Danny DeVito is an American actor who came to popularity on the TV program Taxi and has since been seen in various films such as Twins and Ruthless People. He was also on the TV comedy series It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Why is Danny DeVito short?
Danny DeVito suffers from Fairbank’s Disease. It is a rare genetic condition that impairs bone development which causes the individual affected to be short in stature.
Danny DeVito’s Career in the Film Industry
Danny DeVito had his big break on One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, a film he co-wrote with his brother. The film was released in 1975. However, his career truly launched after starring in the sitcom Taxi which ran from 1978 to 1983. He received a Golden Globe and an Emmy for his role in the series.
DeVito then produced and directed a number of films, including Matilda, which he co-directed with his wife, actress Rhea Perlman, who he has been married to for over 30 years. Since 2006, DeVito has also starred in the television series It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. (Source: Biography)
The Early Life of Danny DeVito
DeVito was born in Neptune, New Jersey, on November 17, 1944, to Daniel Michael DeVito Jr. and his mother. DeVito was raised by his mother, Julia, and his father, Danny Sr., who was a modest businessman who owned a dry cleaner, luncheonette, dairy outlet, and pool hall, among other businesses.
He began his acting career in Summit, New Jersey’s Our Lady of Mount Carmel Grammar Student and Oratory Prep High School, where he starred in school plays of St. Francis of Assisi and the Billion Dollar Saint.
DeVito, who stands at a petite 4 feet 10 inches tall, says he wished he was taller as a child.
He mentioned how he was troubled since I couldn’t slow-dance with the girls he loved because my face would be in a location where I may be seen to be moving too fast. His height also made him a frequent target for bullies in school.
I took a lot of lumps growing up. However, I had a lot of people who were willing to help and watch out for me.Danny DeVito, Actor
How Did Danny DeVito Start His Career?
After 18 months, and no relationships, while working in his sister’s salon, DeVito decided to pursue a more lucrative career in cosmetics. He applied to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York to pursue makeup training.
To get admitted to any of the school’s programs, applicants must deliver a monologue, and after receiving excellent comments on his monologue, DeVito chose to pursue acting lessons as well. He recognized shortly that acting was his actual calling.
In 1966, DeVito graduated from the American Academy and temporarily worked at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Waterford, Connecticut, where he met and befriended fellow actor Michael Douglas.
DeVito read Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood while living in Connecticut; after spotting an advertisement for Hollywood auditions for a film adaptation of the novel, DeVito relocated to Los Angeles. At the outset of his career, DeVito did not get a part in the film In Cold Blood, nor did he get a part in anything else.
I worked as a car parker and hung around on the Sunset Strip with all the flower children. I had long hair and wore a raincoat and shoes, and I fit perfectly in, but I wanted to act.Danny DeVito, Actor
DeVito returned to New York shortly after, landing roles in many off-Broadway productions. (Source: Biography)