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|Daniel "Danny" Ocean|
|Ocean's Series character|
|First appearance||Ocean's 11|
|Last appearance||Ocean's Thirteen|
|Created by||George Clayton Johnson
Jack Golden Russell
|Portrayed by||Frank Sinatra (1960)
George Clooney (2001-2007)
|Spouse(s)||Beatrice Ocean (1960)
Tess Ocean (2001-2007)
Daniel "Danny" Ocean is a fictional character in the original Ocean's 11, its 2001 remake, and the two films that followed the remake (Ocean's Twelve in 2004 and Ocean's Thirteen in 2007). The character was portrayed by Frank Sinatra in the original film, and by George Clooney in the remake trilogy. Danny is the only character that appears in all four Ocean's films as he is the protagonist of the series.
Appearance in 1960 film
In the 1960 film, Danny Ocean is a former sergeant in the United States Army, having served during World War II with the 82nd Airborne Division. Danny brings a group of his fellow former soldiers together in a plot to rob five Las Vegas casinos on New Year's Eve.
Appearances in Ocean's trilogy
Before Ocean's Eleven
Before the series begins, it is established Danny was married to Tess Ocean for at least three years. He has fond memories of Reuben Tishkoff and has known Rusty Ryan for many years, having established a good friendship with him and many other people. Rusty mentions that Danny had stolen Incan matrimonial headmasks before his capture. He was paroled after serving 4 years of a 5-year sentence for felony fraud conviction. The parole selection staff says he has been implicated in more than a dozen separate counts of conspiracy to commit fraud, but has never been charged in those crimes.
At the start of Ocean's Eleven, Danny gets paroled from prison and after less than a day, he breaks his parole by going to another state to find Rusty. After meeting up with his friend, he reveals his plan to rob the vault of Terry Benedict's casino. When asked why he wants to do this, Danny just says that the house always wins in Vegas, but when you get the best hand you can get like he has now, you go all in and take the house. They recruit eight other members for the robbery, and taking a hint from Rusty's silence, Danny elects to get one more, Linus Caldwell. The Eleven begin preparations and Rusty finds out the real reason for Danny wanting to rob Benedict. Benedict, who owns the casinos, is now with Danny's ex-wife, Tess. Despite arguments with Rusty, Danny says his intention is to rob the casinos and Tess will be a side effect.
Despite his attempts to get Tess back, they fail and he is "redflagged" at the hotel. Since his history with Tess and criminal record is known by Benedict, Rusty decides that Danny will have to back out of the heist, and the group goes ahead without him. Linus is given Danny's role in the caper. Danny arrives on the night of the heist and says goodbye to Tess. However, while doing so, he secretly passes her a mobile phone to keep the con going.
He allows himself to be taken to an empty room where a man arrives to beat him up. However, after the door is closed, it becomes apparent the man is on his side. He uses the opportunity to enter the air-ducts and meet up with Linus where he says this was just a test for Linus and it was all an act.
After infiltrating the vault and after several series of bluffs and cons, the group succeeds in stealing $160 million. He also tricks Benedict into revealing in front of Tess that he'd rather have the money than her. He is sent back to jail for three to six months for violating his parole. When he comes out, Tess and Rusty are waiting for him, and they drive off into the sunset, closely followed by two of Benedict's lackeys.
Some three years after Ocean's Eleven, Danny is celebrating his third anniversary for the second time with Tess. He is buying her flowers and jewelry after checking a bank for a possible robbery. Meanwhile, Tess, who is at their new home, receives an unexpected guest to their house, Mr. Benedict. He tells Tess that they must return his money. He does the same with the other ten, giving them two weeks to pay back the money or they will be executed by Benedict. It's revealed that after hearing another man brag that Ocean's previous job was the best, Francois "The Night Fox" Toulour is angered by the possibility of a better thief than him and reveals the location of the Eleven to Benedict.
Danny is short on funds as are the rest, except Reuben and Livingston, as most of the millions have been deeply invested. They go to Europe to get the money. However, Toulour interferes with their plans and reveals his own. Toulour offers to pay the debt of the Eleven if they can prove themselves better thieves. Through consultation with Toulour's mentor, LeMarque, the group comes out ahead with the object of the theft, a golden egg originally stolen by LeMarque but put back after his wife made him return it. Toulour explains to Danny how he stole what he believed to be the egg. When Danny reveals in reality it was a replica, Toulour concedes and pays off the debt.
Sometime after Ocean's Twelve, Reuben, against Danny and Rusty's warnings, partners with ruthless Las Vegas businessman Willy Bank. The two intend to build a new, multibillion-dollar hotel/casino. However, Bank strong-arms Reuben into signing his share of the deal over to Bank, leaving Reuben with a single poker chip worth $10,000. The shock of the swindle gives Reuben a heart attack. Danny calls in the rest of the Eleven to get revenge. However, he leaves Tess behind, saying "it's not her fight." Despite the group wanting to kill Bank, and Danny being saddened by Reuben's heart attack, Danny and Rusty persuade the team that Danny should first talk to Bank, asking him to give Reuben back his share. When Bank refuses, the group prepares to rob him.
