- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 28, 2018

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy will designate Nov. 17 as “Danny DeVito Day” in honor of the locally born and raised actor and filmmaker known for his roles in movies and television series including “Taxi” and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” The New York Times reported Friday.

Officials plan to announce during a film festival Saturday that Mr. DeVito’s birthday will be annually recognized within the state starting this fall, the newspaper reported.

Mr. Murphy, a Democrat, will issue a statewide proclamation in Mr. DeVito’s honor, the report said.

“I was very flattered,” reacted Mr. DeVito. “Of course, they first told me I could have a beach. Yeah, but they reneged. So I said, ‘Oh, that’s perfect. It’s New Jersey,’” he told the newspaper.

Mr. DeVito, 73, was born in Neptune Township in 1944 and raised in neighboring Asbury Park, where he’s returned to attend this weekend’s Asbury Park Music and Film Festival. He’s scheduled to participate in a sold-out question-and-answer event being held Saturday, “An Evening with Danny DeVito,” at the Paramount Theater, a 1,600-seat venue built nearly a decade ago roughly five blocks from his former home.

The designation will make Mr. DeVito the first Asbury Park native to receive his own day, and only the second ever New Jerseyan afforded that honor, The New York Times reported. Sayreville native Jon Bon Jovi’s eponymous rock group was recognized with their own day, April 14, earlier this month, the report said.

Mr. DeVito moved to New York as a teenager to pursue acting, but has kept close ties to his home state in the decades since: he named his studio company Jersey Films, he produced the 2004 film “Garden State” and he was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame by Bruce Springsteen in 2010.

“He has Jersey attitude pouring out of him, even when he is standing still,” Mr. Springsteen described Mr. DeVito during the induction ceremony.

Mr. DeVito’s notable credits include an appearance in 1975 film “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” his Emmy-award winning role as cab dispatcher Louie De Palma in the sitcom series “Taxi” and his 1987 major directing debut, “Throw Momma from the Train,” among others.

He was nominated for his first Tony Award in 2017 for “The Price,” and he’s expected to revive his role portraying the character Frank Reynolds on the cable series “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” when the show’s 13th season airs later this year.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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