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DR. SEUSS' THE LORAX

DANNY DeVITO (The Lorax) is one of the entertainment industry's most versatile players, exvcelling as an actor, producer and director.

He wrote, directed and produced several short films in his early Hollywood years before emerging as a featurelength filmmaker. Dark comedic themes characterize his trademark films, including The Ratings Game, Throw Momma From the Train, The War of the Roses, Hoffa, Death to Smoochy and Matilda.

In April, DeVito will co-star in the London stage revival of Neil Simon's comedy The Sunshine Boys, which follows an aging comedy duo as they reunite after years of animosity to perform one last time.

DeVito recently wrapped production on his first horror feature, The November Project, which he directed and produced.

This fall, DeVito returns as Frank Reynolds in the eighth season of FX's acclaimed cult comedy It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. In 2009, he and the rest of the ensemble cast completed a sold-out (within minutes) nationwide tour featuring a live stage adaptation of The Nightman Cometh. In 2010, they joined forces with Sarah Silverman and the cast of Family Guy for a benefit concert that raised more than $300,000 for Haiti earthquake victims.

DeVito runs TheBloodFactory.com, an online collaboration, with screenwriter John Albo, of horror shorts he affectionately refers to as "splatter cuts.” He is also the principal of Jersey Films 2nd Avenue, a successor company of Jersey Films. Jersey Films has produced more than 20 motion pictures, including Freedom Writers, Be Cool, Garden State, Along Came Polly, Man on the Moon, Pulp Fiction, Out of Sight, Get Shorty, Hoffa, Matilda, Living Out Loud and Erin Brockovich (which was nominated for an Academy Award®).

Two films co-starring DeVito won the Academy Award® for Best Picture (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Terms of Endearment), but it was the part of Louie De Palma on the television show Taxi that propelled him to national prominence. He won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for the role. In a 1999 readers' poll conducted by TV Guide, DeVito's Louie De Palma was voted No. 1 among "TV's 50 Greatest Characters Ever.”

Apart from his work with Jersey Films, DeVito has starred in such films as Junior, Batman Returns, Twins, Romancing the Stone, The Jewel of the Nile, Ruthless People, Tin Men, Anything Else, Big Fish, Renaissance Man, The Big Kahuna and Heist. He starred more recently in The Good Night, Deck the Halls, Relative Strangers, The Oh in Ohio, Be Cool, Nobel Son and Even Money.

DeVito attended Our Lady of Mount Carmel grammar school and Oratory Preparatory School in Summit, New Jersey, but appeared only once in a school play, as St. Francis of Assisi. After graduation, he pursued several odd jobs, always with the idea of acting in the back of his mind.

He finally entered the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. "They had fencing and a speech class,” he said mockingly, "so you don't talk funny.”

Unable to get work, DeVito bought a round-trip ticket and headed to Hollywood. After years of unemployment, he returned to New York. He called an old friend and former American Academy professor who, coincidentally, had been seeking him out for a starring role in one of three one-act plays presented together under the title of The Man With the Flower in His Mouth.

DeVito was soon into big money ($60 a week), and other stage performances followed. Among his credits were Down the Morning Line, The Line of Least Existence, The Shrinking Bride and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

In 1975, under a grant from the American Film Institute, DeVito and his wife, actress Rhea Perlman, wrote and produced Minestrone, which has been shown twice at the Cannes Film Festival and has been translated into five languages. They later wrote and produced a 16-millimeter black-and-white short subject, The Sound Sleeper, which won first prize at the Brooklyn Arts and Cultural Association competition.

DeVito carries his success well. Never forgetting that there were more difficult times, he maintains a healthy sense of perspective. As Taxi character Louie De Palma would say, "If you don't do good today, you'll be eatin' dirt tomorrow.”

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