Who is Rhea Perlman

Rhea Perlman is an American actress and comedian, probably still best known for her role as Carla Tortelli in the TV sitcom “Cheers”, which aired from 1982 to 1993. Perlman’s portrayal of the feisty and quick-witted Carla earned her four Emmy Awards. She’s also appeared in numerous films and television shows throughout her career.

Rhea Perlman Wiki: Age, Childhood, and Education

Rhea Jo Perlman, born on 32 March 1948, in New York, USA, hails from a Jewish family. Her father, Philip Perlman, was a Polish immigrant and a successful businessman, as well as a respected film and television actor. Her mother, Adele, worked as a bookkeeper. Rhea has a sister named Heide, who has made a name for herself as a prominent television writer, editor and producer, contributing to popular shows such as “Cheers”, “The Tracy Ullman Show” and “Frasier”, among others.

After high school, Rhea pursued higher studies at Hunter College in New York. In 1968, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, laying the foundation for her future career in the entertainment industry.

Career Beginnings

Perlman’s journey in the entertainment industry began with humble beginnings. She started as an attendant in the off-off-Broadway play “Dracula Sabbat”, which ran from September 1970 to June 1971. Although her role was small, it marked the start of a promising career in the performing arts. In 1972, Perlman took on a bit role in the film “Hot Dogs for Gauguin”, showing her early on-screen talent.

Rise to Stardom

However, Perlman’s rise to stardom came with her recurring role as Zena, the sweet girlfriend of Louie De Palma, played by Danny DeVito, in the beloved television show “Taxi”. This breakthrough role showcased Perlman’s comedic timing and undeniable chemistry with DeVito, propelling her into the spotlight and setting the stage for her future success.

Following her standout performance on “Taxi”, Perlman reached new heights of popularity and acclaim when she joined the cast of the iconic sitcom “Cheers”. From 1982 to 1993, Perlman portrayed the wisecracking barmaid Carla Tortelli, winning the hearts of viewers with her sharp wit and undeniable charisma. Her interactions with the ensemble, including Ted Danson, Shelley Long and Kirstie Alley, created memorable moments and solidified her place in television history.

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During her tenure on “Cheers”, Perlman’s exceptional talent garnered numerous accolades. She won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy four times, in 1984, ‘85, ‘8, and ‘89. Additionally, she received nominations for an Emmy Award every year, except in 1992, establishing her as one of the most recognized and celebrated actors from the show. Perlman’s outstanding work on “Cheers” also earned her six nominations for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress, further solidifying her status as a versatile performer.

Perlman’s talent extended beyond the small screen, as she ventured into the world of cinema in 1986, starring in an episode of Steven Spielberg’s anthology series “Amazing Stories” entitled “The Wedding Ring”. Directed by Danny DeVito, the episode featured Perlman and DeVito as a married couple, showing their real-life chemistry on screen, which further highlighted their dynamic partnership, both on and off-camera.

Continued Success

Throughout her career, Perlman took on a variety of roles in motion pictures, displaying her versatility and range as an actress. In 1992, she starred in the film “There Goes The Neighborhood”, a comedic thriller directed by Bill Phillips, sharing the screen with Jeff Daniels and Catherine O’Hara, portraying a suburban resident caught up in a neighborhood’s escalating chaos.

In 1995, Perlman appeared in the political satire “Canadian Bacon”, directed by Michael Moore. The film explored the fictional scenario of the US declaring war on Canada, sharing the screen with a cast including John Candy, Alan Alda, and Kevin Pollak.

The following year, Perlman showcased her comedic skills in the film “Carpool”, directed by Arthur Hiller, and starring alongside Tom Arnold, portraying a frazzled mother caught up in a chaotic carpool adventure.

Continuing her success in the film industry, Perlman appeared in the sports drama “Sunset Park” in 1996. Directed by Steve Gomer, the film follows the journey of a high school basketball team and the dedicated teacher who coached them. Perlman’s portrayal of the team’s principal added depth and heart to the story. The film featured a talented cast, including Fredro Starr, Terrence Howard and De’Aundre Bonds.

