Danny DeVito’s Sweet Emmys Shoutout To His Ex Rhea Perlman Has Made People Realize That The Parents In “Matilda” Were Married In Real Life

Not only were Danny and Rhea married in real life during the making of Matilda, they also looked after their 8-year-old costar Mara Wilson amid her mom’s heartbreaking cancer battle. Here’s everything there is to know.

During Monday night’s Emmys, Danny DeVito shouted out his estranged wife, Rhea Perlman, as he appeared on stage with the cast of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

Danny DeVito giving Rhea Perlman (his separated wife) a shout out for her 4 wins was not on my bingo card #Emmys2024 #Emmys pic.twitter.com/KnIeK9ldqs

— Priyant (@Priyant1987) January 16, 2024
Fox / Via Twitter: @Priyant1987
As they honored some of the most iconic shows in television, Danny opted to remind everybody of how many Emmys Rhea had won over the years, telling the crowd: “Rhea won four, for Cheers.”

The random but kind comment appeared to catch Rhea off guard, but she was visibly delighted by it as the camera showed her laughing with a huge smile on her face while she watched her ex on stage.

But the sweet moment has gone viral on X, formerly known as Twitter, for a pretty surprising reason, with thousands of people admitting that this was the first time they realized that the parents in the 1996 movie Matilda were married in real life.

Closeup of Rhea Perlman and Danny DeVito

By the time the movie was in production, Danny and Rhea had been married for over a decade — and together for more than 20 years. But this has proven to be brand new information for a slew of social media users this week.

Quote-tweeting the clip of Danny name-dropping Rhea on stage, one person wrote: “Matilda’s parents were married in real life ?????” and the tweet immediately gained traction.

Matilda’s parents were married in real life ????? https://t.co/wZ1VcMxNsp

— Savia (artist)👩🏽‍🎨🎨 (@saviaivas) January 16, 2024
Twitter: @saviaivas / Via Twitter: @saviaivas
It has so far been viewed more than 5 million times, and has tens of thousands of likes and retweets as other users admitted that they had also only just learned this.

“Ok the way I’m such a fan of that movie, how did I not know this??? No wonder they worked so well together in that movie,” one person replied.

“How am I just finding this out?? wtf,” another asked. Somebody else admitted: “This is one of my all time favorites and I never knew.”

So, here is everything there is to know about Danny and Rhea’s real-life relationship — including the heart-wrenching way that they looked out for their young costar Mara amid her mom's breast cancer diagnosis during the making of Matilda.

Screenshot from "Matilda"

Rhea first laid eyes on Danny at an off-Broadway production of The Shrinking Bride in 1971, and previously told the New York Post that she knew she “had to meet him immediately.”

Rhea and Danny walking up a set of stairs to an event

Prior to Matilda, the couple had already shared the screen several times, and even played a couple on the TV series Taxi, which premiered in 1978. By the time that filming for Matilda began, Rhea and Danny shared three children together: Lucy, Grace, and Jacob.

Rhea Perlman and Danny DeVito

Meanwhile, Mara was just 8 years old when she started working on the movie, but was already pretty established as one of Hollywood’s most sought-after child stars thanks to her breakout roles in Miracle on 34th Street and Mrs. Doubtfire.

A young Mara

“I was 8 years old. It was very hard…and they were very nice,” Mara shared. “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. I felt very familial.”

Danny and Rhea touching up their looks as Mara stands in the background in a scene from Matilda

Suzie died soon after filming wrapped — just over a year after she was first diagnosed. She passed before Matilda was released, and Mara recalled being left heartbroken by the fact that her mom wasn't able to watch the movie.

Mara with her parents, Suzie and Michael Wilson

Without anybody knowing, he created a makeshift movie theater for Suzie in her hospital bed so that she was able to watch her daughter’s standout performance before she died. 

Danny also surprised Mara by dedicating Matilda to her mom, which the actor remains incredibly grateful for. She previously told Entertainment Tonight: “I felt so good when I saw that in the credits, and I still feel happy when I say that now. I’m so glad they did that.”

Mara, Rhea, and Danny eating cake on a talk show

Meanwhile, Danny and Rhea announced their separation in 2012 after more than 40 years together. They ended up reconciling five months later, but separated again in March 2017.

Closeup of Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman
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