Danny Devito has no regrets about not being leading man material.

The diminutive actor, 78, who stands at 4ft 10in tall, may have been insecure about his height in the past but it hasn’t hindered his success as an accomplished actor, producer and director.

Danny used to live next door to heartthrob Brad Pitt in Los Angeles, and when asked by Parade magazine: "Are you kind of glad that you were never a Brad Pitt-like movie star? You get to act in a variety of roles," he replied: "I don’t celebrate the fact that I’m not Clark Gable. I do celebrate that I am who I am.”

While he admires Hollywood's leading men, past and present, he sees himself more as a character actor like his idols Peter Lorre, Edward G. Robinson and W.C. Fields.

He added: “I’m a big fan of Brad and Humphrey Bogart and (Jack) Nicholson and Leonardo. The painter, not the actor. Only kidding! You know, we all have a place. I did imagine my place would be closer to Peter Lorre or Edward G. Robinson or even W.C. Fields."

Danny got to know Brad when he lived next door to the star and his ex-wife Jennifer Aniston and he recalled how "protective" Brad was of Jennifer.

He said: "Jennifer and Brad lived next door to me and we became close friends. They had a very private, beautiful home and they were great. And they had a giant hedge and a gate. Brad, God bless him, was very protective of his family. I would be going to work or coming out of the driveway, and I would see one of the tour buses. People would be standing in front of this hedge getting their picture taken. All you could see was the hedge! But it’s Brad and Jennifer’s hedge, and that is something meaningful. Maybe they took a leaf and put it into a book as a souvenir."

The friendship also led to Danny landing a role in Jennifer's sitcom 'Friends', as an unlikely stripper.

He said: "I had known [co-creator] Marta Kauffman for years. Our kids went to school together. Out of the blue, I guess they all thought it would be funny if Danny were the officer at a bachelorette party and did a little strip. I was fortunate enough to work with the girls in that cast."