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Actor Danny DeVito

Danny DeVito May be the Nicest Guy in the World

Gettyimages | Gilbert Carrasquillo
By Robert Safir

Danny DeVito is one of the best known actors in Hollywood. His track record as a working actor is hard to beat. But more than that, Danny DeVito is known as one of the nicest guys in the world. I know this for a fact, because I met him quite accidentally on Melrose Blvd. in Los Angeles years ago. I never forgot it.

When preparing to write this article, I looked up Danny DeVito on the Internet, and I immediately came across an article on throwbacks.com entitled “Danny DeVito Is Probably The Nicest Person In Hollywood and You Need to Know Why,” written by “Tanya” on August 31, 2017.

She starts off by saying, “There are some very good people in the world, but often times we don't realize just how generous and kind some celebrities can be. Danny DeVito may be one of America's favorite actors, but he is also happens to be one of the best people.”

Yep. I second that emotion.

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Lucy's El Adobe Cafe

Lucy's El Adobe Cafe
Gettyimages | Paul Harris

Back in the late 70s and early 80s, I owned and operated a recording studio in Hollywood that I named “Track Record.” Located just east of Paramount Studios on Melrose Blvd., it wasn’t the most luxurious neighborhood but my home-grown studio fit right in. The vibe in the place was comfortable. Although I mostly had up-and-coming songwriters and artists for clients, I occasionally had some well-known, successful music creators as well. But it was the struggling artists I appreciated most.

On a sunny day around noon, I walked over to Lucy’s El Adobe Café on Melrose, a block away from Track Record. This was the spot that was famous for serving lunch to two extremely well-known customers, Linda Ronstadt and Jerry Brown, then Governor of California. The chicken tostada they made was killer, and I made it a point to go in at least once a week for lunch, even if I didn’t have a guest to go with me.

How You Doin'?

Danny DeVito
Gettyimages | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin

Upon finishing my meal, I went outside and just hung out for a moment to let that California sun wash my face with its warm light beams. Suddenly I heard a voice behind me say, “Hey man, how are you doin’?”The accident was clearly that of someone from New Jersey. I turned around and it was Danny DeVito with a huge smile on his face. I smiled back and told him I was doing just fine, thank you, and shook his hand. He said “Have a great day” and walked into Lucy’s.

Positive Energy

Giphy | jOnNy'S wOrLd

Now I know this doesn’t sound like a profound encounter. No amount of orchestral movie score can turn this into anything to brag about. But the thing that stood out, the thing that made it almost cinematic for me, was his sincerity. You could not help but feel his positive energy. We were complete strangers, but I felt he was someone I knew for years. He didn’t have to say a word to me – he came up from behind me to greet me. Technically, you could say that there was really nothing in it for him.

Danny and Mara

On the set of "Matilda"
Gettyimages | Getty Images

When reading that article on throwbacks.com, the author mentions that DeVito as cast as a horrible father to actress Mara Wilson in the 1976 film, “Matilda.” Mara was only eight years old at the time and her mother was suffering from cancer. That’s when Danny and wife Rhea Perlman helped the young actress deal with hard times ahead.

Wilson said, "I was eight years old. It was very hard... and they were very nice. While my mom was sick and in the hospital, they would invite me over and take care of me and get my mind off things.

This is one of many similar stories in which Danny DeVito goes beyond what’s expected and reaches out to help people. The stories all have something in common – how nice a guy Danny DeVito really is. It’s genuine – it’s not an act.

Even so, if there were an award for “Nicest Guy in the World,” it would surely go to Danny DeVito. He’s already got my vote.

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