In the same year, Perlman starred in the fantasy film “Matilda”, based on the beloved children’s book by Roald Dahl. Directed by Danny DeVito, who also co-starred in the film, “Matilda” told the story of a young girl with extraordinary powers. Perlman played the antagonist, Miss Trunchbull, the tyrannical headmistress of Matilda’s school.

In addition to her film roles, Perlman made notable guest appearances in various television shows. In 2001, she appeared in the fourth-season premiere of “Becker”, co-starring alongside her former “Cheers” castmate Ted Danson. Perlman’s guest appearance added a nostalgic touch to the popular sitcom.

Perlman also displayed her versatility in television films and dramas; in the 2000 television film “How to Marry a Billionaire: A Christmas Tale”, she impersonated Jacqueline Kennedy, adding glamour and intrigue to the holiday-themed story. She also portrayed Dr. Parella, a therapist, in the 2000 film “Secret Cutting”, which delved into the emotional journey of a young girl struggling with self-injury.

In 2007, Perlman appeared as Bertha in the West End of London in the comedy play “Boeing Boeing”, in which her comedic timing and stage presence shone, earning her critical acclaim for her live performance. Perlman also starred in the Hallmark Channel original movie “The Christmas Choir” in 2008, captivating audiences with her heartwarming portrayal.

Perlman’s talent continued to shine in the 2008 film “Beethoven’s Big Break”, in which she appeared as Patricia Benji, bringing her charm and comedic sensibility to the role, adding depth and humor to the family-friendly story.

Recent Work

Television series also provided Perlman with opportunities to showcase her skills. In 2009, she appeared as Tanya’s mother in the series “Hung” on Home Box Office Networks.

In 2011, Perlman made a guest appearance as Mittens in the series “Wilfred”, bringing her comedic talent to the offbeat comedy.

Perlman’s career has been filled with remarkable achievements and well-deserved recognition. Her notable roles and contributions have left an enduring impact on the entertainment industry. In 2009, Perlman and her daughter Lucy DeVito starred in the off-Broadway play “Love, Loss, and What I Wore”.

From 2014 to 2017, Perlman’s career continued to flourish as she portrayed Annette Castellano, Danny’s mother, in the acclaimed series “The Mindy Project”.

To speak further of her accomplishments, in 2017, Rhea portrayed Esther in the film “Lemon”. The movie follows the story of Isaac, played by Brett Gelman, whose life takes a series of bizarre and unfortunate turns.

In 2018, Perlman appeared as Linda in the film “Half Magic”. The movie explores the lives of three women who are seeking love, fulfillment and empowerment in a male-dominated world.

The following year 2019, Perlman took on the role of Alice in the comedy-drama film “Poms”. The movie revolves around a group of retired women who form a cheerleading squad in their retirement community.

In 2020, Rhea played Fernie in the film “Funny Face”. The story follows a young woman named Zane, played by Cosmo Jarvis, who forms an unlikely bond with a 65-year-old widow named Margaret (played by Dela Meskienyar).

In 2021, Perlman appeared as Margot in the film “Marvelous and the Black Hole”. The movie centers around a teenage delinquent named Sammy Ko, played by Miya Cech, who forms an unexpected friendship with a magician named Margot.

In 2022, Perlman was cast as Grandma Ruth in the musical film “13: The Musical”. The movie is based on the Broadway musical of the same name and tells the story of Evan Goldman, a teenager navigating the challenges of being 13 years old.

Most recently, Perlman portrayed Bubby in the film “You People”, and is working on the upcoming blockbuster “Barbie”.

Net Worth

According to authoritative sources, Rhea Perlman’s net worth is estimated at $60 million, as of mid-2023.

Personal Life, Marriage, Husband, Children

Rhea was married to actor Danny DeVito from 1982 to 2017. The couple has three children together. The two aren’t officially divorced but have been separated since 2017. They have faced hardships numerous times over their time together and separated for the first time in 2012.

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1 Comment

  1. In reading the bio of Rhea Pearlman, there was an error regarding her role in the movie Matilda. In it you list her role as Mrs. Trunchbull the school headmistress. She in fact plays the part of Matilda’s mother. I just thought you might want to know.

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