Born Dan Trejo, Jr. in Livermore, California, as the son of Alice Rivera and Dan Trejo, a construction worker. He is of Mexican descent. He is a cousin of filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, though the two were unaware that they were related until the filming of Desperado. Trejo was raised in the Pacoima neighborhood of the San Fernando Valley. As a youth, he roamed the streets around his home area, committing various petty crimes with his uncle and becoming addicted to heroin. He was arrested numerous times as an adolescent.
While on the streets, Trejo developed talent as a boxer and considered taking up boxing as a profession. That ambition was dashed by a lengthy prison sentence. While serving time in San Quentin State Prison, he became the California state prison champion in both the lightweight and welterweight divisions. During this time, Trejo became a member of a twelve-step program, which he credits with his success in overcoming drug addiction.
While speaking at a recovery meeting in 1985, Trejo met a young man in the movie business. His newfound friend invited him to the set of Runaway Train, where Trejo was offered a job as an extra. Edward Bunker, himself a former convict and well-respected crime author who was writing the screenplay for the film, recognized Trejo, with whom he had done time at San Quentin. Remembering Trejo's boxing skills, he offered Trejo $320 per day to train Eric Roberts, one of the movie's stars, for a boxing scene. Director Andrei Konchalovsky liked Trejo's work and decided to offer him a prominent role in the film.
Since then, Trejo has become a prolific actor in both films and television, acting alongside some of Hollywood's most famous actors, including Jean-Claude Van Damme, Johnny Depp, Al Pacino, Nicolas Cage, Charles Bronson, George Clooney, John Malkovich, Robert De Niro, Harrison Ford, Val Kilmer, and Antonio Banderas. Trejo has often appeared in five or more movies per year in various genres. Major releases in which he has acted include Blood in Blood Out, Animal Factory, Bubble Boy, Anaconda, Marked for Death, xXx, Desperado, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Heat, From Dusk till Dawn, Con Air, Six Days Seven Nights, Spy Kids, The Replacement Killers, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Predators, Urban Justice, The Devil's Rejects, Valley of Angels, Delta Farce, Grindhouse, Rob Zombie's Halloween and Snoop Dogg's Hood of Horror.
Trejo is known for his very distinctive appearance. In addition to his heavily lined face (usually sporting a long mustache), he has displayed the large tattoo on his chest for many roles (the tattoo depicts a woman wearing a sombrero). He often plays thugs or lowlife characters, although he has also played protagonists in films such as Robert Rodriguez's Spy Kids trilogy, Bubble Boy and a guest appearance on the USA Network series Monk with art imitating life as a convict roommate to Tony Shalhoub's undercover detective. He also appeared in an episode of Desperate Housewives in Season 2, sent by Carlos to help Gabrielle deal with her grief of losing her unborn baby (another good-guy character). He voices the character Enrique, and Octavio's character is based on his appearance on King of the Hill. His role on King of the Hill was referenced in the HBO series Unscripted in which he appears in a quick cameo. He also is featured in an episode of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! and an episode of Do IT LIVE alongside actors Anna Bennett and Claudia Pickering, shot in Downtown Los Angeles, by the name of Sebring feat. Danny Trejo. Trejo also had a guest role in the award-winning series Breaking Bad in 2009 and 2010.
The award winning independent film CHAMPION. was released in 2007, documenting Trejo's life. The film features Dennis Hopper, Val Kilmer, Steve Buscemi and Robert Rodriguez. Trejo appears as a playable character in Def Jam: Fight for NY, a fighting game to which the actor lent his voice and likeness. He had previously lent his voice to Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories for the character Umberto Robina, who also resembles Trejo. Trejo voiced the character of Rico in Rob Zombie's animated film The Haunted World of El Superbeasto as well as starring alongside Steven Seagal in Urban Justice. He is now portraying the Mexican bartender in the daytime soap opera The Young and the Restless. He will voice Raul the Ghoul in the upcoming Fallout: New Vegas.
