Danny DeVito

DeVito in 2011, image via s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

Birth Name: Daniel Michael DeVito, Jr.

Place of Birth: Neptune Township, New Jersey, U.S.

Date of Birth: November 17, 1944

Ethnicity: Italian

Danny DeVito is an American actor, director, and producer. His roles include the films One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Terms of Endearment, Ruthless People, Twins, Batman Returns, Get Shorty, Big Fish, and Deck the Halls (2006), and the shows Taxi and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. He has directed the films Throw Momma from the Train, The War of the Roses, Hoffa, Matilda, Death to Smoochy, Duplex, and, Curmudgeons, and the made-for-tv movie The Ratings Game, all of which he also starred in. He also directed the music videos for “Ghostbusters,” “When the Going Gets Tough,” “Victory,” “Mojo,” and “Steal My Girl.” He is 4′10″.

He is the son of Julia (Moccello) and Daniel DeVito. All of his grandparents were Italian. Danny was raised a Catholic. He owns an Italian restuarant in Miami Beach, Florida. Danny is married to actress and writer Rhea Perlman, with whom he has three children, including actress Lucy DeVito.

Danny has said:

My family comes from San Fele [Province of Potenza, Basilicata], in southern Italy, and growing up in Asbury Park, New Jersey, my house was always filled with relatives from the old country –sleeping in chairs, eating, and drinking my uncle’s homemade red wine… My mother made regional Italian dishes with lots of vegetables — fennel, broccoli, dandelion greens. From the time my kids were born, I couldn’t wait to bring them to Italy and expose them to their ancestry and culture.

He has also said that he has some Arbëreshë (Albanians in Italy) ancestry. It is not clear if this is accurate.

Danny’s paternal grandfather was Michael/Michele/Michelo DeVito (the son of Prospero Vincenzo DeVito and Filomena Abarno). Michele was born in San Felè, Potenza, Basilicata. Prospero was the son of Sebastiano DeVito and Maria Lucia Delorenzo/Lorenzo. Filomena was the daughter of Vito Michele Abarno and Margherita Tomasulo.

Danny’s paternal grandmother was named Mary/Mariangela/Mariagiola Mastroscuso/Mastacuso/Mastroscusa.

Danny’s maternal grandfather was Ludovico/Lodovico “Louis” Mocciola/Moccello (the son of Michele Arcangelo Mocciola/Moccello and Francesca Lopiano/Lopriana). Ludovico was born in Basilicata. Michele was the son of Ludovico/Lodovico Mocciola and Angela/Angiola Giorgio. Francesca was the daughter of Giuseppe Lopiano/Lo Piano and Rosa Traccolo.

Danny’s maternal grandmother was Angelina Maria Petruzzi (the daughter of Rocco Donato Petruzzi and Rosa Maria/Marie Garamoni/Garimoni/Garramone). Rocco was born in Anzi, Potenza, Basilicata, the son of Michele/Michael Arcangelo Donato Petruzzi and Angelina/Angela/Angiola Maria Bonomo. Rosa was also born in Anzi, the daughter of Angelantonio Garrammone and Concetta Donata Bellettieri.

Sources: Genealogy of Danny DeVito – https://www.geni.com

Danny’s mother on the 1910 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Marriage record of Danny’s maternal grandparents, Ludovico/Lodovico “Louis” Mocciola/Moccello and Angelina Maria Petruzzi – https://www.familysearch.org

Birth record of Danny’s maternal great-grandfather, Rocco Donato Petruzzi – https://www.familysearch.org


Curious about ethnicity

17 Responses

  1. Dar says:

    He stated on the It’s always sunny podcast and that his grandmother had some Arbereshe/Albanian ancestry

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