Today, November 17, 2014, is the 70th birthday of everyone's favorite diminutive actor and producer, Danny DeVito!
To celebrate his entry into the septuagenarian club, we have decided to take a look at the highlights of his lengthy career. And while his acting achievements might be well known, it's what he's done behind the camera that might surprise you.
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest - 1975
Although by no means his first acting role, playing Martini in Milos Forman's One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest was certainly his first major motion picture. If you didn't know it was him, you might be forgiven for failing to notice DeVito even played the role. Check him out cheating at Monopoly below:
Twins - 1988
The 1980s continued to see DeVito's career grow, especially as he gained a reputation as that 'small angry guy.' His other major appearances in the decade include Ralph in The Jewel of the Nile, Vernon in Terms of Endearment and a long-running role as Louie De Palma in the TV series, Taxi. However, I'm sure most of us most fondly remember his brotherly comedy, Twins.
Batman Returns - 1992
DeVito entered the superhero franchise with his role as the villainous Penguin in Tim Burton's Batman Returns. The jury is still out on who the best Batman is (and I don't think we're going to get a verdict any time soon), but DeVito is certainly in the running for best villain with his creepy, slightly over-the-top, but still much loved performance as the Penguin.
Matilda - 1996
Danny DeVito provided a triple threat for Matilda, as he starred, produced and, unbeknownst to me, also directed the Roald Dahl adaptation. If you're school was anything like mine, Matilda was always the go to film for substitute teachers who couldn't actually be bothered to teach and/or control the class. With this in mind, I watched this a lot as a kid.
2000s and Beyond
DeVito's acting career continued into the noughties, although he began to take slightly less blockbuster fair, instead returning to TV with the likes of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. He also began to get more involved in producing and talent spotting, and was instrumental in bringing movies such as Erin Brockovich and Garden State to the big screen.
However, this was something he'd been doing since the early 1990s. In fact, he was also one of the initial buyers of Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction script. Discussing his producing, he told the Guardian:
I hadn't seen Quentin direct or act. I hadn't even seen Reservoir Dogs when I bought his next project, which wasn't even written. It was just about him. I liked the way he was talking about it. The guy was just so cool. It seemed simple to me. It was like, when friends of mine said, 'You're going to make a movie called what – Erin Brockovich? What the fuck is that? Nobody is going to see that movie!' I said, 'It's the woman's name, what are you going to do – change it?'
But, if you miss Danny DeVito on the big screen, you're in for a treat. DeVito is set to reunite with Arnold Schwarzenegger for the Twins sequel, Triplets. It seems DeVito is excited for the prospect of returning to the role of Vincent Benedict, although as a staunch Democrat supporter he might be having stern words with Arnie. He explained:
Triplets! I'm very excited. I was depressed when Arnie became governor for all those years. It cost me a lot of money in more ways than one, believe me. [His face grows deadpan.] He's a Republican and he's a governor – who needed that?
Currently, we know Ivan Reitman is down to direct the sequel, but we have no news as to when we can expect it to arrive in theaters.
So, Happy 70th Birthday Danny DeVito!
Favorite Danny Devito movie?