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Before He Was Famous, Danny DeVito Cut Dead People's Hair (VIDEO)

by Oliver Miller, posted Sep 16th 2010 4:00AM
Before He Was Famous, Danny DeVito Cut Dead People's HairDanny DeVito doesn't have much hair left these days. We wouldn't go so far as to call him completely bald, but ... he's definitely not even really capable of doing the "comb-over" anymore. So it might surprise you to learn that his first training came not as an actor, but as a hairstylist.

Yes, after high school, DeVito worked at his sister's beauty salon. In fact, the only reason that he ever started taking acting classes was because he attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. But he originally went to that school to study cosmetology. While at the Academy, he was bitten by the acting bug, and -- well, the rest we know. DeVito went on to star in such films as 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' and also the TV series 'Taxi,' and never looked back from there.

On 'Lopez Tonight' (weeknights, 11PM ET on TBS), Danny discusses one of the more unusual aspects of his early hair cutting career. In addition to working in a salon, he also used to go to a local mortuary -- where he "styled" the hair of the dead. (He only worked on women, by the way.)

According to DeVito, being the hairstylist for a bunch of female corpses had two distinct advantages:

1) Dead women don't "talk back" or complain about their hairdos, even if you do a bad job.

2) You don't have to worry about getting hairspray in the corpses' eyes. "Naw," he says, "just spray the [expletive deleted]!"

Fantastic. We are all the wiser for knowing this. On the other hand, dead people probably don't tip you either -- which could be why Danny quit to pursue a more lucrative career on the stage and screen.

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Nan Hahn (thinkingperson)

Where in the world did he ever get the idea that The Academy teaches cosmetology??? It's the oldest ACTING school in the U.S.! BTW - he was in my class at The Academy - very lowkey person, I don't even remember him being there!

September 16 2010 at 11:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Charlie Goose

He's mentioned this many times before. The first time I remember is on an episode of Oprah right around War of the Roses.

September 16 2010 at 11:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

His sister used to work for my mother in Brick Town NJ. He did the mortuary stuff with my mom as well.

September 16 2010 at 10:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was laughing up until Danny said spray the bi..
If These ladies asked for Danny to do their hair, after they passed away. He did them no favors by calling them names.

September 16 2010 at 10:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is really fascinating!

September 16 2010 at 9:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lawrence fishberg

how could he reach the top of anyone's head?

September 16 2010 at 8:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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