Having starred in some unbelievable movies and made hilarious appearances in legendary TV shows such as Friends, Danny DeVito is undeniably a true acting and comedy great. Famous for his short stature and larger-than-life charisma, DeVito has become an icon for his 80s comedies and 90s family films – and he isn’t done yet.

Here are some facts you might not have realised about Danny DeVito.

20. DeVito and wife Rhea cared for Matilda star Mara Wilson after her mother passed away during production

DeVito directed the 1996 film Matilda, which saw him and Rhea Perlman feature as Matilda’s neglectful parents.


Tragically, the mother of leading actress Mara Wilson passed away from cancer during the film’s production.

DeVito and Perlman had looked after Wilson while her mother was ill, having offered to look after her while she was in hospital.


The couple continued to care for Wilson after she lost her mother, often inviting her over to their house.

DeVito also ensured that Wilson’s mother saw clips of the film before she passed away.


While DeVito and Perlman were mean parents on-screen, it’s clear that they were an invaluable source of support to Wilson in reality.

19. He asked his father to send him to boarding school “to keep him out of trouble”

At the age of 14, DeVito asked his father to send him to boarding school “to keep him out of trouble.”


Speaking to the Guardian in 2012, DeVito explained that he felt as though living in his rough neighbourhood might lead him astray.

His father granted his wish and DeVito attended Oratory Preparatory School, a Catholic boarding school in Summit, New Jersey, from which he graduated in 1962.


It was here that Devito first tried his hand at acting, starring in school productions of St. Francis of Assisi and The Billion Dollar Saint.

After graduating from high school, young Danny began working at his sister’s salon as a hairdresser.


He later studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, graduating in 1966. He spent his early acting career performing with the Colonnades Theater Lab in Connecticut.

18. He brought a bag of carrots with him to the 73rd Academy Awards

You’d think those lucky enough to attend the Academy Awards would be snacking on elaborate canapés and hors d’oeuvres, but DeVito brought his own food to the event in 2001.


About three hours into the show during a live-streamed Bob Dylan performance, the camera panned to DeVito, who was chewing on a raw carrot.

Host Steve Martin then ran into the audience and presented DeVito with an impromptu bowl of ranch dip for his healthy snacks.


Salon.com suggested that the whole thing was staged, but maybe DeVito just really wanted to bring his own vegetables to the Oscars?

The 73rd Academy Awards saw Erin Brockovich – produced by DeVito – nominated for Best Picture.


The award ultimately went to Gladiator, but Julia Roberts nabbed the award for Best Actress for her sparkling performance as Brockovich.

17. He almost drowned filming one episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

DeVito had a brush with death while filming the season finale of Season 11 of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.


One scene required the cast to hold hands underwater, and as it was harder for the diminutive DeVito to sink, the crew actually weighted him down.

After filming cut, the majority of the cast members rose to the surface – but DeVito, weighted down, remained submerged.


Thankfully the actor was rescued by lifeguards, but the experience certainly disturbed DeVito.

He called it a day after being rescued from the water and went home early to recuperate.


Speaking to Extra TV, DeVito says his life actually flashed before his eyes during the ordeal.

16. He was childhood friends with Jack Nicholson

Everyone knows that DeVito and Jack Nicholson have a great working relationship, having worked well with each other in films like One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and Hoffa.


What you might not know is their friendship actually stretches all the way back to childhood.

DeVito and Nicholson were childhood pals in New Jersey, where their respective families co-owned a hair salon.


DeVito claims that his older sisters used to talk a lot about Jack and held him in very high regard.

Despite having a friendly relationship as youngsters, the two were never especially close given the seven-year age gap between them.


Still, their childhood connection gave them common ground as adults and their friendship has since blossomed after having worked together on various films.

15. He likes to have a trampoline in his dressing room

Celebs have a bit of a reputation when it comes to making odd backstage requests: for instance, the late, great Van Halen once asked for all the brown M&M’s to be removed from the group’s candy bowl.


DeVito definitely doesn’t strike us as Hollywood’s biggest diva, but he’s no stranger to making weird requests for his dressing room.

DeVito often asks for a trampoline in his dressing room, as he usually warms up by doing a spot of trampolining.


Speaking on talk show Late Night with Seth Myers, DeVito explained his routine: “I start jumping a little bit, then I get some makeup put on, jump, put some clothes on, jump.”

DeVito loves trampolining so much that he even has one at home.


The comedian has claimed that this passion for jumping all started with a scene in one of his movies where he was required to use a trampoline as a booster for a jump.

14. A high school student took a cardboard cutout of DeVito to prom – so he brought one of her to the It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia set

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