Little did the majority of the audience know that the "Matilda" co-stars were married in real life while filming the classic children's movie.
Keeping a tab on celebrity relationships has been a norm in recent times through social media. However, a few decades back, people had to rely on tabloid reporting to confirm that their favorite actors or actresses were in a relationship with certain somebody. This was proven on the stage of the 2024 Primetime Emmy Awards when Danny DeVito gave a sweet shoutout to his amicably separated wife, Rhea Perlman while he appeared on the stage alongside the cast of "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia," per Buzzfeed News.
The cast went on to mention and honor some of the most iconic television shows that aired over the years and DeVito quipped in to remind the audience that Perlman had won four of the prestigious Emmy awards for her role in "Cheers." The camera cut to Perlman who was not expecting to receive the random shoutout but she flashed a huge smile after noticing the man behind the comment. The clip was circulated on various social media platforms such as X (formerly known as Twitter) by @Priyant1987 where it received over 7 million views and reactions from the audience online.
DeVito and Perlman famously starred together in 1996's classic film "Matilda" where they portrayed a married couple and parents and most of the audience had no idea that they were married in real life as well. They played Harry and Zinnia Wormwood in the screen adaptation of Roald Dahl’s famous book, which starred 8-year-old Mara Wilson as the titular character. By the time they started filming "Matilda," DeVito and Perlman had already been together for more than 20 years.
@hyunnie_hunny reacted on X and wrote: "So this is how I find out they’re separated?! I thought that they got back together." @hailieshouse shared: "They’ve been separated. But I love them. During the filming of Matilda, the actress who played Matilda lost her mom to cancer and they helped take care of her, she stayed with them." True enough, the former couple who are still legally married, looked out for their young costar Wilson when she lost her mother to cancer.
Well, Perlman was the one who first spotted DeVito at an off-Broadway production of "The Shrinking Bride" in 1971 and she knew she "had to meet him immediately," per New York Post. “I asked my friend if he had a girlfriend, and she said no,” Perlman revealed and added that they later went out for dinner after the show. The pair tied the knot in 1982 after dating for more than a decade and they have three children together as well. Besides "Matilda" the duo had shared the screen space several times in the TV series "Taxi" which premiered in 1978.
However, after 40 years of being together, DeVito and Perlman separated in 2012 despite staying legally married. They reconciled five months later but separated once again in March 2017. “It was very difficult at first. And there were a lot of reasons that we separated, which I'm not gonna go into. But it took time for us to come to this somehow pretty decent understanding and relationship with each other," Perlman said while appearing on "Wiser Than Me" podcast. “We are still very good friends, and we see each other a lot. And our family is still the most important thing to both of us,” she concluded. While talking to Andy Cohen in 2019, Perlman revealed that she and DeVito are closer as a friend now, after their separation, than they were in their final years as a couple and it clearly showed at the 2024 Emmys.