Daniel Macchio is probably one of America’s most popular children actors, thanks largely to the successful turn that he has made as Ralph in the Disney film, A Bug’s Life. But did you know that Daniel Macchio also had a role in another one of Tim Burton’s greatest films, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?
The late nineteen seventies brought about quite a resurgence of the Disney film genre and one of these films was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. In this film, Daniel Macchio plays Willy Wonka, the Chocolate Factory owner who had all but replaced his brother, Hilda, in the head of the business.
Daniel Macchio was born on January first, 1996, and is only four years old in the movie. Though it is his birthday, he is usually referred to as just “Daniel”.
He lived for the first time on Long Island, in a home that belonged to his grandparents. It was then that he met two children from Europe, named Ralph and Maria.
Like most people who were born in the New World, Daniel had a Spanish name, but his real name is Macias.
We know this because during the birth process his parents (Phyllis Fierro and Ralph Macchio) mentioned that they were not in Spain, but in the United States, which was how the family came about the name Daniel.
It is not clear where Daniel got the name from or why the family chose that particular name for him. Two other children of the Maccilho family also have different first names, both of which are very common. That would add to the confusion about the identity of the actor who actually went by that name.
Daniel Macchio‘s birth name is also an interesting part of his personal history. His middle name, Richard, was given by his uncle, Mario, who raised him.
According to some accounts, he may have been in the army during World War II, serving as a radio telecommunication specialist. His real name, according to some accounts, was Robert Daniel Macchio, which he used when he applied for a U.S. visa and eventually settled in New York City.
It was apparent, when watching the film, that Daniel had an emotional attachment to the Italian people. He said several times that he had made many friends on the New York Islanders.
He referred to them as his “terraria.” The term meant “few” in Italian and was used to describe low-life characters. Several of the characters in the film acted in movies after the war; however, none of them seemed to be someone that the Maccilho family would want to have as a neighbor.
The villa where Mac Clarke was filmed is open to the public, although the view from the terrace is blocked. You can see parts of the sets used in the series eight movies, such as the kitchen and the staircase.
Some of the sets, including the dining room, are actual, while others are replicas. The rent is about $400 per week, which makes this an affordable choice for tourists to visit the Long Island town for a few days.