Danny Devito is a good man.
So as a boy I went to a boarding school where horrible abuse was taking place. Although nothing was exposed while I attended (unfortunately), the school was broken up just a few years later and faculty members were arrested. The experiences there seriously affected me and I was asking for help the entire time but I was never believed, which made me feel exceptionally isolated and alone. I was being abused but my own family wouldn’t take my word on it.
I was allowed to go home for Christmas and my family went on a ski vacation to Utah. This would be around 1992. I tried to explain what was happening and how miserable I was but again, nobody would believe me or understand my situation. I was suicidal and planning how I could end my life without anybody discovering me or having to deal with the shame of a failed attempt.
… until one day I was riding a ski lift to the top of the mountain, and I met a strangely familiar sounding man with a scarf over his face. He saw that I was miserable and asked me what was wrong.
I didn’t have any trouble opening up about my problems at thirteen. I would blab on and on about them (the problem is that nobody really cared). So I unloaded on this poor guy.
He was the first person who had really noticed the pain I was feeling. My family all thought it was an act to ‘manipulate’ them into letting me come home, but this stranger saw that what I was experiencing was real. He had true genuine compassion for me, and as he explained further, I began to understand why.
He told me that he had a very similar experience when he was younger, that he had gone to a very strict Catholic boarding school. He shared some experiences with me. He understood what I was going through completely. He told me that it would pass; that one day I would be an adult and all of these things would seem very far away. I cried, he told me everything would be alright. I talked to him the entire way up the mountain.
This is the moment I decided to not be suicidal anymore. I lived my entire existence after that point trying to get to that safe adult vantage point that the stranger described to me. I wanted to be like him; alive, whole, and on the other side. Free.
Anyway, as we got to the top of the hill, I saw the stranger’s wife come up to him and recognized her. It was the girl from Cheers (Rhea Pearlman)! And then I placed the voice – Danny Devito, who I had seen in several movies even by the then, but just couldn’t identify on the ski lift.
Everything he said was true. I went on to great things. And all of those horrors seem small in comparison even if they do trouble me sometimes.
Reddit, Danny Devito saved my life. This is not a Bill Murrey ‘nobody will ever believe you’ story – this really happened and changed the course of my history. Danny Devito saw my misery, talked to me like a real human being, and helped me see that I would survive these horrible events. I will always remember what he did for me.
I want to thank him personally. If anybody can help me get a hand-written note to mister Devito, or a phone call, please contact me. I don’t want to pitch Hollywood scripts or gush over his work. I just want to thank him for being a human being, and being there. Unfortunately he's famous as hell and has no idea who I am so it's proven very, very hard.
Anybody who can help me, please contact my inbox. I'm not a Reddit Guru so if you know a better subreddit or something to get attention on this, please let me know as well.
Thanks for listening.
Edit 1: I provided some contact info to the kind mister Schwarzenegger via pm and will update if anything further transpires. I've agonized over sending multiple versions of some sort of letter to the man for several decades... never really knowing where to start and talking myself out of it each time... so it is immensely gratifying to be able to finally get word to him.
Edit 2 (One Month Later): I wish I had more interesting news to offer! But I have heard nothing as of yet. I was in correspondence with an assistant to mister Schwarzenegger who has told me my hand written thank you note can be passed on and I'm in the process of having it delivered. Thank you so much for all of your help and support.
Edit 3 (Some Time Later): I have been assured the letter has been delivered! So my quest has been accomplished thanks to the help of everybody here. I hope it was meaningful to Mr Devito! If if I have a chance to share a lunch or something with him, I'll be sure to stop by and post a pic or a story if that's something I'm allowed to do. This was a life goal for me I have accomplished! It feels GOOD!
Thank you so much Reddit!
peeps up from behind the bushes
I'm gonna stalk you while you stalk him.
I'm gonna stalk this guy trying to catch errors lol.
Hey man, I think you mean 'eluded'
Then you'd be happy to know that much of the criticism of him is completely false. The last time I saw this on Reddit, I decided to go back to the source and find out for myself what the basis of the rumors were. This led me to checking out all the major (non-juvenile) biographies on Dr. Seuss, of which there are eight. They all basically tell the same story. The facts are:
Seuss's wife wasn't dying.
Seuss's wife never had cancer.
Seuss's wife Helen did battle polio when she was a child, which left her with a slight limp.
In 1931, shortly after Helen and Seuss were married, she had an emergency ovariectomy, which left her unable to have children. To get through the issue, the couple "invented" a fictional child together named "Chrysanthemum-Pearl". Seuss would draw private pictures of the child for his wife. Their Christmas cards and other cards to friends and family would sometimes contain adventurous updates on the child, and the book The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins is dedicated to Chrysanthemum-Pearl.