With the help of Roman Nagel (the engineer who created the holographic egg in Ocean's Twelve) and a seemingly placated Benedict, the group manages to plant a magnetron on Bank, so that when he enters the security sector of his casino, it locks down from the magnetron's interference. With the security shut down for three and a half minutes, the group uses the pre-rigged games to break the house, causing Bank over $500,000,000 in losses. As the security comes back online, the group simulates an earthquake and gets the entire casino to evacuate before the patrons can start losing again.
Danny then faces off against Bank. After Bank threatens Danny with all the friends he knows who'll hurt him, Danny is calm and confident, claiming every guy Bank knows likes Danny better. At that point, to add insult to injury, Basher and Linus airlift Bank's collection of prized diamond necklaces, worth an additional $250,000,000.
Afterward, Danny and the group, including the recovered Reuben, celebrate their victory. As they leave, in the airport, Rusty tells him to lose weight and Danny tells him to settle down and have a couple of kids.
A running joke in the movie is that there is a code between people who "shook Sinatra's hand." Frank Sinatra played the character of Danny Ocean in the 1960s version of the film.
Danny Ocean has a calm, down-to-earth, and charming personality. He is intelligent, creative, affable, and highly organized. He is also a very experienced gambler, con artist, and thief. A true career criminal, Danny is often on the lookout for potential targets, even unintentionally. He is experienced in various confidence schemes, fraudulent business scams and swindles.
Danny is effectively both the leader and project manager of the Eleven, knowing the skills of his teammates and who to rotate inside a job to handle contingencies. He also knows who to recruit from the outside for specific parts in a heist. His ability to rapidly acquire talent throughout the series reveal how extremely well connected he is with the most skilled characters in the professional criminal world. Despite being a thief, Danny adheres to the codes and unwritten understandings of criminal professionals, giving him a universal reputation of reliability, competency and nobility. He lives by three rules: 1. Don't hurt anybody, 2. Don't steal from anyone who doesn't deserve it, 3. Play the game like you have nothing to lose.
Danny's appearance is dapper and fashionable, but more sedate than his associates. Danny is a skilled communicator. He knows how to persuade using reverse psychology or offering recruits exactly what they want directly using as few words as possible.
Danny's closest friends in the original film are Jimmy Foster (Peter Lawford) and Sam Harmon (Dean Martin). In the remake trilogy, his closest friend is Rusty Ryan (Brad Pitt), and the two complement each other. The two know each other well enough that they will take non-verbal cues from one another, not even needing to finish their own sentences. Danny and Rusty often confide in each other about personal issues.
One of Danny's oldest friends is a master thief named Bobby Caldwell, and early in the first film he discovers that his last recruit, Linus, a master snatch & grab artist, is Bobby's son. During the Benedict job, Danny and Rusty become mentors to Linus. Bobby didn't want his son 'trading on his name'; instead, Danny quipped to Linus that his father will be "...trading on yours" should they pull off the sophisticated heist. In 13, Bobby becomes an FBI investigator, and is also involved in the robbing of 'The Bank'.
- Danny Ocean appears in the Robot Chicken episode "1987" voiced by Miguel Ferrer (who is a cousin of George Clooney). In a board game movie segment that parodies Ocean's Eleven with Slip 'n Slide, a scene shows Danny Ocean and his comrades robbing a Las Vegas casino vault and escaping on the Slip 'n Slide. Victor Yerrid voices Danny Ocean in the episode "President Evil." In his latest caper upon a Las Vegas casino, he brings not 11, not 12, and not 13 but 38 characters to take part in it. To start a fight at the bar, Danny Ocean assigns the job to Team One consisting of Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Carl Reiner, Elliott Gould, Scott Caan, Shaobo Qin, Eddie Jemison, Andy García, Leonardo DiCaprio, Bruce Willis, Vin Diesel, William Shatner, Topher Grace, Christopher Walken, Justin Timberlake, Antonio Banderas, Samuel L. Jackson, Kurtwood Smith, Bruce Campbell, Jackie Chan, and "Weird Al" Yankovic. To slip in the back of the casino, Danny assigns the job to Team Two consisting of Sylvester Stallone, Erik Estrada, David Letterman, Vince Vaughn, Leonard Nimoy, Vladimir Putin, Frankenstein's Monster, Danny's niece Susie, Koko the Gorilla, Panda with a Monocle, Peter Pan, John Denver's Corpse, a Mime, Sherlax the Devourer of Worlds, and Ryan Seacrest. They then struggle to get into the casino.
- In the South Park episode "About Last Night," the 2008 presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama are criminal masterminds based on Danny Ocean, who planned their individual campaigns for the purpose of one of them becoming president elect to access a tunnel in the Oval Office to steal the Hope Diamond.
- In episode 50 of Mad, Harry Potter takes on a Danny Ocean-like role when he learns that his franchise is finished, meaning that there will be no more fictional wizards in pop culture for the first time in ten years. Fortunately, Harry Potter knows that Professor Albus Dumbledore has a special wand that can grant immortality in a vault at the Exmagicor Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. So he gathers a team composed of himself and ten other fictional wizards consisting of Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Lucky the Leprechaun, Alex Russo from Wizards of Waverly Place, Criss Angel, David Blaine, Zatanna, Balthazar Blake from The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Sabrina Spellman, Gandalf, and Tom LaPille: Second Best Player of Magic: The Gathering (Harry Potter needed an 11th member and Tom was the only one he could afford) to secretly infiltrate the casino and steal the wand.