Harry Wormwood
Background information
Feature films Matilda
Television programs
Video games
Park attractions
Portrayed by Danny DeVito
Portrayed by
Performance model
Designer Dick Hansen
Honors and awards
Character information
Full name Harry Wormwood
Other names Harry,
Wormwood, (referred by the Trunchbull)
Personality sneaky, arrogant, strict, vile, careless, catty, selfish, abusive, hateful, uncaring, angry, grumpy, aggressive, rude, spoiled
Appearance Slightly obese, fair skin, dark-brown hair, thin black mustache, black bowler hat (later white), business suit,
Occupation Crooked car salesmen and owner of Wormwood Motors (formerly)
Alignment Bad
Affiliations Wormwood Motors
Nationality American
Birthday 1940s
Goal To sell many cars that are faulty in order to get rich.
Home Wormwoods' House
Relatives Zinnia Wormwood (wife)
Michael Wormwood (son)
Matilda Wormwood (ex-daughter)
Allies Agatha Trunchbull (after making a deal) Michael Wormwood, Zinnia Wormwood,
Minions Michael Wormwood, Zinnia Wormwood,
Enemies Agatha Trunchbull (after she angrily threatens to sue him for her faulty car),
Likes Selling faulty cars, making money, Zinnia,
Dislikes Being accused as a crook, Trunchbull yelling at him about her car, FBI in his house,
Powers and abilities Connery
Fate Gets prosecuted by the FBI causing him to go out of business and ending up fleeing to Guam with his family, But he lets Miss honey to adopt Matilda and then drives away.
Quote "I'm smart you're dumb, I'm big you're little, I'm right you're wrong! And there's nothing you can do about it!"

Mr. Harry Wormwood, also known as Mr. Wormwood, is Michael's father and the secondary antagonist in the book and movie, Matilda.

He was portrayed by Danny DeVito, who also directed the film and narrated


Harry Wormwood is a catty and arrogant car seller who doesn't care for Matilda a lot, and even gets ticked off when she is smarter than him. He does have a brighter side with his wife Zinnia and his son Michael who he has a good relationship, but Harry has minor arrogance but not too much. He and wife Zinnia can get in a tension argument at times, when the FBI are visiting his house, mistaking them a speedboat salesmen. He likes ripping off many customers, by raising the price cost, doing a unlawful job of fixing the engine, and even decreasing the speedometers. Harry does have a tend of buying stolen goods, which all of this will eventually get him into trouble with the law.

Physical Appearance

Harry Wormwood is a obese man and only 1.47 m in height. He has fair skin, dark brown hair and eyes and a thin black mustache.

Harry wears different business suits whilst going to work with his black bowler hat. Later, before escaping to Guam, he now wears a white business suit with the matching bowler hat.


He is first seen after taking the newborn baby girl, Matilda, from the hospital. He simply puts her in the trunk without even bothering to strap her up. During much of Matilda's life, Harry often neglects her, busy with his work and watching TV.

He often goes to work every day to sell used cars for unfair prices. At the age of 4, Matilda bravely asks him what she desperately wanted - a library book. Harry brushes it off, stating that there's nothing she'll get from a book than Television faster. Later, When Matilda is at 6, He finds her in her room with her library books. He thinks she's only four years old and he drags her to his bedroom, throwing her library book aside. When Harry questions Zinnia of how old she is, she replies four year old. Harry and Zinnia simply mock and laugh at Matilda's request of going to school, upsetting the young girl.

When Harry comes home the next day, He tells his family of how he sells cars at the higher prices, When he asks for the total cost, Matilda figures out the calculations and the total cost, all in her head. When Harry finds the correct answer on his receipt, He accuses her as a cheat and a smart aleck, and sends her to her room. At morning when Harry and Zinnia are asleep, Matilda sneaks into their bedroom in the morning at mixes Zinnia's hair dye with Harry's Oil of Violets hair tonic. Harry wakes up, but did not see or hear Matilda, because he is groggy. When Harry is fully awake, he tells his son that he is going to take him and Matilda to his workshop, whilst oiling his hair, not knowing he is turning his hair into a unhealthy blonde. When the rest of the family is surprised at his new hair, Harry is confused at first, but when he looks in his mirror, he shrieks in shock before fainting.

Later, Harry takes his family to his retailer and workshop Wormwood Motors, unaware that the FBI are onto his dirty dealings like buying stolen car parts. Harry explains to his family that he repairs cars by super-gluing bumpers on rather than wielding them, pouring sawdust in the engine gears to make it run for a couple of miles, and reverses the speedometers with a bi-directional drill which Michael is amazed by this. Matilda, who is disgusted at this, accuses Harry openly of being an dishonest salesmen, this causes Harry to belittle her in annoyance, stating that he is smart and right. Later, Zinnia pulled up in her car after she won double bingo and a trip to Café le riz, Harry and his family drive to the restaurant. Later, Harry is unable to take his hat off his head (unaware that Matilda had put super-glue in it as retaliation for his dispute toward Matilda), Zinnia tries to take it off but ends up ripping off the rim whole by accident, causing chaos and accidents at the restaurant. At night, whilst Harry is fussing over who glued it on, Zinnia eventually cuts it off, leaving parts still glued to head, much to Harry's anger and embarrassment. Harry then makes a speech saying that the family does everything he says it, when exactly when he says it, before enjoying Million Dollar Sticky on TV. Harry notices Matilda reading a library book and rudely questions her, before asking what is "this trash" she's reading, Matilda replies that the book called "Moby Dick" by Herman Melville. After hearing the title, Harry mistakes it as a dirty book and rips out the pages in chaotic fury. When he forces her to watch TV (which Harry stole rather than purchasing one), Matilda grows angry and the TV suddenly explodes.

The next day, Harry is visited by Agatha Trunchbull at Wormwood Motors to buy a car, Harry then hears Trunchbull's life story of her school and makes a deal with her. Harry eventually enrolls Matilda to Crunchem Hall. Later that night, Harry has a visit from Matilda's teacher, Miss Honey and requests that her parents to pay more attention to her, but they refuse to listen after hearing life stories of Harry never enrolled in college. The next night, Harry complains to Matilda (who is kept late by the Trunchbull due to Bruce eating a chocolate cake) about the packages left out and accusing her of lying after she explains to him of the FBI spying outside their house. The next day, Harry is then phoned by the Trunchbull after her car breaks down and she angrily threatens to sue him, burn down his showdown and kill him. Harry later arrives home, only to find the FBI agents chatting with Zinnia, Harry kicks them out and argues with Zinnia, before he marches towards Matilda's door, who the girl uses her powers to close in his face (he did not know that it was just a rouse to test her power). He and Zinnia do make up eventually and watch TV together, laughing their heads off, not noticing Matilda is going out. After using her powers to pay back her brother for his bullying, by shoving a carrot down his throat, Harry tells him to "chew his food" and calls him an animal, as Matilda leaves the house.

Later, at the end of the film, Harry becomes officially wanted by the police, due to his illegal dealings after been finally exposed by the FBI, Harry and his wife, Zinnia, and his son, Michael, are forced to go on a permanent vacation to Guam. After they agree to let Matilda be adopted by Miss Honey, the three drive away, never to be seen again.


  • Mr. Harry Wormwood is said to have inspired by Vernon Dursley and is similar to him too. Both are close to one child and neglect the other.
  • The Wormwoods (minus Matilda) are similar to the Dursleys. As Harry Wormwood is like Vernon, Zinnia Wormwood is like Petunia and Michael Wormwood is like Dudley.