Cigars are a great stress reliever and a great way to think and relax. Maybe that’s why so many comedians are avid cigar smokers. Comedians and actors spend a lot of time on the road or location and in character. So it’s no wonder why so many comedic actors take their cigars seriously. Actor Danny DeVito is no different.
Like many comedians who came before him, Danny DeVito is a devoted smoker. However, he didn’t use his cigar as a prop on stage like George Burns or Groucho Marx. Compared to his predecessors, who began smoking in their teens, DeVito took up smoking late in life. Here’s a glimpse at the cigar-loving It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia star.
Actor Danny DeVito’s Early Career
Actor Danny DeVito was born in New Jersey in 1944 and began his career on stage. Although DeVito measures a modest 4 ’10” (due to a rare genetic disorder), he would become a larger-than-life star of television and the movies.
Reprising his stage role as Martini, he worked alongside Jack Nicholson and Christopher Lloyd in the classic One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. The movie won the Academy Award for Best Picture, but his big break came in 1978 when he took the role of Louie De Palma on Taxi. The sitcom was short-lived but critically acclaimed. He won a Golden Globe and an Emmy for his portrayal of the grumpy dispatcher, De Palma. It was around this time DeVito took up cigar smoking. The cast included Tony Danza and Andy Kaufman, primarily men. DeVito has said in interviews that they celebrated holidays and birthdays by sharing a cigar; this was DeVito’s introduction to Cubans, but he still wasn’t smoking cigars regularly.
Danny DeVito: Cuban Cigars and Movies
Young fans might know DeVito from the FX series It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, but he had a run of hit movies in the 1980s and 90s. After Taxi was canceled, DeVito focused on his movie career. Terms of Endearment, Romancing the Stone, and Throw Mama from the Train are just a few of his famous titles from that time. Twins, which paired the diminutive DeVito with Arnold Schwarzenegger, is one of the most memorable. It’s also when Actor Danny DeVito took up cigars as a regular habit. Schwarzenegger was primarily an action star at the time but leaped into comedy. The two actors, who play unlikely fraternal twins in the movie, hit it off. Schwarzenegger gave DeVito a box of Cuban cigars, and DeVito was hooked.
The two actors made several movies together with director Ivan Reitman. They often hung out together on the set. DeVito cooked Italian food, and they would smoke a cigar. DeVito recently revealed he once tricked his famous co-star and former governor of California by giving him a cigar laced with marijuana on the set of Junior. Stoned and confused, Schwarzenegger forgot his lines for that afternoon’s shoot, much to the delight of DeVito.
Danny DeVito’s Cigar Preferences
DeVito is a daily smoker. He typically has one after dinner or lunch but smokes more when working. And DeVito doesn’t only act. Over the years, he began to branch out into directing and producing. But, like many writers, comedians, and thinkers, DeVito admits to working better when he smokes.
The world is tough on cigar life, especially these days. Like any great actor, DeVito has had to improvise to squeeze a cigar in on occasion. He told Cigar Aficionado he once convinced an airplane full of people to allow him to light up. He said it was the most enjoyable transatlantic flight he had ever taken.
On the set of Matilda, a film he directed and starred in, the studio complained that his cigar smoking was against fire regulations. So, DeVito’s crew set up a special smoking tent for him.
He has always had expensive tastes. He’s been smoking Cubans for almost 40 years. However, like anyone who has smoked for a long time, he mixes it up. He started with Cohibas but smoked Partagas Serie D No. 4 for a time, as well as Bolivars.
DeVito married Rhea Perlman, the former star of another classic 80s sitcom, Cheers, in 1982. They have three grown children.
The 78-year-old star reunited with his old friend Schwarzenegger for a sequel to Twins called Triplets. Rumor has it Schwarzenegger tried to get back at DeVito for the on-set prank thirty years ago. Either way, the two will enjoy a few cigars on the set.
Photo credit: “danny devito” by Mario A. P. is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0