara Wilson, did a lot of “fun outings” together.
Mara’s mother was diagnosed with cancer and was battling the disease at the time. Danny and Rhea went out of their way to look after the young star, who was nine years old at the time.
DeVito also made sure her mother Suzie saw the film months before its release date before she tragically passed away, Little Things reported.