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Rhea Perlman Says She and Danny DeVito Are First-Time Grandparents

Rosemary Giles
Photo Credit: Angela Weiss / Getty Images for International Myeloma Foundation / Cropped
Photo Credit: Angela Weiss / Getty Images for International Myeloma Foundation / Cropped

Celebrity relationships and their inevitable breakups are constantly splashed all over magazine covers. But there are some couples who just manage to make it work and have been together for decades. These include Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks, Beyoncé and Jay-Z, and Rhea Perlman and Danny DeVito – except that the last couple decided to call it quits after being married since 1982. Perlman has recently opened up about their split, and also shared the exciting news that she and DeVito are now grandparents.

Married since 1982

Perlman first met DeVito in 1971. She attended the only performance of his stage show, The Shrinking Bride, with one of her friends. Apparently they hit it off right away, making the decision to move in together after only knowing each other for two weeks. Despite this initial intensity, they didn’t get married until more than 10 years after their initial meeting, on January 28, 1982.

Young Danny DeVito in a suit and Rhea Perlman in shirt with a white bow on the front.
Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman attend the Sixth Annual People’s Choice Awards,  January 24, 1980. (Photo Credit: Ron Galella, Ltd./ Ron Galella Collection/ Getty Images)

They went on to start a family together, having three children: Lucy Chet DeVito, Grace Fan DeVito, and Jacob Daniel DeVito. Outside their personal lives, the pair also worked together on numerous occasions. They were both cast in the hit TV show, Taxi, and played the fictitious married couple Zinnia and Harry Wormwood in the film adaption of Matilda (1996). Things seemed to be going well for the happy couple, professionally and personally.

Calling it quits

That made it all the more shocking when the pair, who had at the time been married for 30 years, publicly announced their split in October 2012. It didn’t last long however, and they decided to get back together in March of the following year. It seems as though they had another good four years, but they ultimately decided to separate again in March 2017, a decision that was more permanent.

Rhea Perlman in a blue jacket and Danny DeVito in a black shirt with blue scarf posing on the red carpet together.
Rhea Perlman and Danny DeVito attend the Tribeca Film Festival Shorts: New York Now at Regal Battery Park Cinemas, April 15, 2016. (Photo Credit: Robin Marchant/ Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)

Since then, there has been no indication of reconciliation. In fact, Perlman has said many times that their relationship is much better now than it has been in a long time. She told Andy Cohen that they fare “much better because all the tense stuff is gone.” She said that the two are very close friends and that they still talk all the time, although she did mention that it wasn’t always an easy transition for them.

Separated but not divorced

Perhaps the most intriguing thing that Perlman discussed was the couple’s unconventional decision to split up but remain married. This is something she’s touched on before, once saying, “I’m not getting divorced. No, no, no. What for? We do live separately. We see each other a lot too.” She recently commented that they both value their family time, and still enjoy spending time together with their three kids.

Rhea Perlman, Danny Devito, and their three children, pose with Devito's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Danny DeVito with Rhea Perlman and their children posing during the ceremony honoring DeVito with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, August 18, 2011. (Photo Credit: Michael Tran/ FilmMagic/ Getty Images)

She went on to talk about their arrangement: “I like not always having my husband here — I love that we see each other when we want to. He doesn’t have to take me to every function, and I don’t have to take him. We can do separate things and still have a really great time when we’re together.” She admits that she does miss him and their marriage sometimes. Regardless, the pair seem content with their current relationship, and with staying in each other’s lives.

“We’ve been together a very long time, so there’s a lot of love and history,” Perlman told the New York Post in 2022. “We agree on enough things, so why [ruin] that with the yucky things that come with a divorce?”

First-time grandparents

Now, Rhea Perlman and Danny DeVito are first-time grandparents! During a May 2023 episode of the podcast Wiser Than Me with Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Perlman, 75, shared the exciting news. Although she didn’t reveal which of the couple’s three children is now a parent, she said, “It happened just seven weeks ago. It’s truly incredible. Everyone always says that having a grandchild will change your life, and it really does.”

Perlman and Devito at an event
Actress Rhea Perlman and actor Danny DeVito attend the premiere of FXX’s ‘It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia’ and ‘Man Seeking Woman’ at The DGA Theater on January 13, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo Credit: Barry King/FilmMagic)

She also shared that the baby is a girl named Sinclair Lucille DeVito. Perlman added, “They decided to keep the name DeVito even though she’s married and her husband isn’t DeVito, but that’s what they chose.”

Perlman said that although she’s excited to spend time with the bundle of joy, she recognizes the importance of giving the new parents their space and says she tries not to be overly intrusive even though she’d just a 10-minute drive away.

More from us: How ‘Basic Instinct’ Cost Sharon Stone Custody of Her Son

As for her preferred nickname, Perlman said she’d like to be called either “Grandma Rhee Rhee” or simply “Rhee Rhee.”

Rosemary Giles

Rosemary Giles is a history content writer with Hive Media. She received both her bachelor of arts degree in history, and her master of arts degree in history from Western University. Her research focused on military, environmental, and Canadian history with a specific focus on the Second World War. As a student, she worked in a variety of research positions, including as an archivist. She also worked as a teaching assistant in the History Department.

Since completing her degrees, she has decided to take a step back from academia to focus her career on writing and sharing history in a more accessible way. With a passion for historical learning and historical education, her writing interests include social history, and war history, especially researching obscure facts about the Second World War. In her spare time, Rosemary enjoys spending time with her partner, her cats, and her horse, or sitting down to read a good book.