Top 10 Best Danny Devito Movie and TV Roles of All Time He may be small in stature, but Danny Devito is a big on-screen presence.

Danny Devito is an American icon, not just for his on-screen roles. He’s also a producer, director, and screenwriter, responsible for movies like Death to Smoochy (director), and Be Cool (producer). He also has must-see cameos in some of the biggest TV shows of multiple decades, including Starsky and Hutch (1977), Sesame Street (1988), The Larry Sanders Show (1994), Friends (2004), and Deadbeat (2015).

Check out highlights from this living legend’s extensive film career.

10. Romancing the Stone

Danny Devito Romancing the Stone

Character: Ralph

This 1984 rom com/adventure movie has Devito playing the villain to Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner’s heroes. A romance novelist ends up living her dream when a series of events finds her in Columbia, dodging bullets and crocodiles to steal El Corazon, a giant emerald.

9. Other People’s Money

Other Peoples Money

Character: Lawrence Garfield

DeVito teams with Gregory Peck and Penelope Ann Miller in this 1991 classic dramedy about a corporate raider. His takeover shakes the family-run enterprise to its core, and shareholder meetings have never felt more entertaining.

8. Hercules

Hercules Phil

Character: Philoctetes

Disney’s grossly underrated 1997 animated musical pairs a familiar storyline with Aladdin‘s casting formula for an enjoyable movie. DeVito’s Phil provides comic relief as the trainer, mentor, and sidekick for Tate Donovan’s titular character.

7. Twins


Character: Vincent Benedict

Twins is a rare 80s movie (1988, to be exact) that ages like a fine wine. The story of two mismatched twins (DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger) separated at birth and rediscovering each other is a classic. Together, they search for the truth behind their true birth parents.

6. Renaissance Man

RENAISSANCE MAN, Gregory Hines, Danny DeVito, 1994, (c)Buena Vista Pictures
RENAISSANCE MAN, Gregory Hines, Danny DeVito, 1994, (c)Buena Vista Pictures

Character: Bill Rago

One of Penny Marshall’s most underrated films, Renaissance Man has a great cast that includes Gregory Hines, Cliff Robertson, Ed Begley Jr., Mark Wahlberg, and Stacey Dash. DeVito plays a divorced ad exec who takes a job teaching basic literacy to a group of DD (Dumb as Dogshit) Army trainees in nearby Fort McClane.

5. The Lorax

The Lorax

Character: The Lorax

Dr. Seuss’ classic book comes to life in this colorful 2012 3D animated movie starring DeVito as The Lorax himself. It’s a brilliant movie about the double-edged sword of ingenuity and greed in capitalism. Zac Efron, Ed Helms, Taylor Swift, and Betty White also star.

4. Throw Mamma from the Train

Throw Momma From the Train

Character: Owen Lift

Billy Crystal and Danny DeVito are brilliant in this 1987 black comedy inspired Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller, Strangers on a Train. The movie inspires Owen to kill his overbearing mother, played by 80s icon Anne Ramsey. Somehow the men form a friendship and both become successful writers.

3. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Frank Reynolds Always Sunny

Character: Frank Reynolds

It’s hard to believe in hindsight, but in 2005 Always Sunny was just an experiment nobody was really sure what to do with. DeVito recognized the show’s brilliance and joined as a regular cast member playing the father of either Dee and Dennis (Kaitlin Olson and Glenn Howerton) or Charlie (Charlie Day), depending on the day.

2. Man on the Moon

Man on the Moon Devito
MAN ON THE MOON, Danny DeVito, 1999. (c) Universal Pictures.

Character: George Shapiro

Jim Carrey recreates Andy Kaufman in excruciating detail in this biopic about the real-life comedian’s comedian. DeVito, who knew Kaufman from Taxi, produced the movie and stood next to Carrey as sort of a sign off that it was ok to do what he’s doing.

1. Taxi

Taxi Devito

Character: Louie De Palma

Although he’d played several roles in movies prior to Taxi’s 1978-1984 run, it’s what cemented DeVito into the minds and hearts of American audiences. His role as Sunshine Cab Company’s main dispatcher and antagonist is a reminder of how far our culture has (or arguably hasn’t) come. Tony Danza, Kaufman, Christopher Lloyd, and DeVito’s wife Rhea Perlman round out this memorable cast to a show that actually works even better in a day when ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft make taxis seem retro anyway.


Dr. Brian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer. You can find his work in Cracked, High Times, HuffPost, Lifewire, Forbes, Fast Company, and dozens of other places, although much of it is no longer under his name. Dr. Penny loves annoying fake media.

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