In March 1954, Helen contracted Guillain-Barré syndrome, was paralyzed from the neck down and confined to an iron lung. Seuss stayed by her side throughout the ordeal. She began to recover in June, and in July she was well enough to go home. Doctors recommended she swim to aid in her recovery, so Seuss had a swimming pool installed in their backyard. By early 1955, she had made a near-complete recovery, though she did still experience occasional numbness in her lower extremities, but this was not life-threatening.
In early 1957, she had a minor stroke, but she recovered within a few weeks.
Later in 1957, Helen and Seuss launched their own publishing imprint, Beginner Books, with their friends, Bennett and Phyllis Cerf. This had been in the works for some time. Seuss had early arguments with Phyllis, so it was agreed he'd step back while Helen and Phyllis did most of the running of the company (and had their own contentious disagreements). Up until then, Helen had been very involved in Seuss's books, but from there on, she was not, and this created distance in their relationship. In fact, their marital problems may have gone back many more years. Biographer Philip Nel notes that Seuss had written a poem "Wife Up A Tree" published in 1953 in a magazine called This Week, which was about a husband with a nagging wife. Nel says it may have foreshadowed marital troubles, though it's uncertain. Regardless, many friends and family said that their relationship had always been marked by quite open friction, and this only got worse once they stopped collaborating and started working on their own individual projects in 1957. Seuss's editor recalled that in the 1960s, Seuss had confided in him that he was thinking about buying a studio outside the home because of the hostility within the house (his studio was in his house). He didn't, but the marriage was turning bad.
Seuss had always preferred to work late, but after 1957, he started to keep almost nocturnal hours, while Helen woke up early, particularly because they lived in California and the Beginner Books business required her to communicate with New York publishing contacts. They saw less and less of each other. They began sleeping in seperate bedrooms.
It wasn't all bad, though. The couple had many friends and socialized regularly. They also raised a lot of money for charity, which is how Seuss met his second wife Audrey Dimond. Audrey's husband was a doctor at the hospital that treated Helen during her bout with Guillain-Barré syndrome. Seuss and Helen took part in a fundraiser for the hospital, and that's where they met. The two couples became friends in about 1960, and were best friends within a couple years.
Seuss's relationship with Audrey was only as friends for at least the first several years. It was only in about 1965 that there may have been an affair, after several more years of contention between Seuss and his wife Helen.
It's not confirmed that Seuss actually cheated on his wife sexually. Audrey gave conflicting statements. In 1995, her statement to biographers Judith and Neil Morgan insinuated that their relationship wasn't consummated until after Helen had died, meaning she (Audrey) had an affair since she was still married, but Seuss was a widower. In 2000, Audrey gave an interview to the New York Times where the reporter wrote that Audrey "fell in love with" Seuss and "in the wake of their affair" Helen "committed suicide". But it doesn't actually say what the nature of the affair was before Helen's death. Some biographers have read into the 2000 interview that the affair was sexual before Helen's death, though these biographers (Nel and Jones) are careful to say that a sexual affair is not confirmed. Audrey never spoke publicly on the subject again.
As already stated, at the time of Helen's death, she wasn't dying and she didn't have cancer. She did have some health issues, but none of them life-threatening. She was on pain medication. The year before she committed suicide, her brother had died, and biographer Charles D. Cohen suggests this may have been a contributing factor to her depression and suicide, along with the breakdown of her marriage.
Shortly before Helen committed suicide, in September 1967, Seuss took her on a month-long vacation to Colorado, one of Helen's favorite places. It is unknown what happened during this time, but it's generally assumed that Seuss was trying to rehabilitate their marriage, whether because of an actual sexual affair on his part or if it was more an emotional affair he'd been having with Audrey. A few days after they returned to California, they went out to dinner with some friends, and then a few days after that, they went on a weekend yachting trip with some other friends. Shortly after that, on October 23, 1967, she committed suicide by overdosing on pills.
Both the Seuss's niece and their personal assistant recalled to biographers that Helen had often talked negatively about spending her twilight years as "an invalid", due to the effects of post-polio syndrome and her recovery from Guillain-Barré syndrome. Her health was deteriorating, but not in a life-threatening way. She was still able to walk unassisted but was having increasing trouble walking up and down stairs. Both her niece and assistant suspected that, being 69 years old, and faced with a future that was only going to get worse health-wise, while Seuss was in much better health than she was (he was also six years younger than her), her suicide was in part caused by her desire not "to be a burden" on her husband or her family. In other words, if there truly was an affair, it was only one part of Helen's decision.
