When you think about the world’s most unique and memorable actors, Danny DeVito has to be high up on that list. While some people might view his height as a disadvantage, especially in Hollywood, DeVito played on people’s expectations and became one of the industry’s most prolific and recognizable actors.

This has been due in no small part to It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Joining the cast in season two brought a lot of attention to the series, as well as a resurgence DeVito’s career. But Frank Reynolds isn’t the only memorable character DeVito has played.

10 Phil — Hercules

For a lot of Disney fans, this character might be how they know him best. In the 1997 animated film Hercules, DeVito voiced the part of Philoctetes, better known in the movie as Phil.

He was a satyr and a retired trainer of heroes who left the business after years of failing to train a great one. Hercules convinced Phil to come out of retirement and help him become the hero he knows he should be. DeVito’s gruff and lovable voicing for the animated character made Phil a fan favorite.

9 Sid Hudgens — L.A. Confidential

Set in Los Angeles in the early 1950s, L.A. Confidential followed three L.A.P.D. detectives as they unraveled a complicated case from a variety of angles. A winner of two Academy Awards, the acclaimed film made waves by casting two then relatively unknown actors in Guy Pearce and Russell Crowe, alongside Kim Basinger, Kevin Spacey and Danny DeVito.

Given the mix of criminals, cops and Hollywood intrigue, you know the tabloids had to be involved. DeVito played Sid Hudgens, publisher of the fictional tabloid Hush-Hush, who ran salacious stories about anyone he could find.


8 Martin Weir — Get Shorty

Taking on Hollywood from a completely different angle than L.A. Confidential, Get Shorty was about a Miami loan shark named Chili Palmer who was on the trail of an old debt for his new boss.

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Film-obsessed Chili ended up in Hollywood, where he got himself involved in the movie industry. Naturally, his old life quickly came knocking on his door, but that’s a different story. Danny DeVito played Martin Weir, a respected and popular actor who was self-involved and delusional on a legendary level. He joins Chili’s first film project, much to the chagrin of Rene Russo’s character.

7 Louie De Palma — Taxi

Taxi is one of those sitcoms that has been somewhat lost to time. Running from 1978 to 1982 on ABC and then one more season on NBC, the series told the story of cab drivers in New York City. Taxi also launched the careers of several notable actors, including Tony Danza, Marilu Henner, Andy Kaufman and Christopher Lloyd.

Danny DeVito played Louie De Palma, the head dispatcher of the Sunshine Cab Company, a role he won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for. Louie was a horrifying human being on a number of levels, which prepared DeVito for Frank Reynolds perfectly.

6 Movie Mini Me — Austin Powers in Goldmember

This might be one of the smallest roles DeVito has played in his long career but it definitely made an impact on audiences. The third, and so far final, installment in the Austin Powers franchise featured a movie being made about Austin’s life and adventures.

In the movie within the movie, Tom Cruise played Austin Powers, much to Austin’s delight. But Dr. Evil was played by Kevin Spacey with Danny DeVito as his Mini Me. It was a brief cameo, but it featured DeVito in a bald cap, yelling obscenities and firing off a machine gun. Again, it was good preparation for Frank Reynolds.

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5 Herb Powell — The Simpsons

After being on the air for 31 seasons and nearly 700 episodes, everyone has voiced a character on The Simpsons at some point. It’s just necessary to keep producing content. DeVito was one of the earliest guest voices in the series, popping up in 1991 as Homer’s half-brother, Herb Powell.

Herb was an incredibly successful car manufacturer, something Homer managed to destroy in a matter of days. Herb appeared again in 1992 to bury the hatchet with Homer but didn’t show up again until 2013. The first episode with Herb remains one of the best in the history of the series.

4 Vincent Benedict — Twins

On paper, pairing Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger seemed like an odd decision. Even keeping in mind how big these stars were at the point this movie came out, the two of them together still didn’t make sense. Plus, Schwarzenegger wasn’t really known for his comedic roles. Twins changed that.

The duo played twins separated at birth, playing off the extreme differences in the two actor’s respective appearances. While critics gave the movie mediocre reviews at the time, Twins was one of the highest-grossing films that year and is now regarded as a comedy classic.

3 Ralph — Romancing The Stone

Another great 1980’s surprise classic, Romancing the Stone is a romantic comedy/adventure film starring Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas. Turner played an author headed to South America to rescue her sister. There, she met a smuggler played by Douglas who agreed to help her. After that moment, adventure, hilarity and romance ensued.

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DeVito played Ralph, an antiquities smuggler who kidnapped Turner’s sister with his cousin. He was the perfectly typical DeVito character – brash, brusque and uncouth in the most charming of ways.

2 Penguin — Batman Returns

Batman Returns was not the best Batman film ever made. This version of the Penguin was not the best version of the character ever conceived. But once you see DeVito play the role, you will never, ever forget it.

His take on the Penguin was less of an underworld crime boss and more of a mutant leader of circus freaks who had some surprising physical similarities to an actual penguin. He even liked to eat raw, whole fish. The true villain of the movie was Max Schrek, a corrupt businessman who attempted to manipulate Penguin in a bid for control over the city.

1 Roy The Stripper — Friends

There is an argument to be made that this guest spot on Friends, one of the most popular sitcoms of all time, is Danny DeVito’s most memorable character. He played the part of Roy, a stripper hired for Phoebe’s bachelorette party at the last minute. Roy went by the stage name “Officer Goodbody,” which was a lie in two separate ways.

Once again, DeVito played brilliantly off of his look, earning an Emmy nomination for the appearance. It also gave future It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia fans an early look at how far DeVito was willing to go for a joke.

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