Her suicide note doesn't actually talk about an affair, but talks about the breakdown of her marriage with Seuss, which had been going on for a decade, and for many years before Seuss ever even met his second wife, let alone started to get emotionally close to her. The note could be read that, after the Colorado trip, Seuss had perhaps resolved to leave Helen, and told her so, though there's no evidence that that was the case. He had not contacted any lawyer or made any other financial decisions or life changes that would suggest it. Nor had Audrey. That said, several biographers do suspect that Seuss's relationship with Audrey was confirmed to Helen shortly before Helen's suicide, though none of their friends could substantiate that claim.
It's not a happy story, but it's also a pretty ordinary story. Seuss's behavior wasn't all that different from how many marriages end. He certainly wasn't abandoning a dying woman when (if?) he had the affair. And by all accounts, at the end of Helen's life, he did make efforts to reinvigorate their marriage. But this did not work, and Helen died. He was very distraught by it. He told a friend: "I didn't know whether to kill myself, burn the house down, or just go away and get lost." He did jump rather quickly into his new relationship with Audrey, though even this was after several months of grieving alone, during which time he wrote The Foot Book. The book contains no dedication, but considering the issues Helen had had with her feet and legs, it's not a stretch to say it was written with her in mind.
The rumors that Helen had cancer and was dying seem to stem from an unsourced About.com article that was used as the basis for those claims in Dr. Seuss's Wikipedia entry. I suspect that the author thought Guillain-Barré syndrome was some form of cancer (it's not) and embellished from there. Pretty much all claims on the internet just took the Wikipedia article as fact, when it wasn't based on anything actually found in any Dr. Seuss biography, or any other fact-based source.
For people who are reading this and don't believe me, feel free to do your own research. I found as many well-sourced published biographies on Dr. Seuss as I could, and none of them mention anything about Helen having cancer, or having life-threatening health issues at the time of her suicide. The most they say is that her health was slowly deteriorating, and she worried about what that portended for her future. Their marriage had been in trouble for some time, and despite efforts by them to mend fences, it did not work out.
Cohen, Charles D. (2004). The Seuss, the Whole Seuss and Nothing But the Seuss: A Visual Biography of Theodor Seuss Geisel.
Dean, Tanya (2002). Theodor Geisel.
Fensch, Thomas (2001). The Man Who Was Dr. Seuss: The Life and Work of Theodor Geisel.
Jones, Brian Jay (2019). Becoming Dr. Seuss: Theodor Geisel and the Making of an American Imagination.
MacDonald, Ruth K. (1988). Dr. Seuss.
Morgan, Judith; Morgan, Neil (1995). Dr. Seuss & Mr. Geisel: A Biography.
Nel, Philip (2004). Dr. Seuss: American Icon.
Pease, Donald E. (2010). Theodor Seuss Geisel.
EDIT: Thanks for the awards!
A lot of the time its a lot more simple than that. If you join them you wont be their next victim.
People wonder why so many Germans joined the Nazi party, and its the same thing. They had to. They operated just like a gang. They even sent "judges" around who would carry out hits against people outside the party, and it was often completely random just like gang killings. But members were almost entirely immune from that.
Same thing with gangs. People just trying to survive.
Fun Fact: Slim famously exploited his rodeo skills while serving in the Cold War, riding a Mark 4 thermonuclear bomb into a Urals Soviet launch station. There's even film of it.
Liberté, Egalité, Lungcancér
Better to ask forgiveness than parmesan
So, the governor of Ceres gathers all Star Helix cops together for an ass tearing. He wants to know the plan for catching these dubious nefarious cheese thieves. He's tearing us a new one. Meanwhile the whole office is stinking like cheese farts
The movie was based on Centralia, not the games.
To be more specific, they worked the story of Centralia into the movie adaptation of the games.
HEY! That’s nacho cheese!!!
I have a bunch of different ones I do depending on who I'm talking to and how much I want to offend them:
Take your pick and I'll record it. I might make a soundboard.
Never realized how much Billie Holiday looks like Jimi Hendrix.
Didn't know he was such a big Sylvester Stallone fan.
We interviewed her last year! She's an absolute hoot and has some incredible stories from her 40 years at Disney. https://youtu.be/5KYLeu_no64
(She was never an animator, but she did work in the ink and paint department briefly. Most of her work was with the cameras used to photograph the animation cels.)
What also sucked is that the Soviet army was just outside and could have helped but Stalin wanted the leaders of the insurrection to be killed so when he took over puppet control of Poland he wouldn't have to worry about them.