Regarding his continued growth as a professional actor, Trejo has stated that he still can't believe how fortunate he's been. "I'm so blessed. I'm still scared that somebody's going to wake me up and say, 'Hey, we're still in prison. Let's go to chow'".
Many of Trejo's characters in Robert Rodriguez movies have been named after knives or sharp instruments: Machete in Spy Kids, Razor Eddie in the From Dusk till Dawn series, Navajas (Spanish for blades) in Desperado, and Cuchillo (Spanish for knife) in Predators. He also plays another character called Machete in a trailer made for Rodriguez's film collaboration with Quentin Tarantino, Grindhouse, though this Machete is not related to the Spy Kids character. In 2010, he starred in a full theatrical version of Machete, based on the character.
He has also made cameo appearances in music videos such as, in rapper Tech N9ne's video for the single, "Like Yeah," from his 2008 release Killer, Rehab's 2007 song "Bartender", Jay Chou's short movie-music video "Double Blade" from his 2003 album Ye Hui Mei, and the Jonas Brothers' "Burnin' Up" from their album A Little Bit Longer and in Sepultura video "Attitude" in 1996.
Trejo is married to Debbie Shreve. He has four children: Danny Boy (b. 1981), Gilbert (b. 1988), Danielle (b. 1990) and Jose (b. 1991), who are all from previous relationships.
Trejo has said that he is amazed when he walks the streets where he used to commit crimes and children ask him for autographs. He also pointed out that he often chooses to play bad guys to teach younger audiences that bad guys often die or go to prison, and that one should try to live a decent life.
Trejo often speaks in front of youth groups and at colleges and encourages young people to avoid making the mistakes he did while growing up.
|1987||Penitentiary III||See Veer|
|Death Wish 4: The Crackdown||Art Sanella|
|1989||Kinjite: Forbidden Subjects||Prison Inmate|
|Lock Up||Chink's Gang Member|
|Bail Out||Mean||a.k.a. W.B., Blue and the Bean|
|1990||Drug Wars: The Camarena Story||Gabriel||TV mini-series|
|Maniac Cop 2||Prisoner|
|Marked for Death||Hector|
|1991||The Last Hour||Spider|
|Mi Vida Loca|
|Wedlock||Tough Prisoner #1|
|Lonely Hearts||Angry Client|
|Baywatch||Carlos Urueta||TV; episode Point of Attack|
|1992||Reasonable Doubts||Cholo #2||TV; episode The Shadow of Death|
|Nails||Las Virgenes bartender||TV film|
|Baywatch||Chulo||TV; episode Masquerade|
|1993||Sunset Grill||Young Mexican|
|Blood in Blood Out||Geronimo||a.k.a. Bound by Honor|
|Mi Vida Loca||Frank|
|Last Light||2nd Inmate||TV film|
|Love, Cheat & Steal||Cuban|
|1994||Criminal Passion||Construction Worker|
|Against The Wall||Luis||TV film|
|1995||Dead Badge||El Tango Bartender|
|Fallen Angels||Boxer||TV; episode Love and Blood|
|1996||From Dusk till Dawn||Razor Charlie|
|Renegade||Freddie||TV; episode Hog Calls|
|NYPD Blue||Gabriel Mota||TV; episode Hollie and the Blowfish|
|1997||Los Locos||Manuel Batista|
|Con Air||Johnny 23|
|1998||Tracey Takes On...||Hispanic Man||TV; two episodes|
|Brooklyn South||Louis||TV; episode Skel in a Cell|
|Walker, Texas Ranger||Joe Lopez||TV; episode Circle of Life|
|The Replacement Killers||Collins|
|Six Days Seven Nights||Pierce|
|NYPD Blue||Frankie Soto||TV; episode Numb & Number|
|1999||From Dusk till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money||Razor Eddie|
|Inferno||Johnny Six Toes||a.k.a. Desert Heat|
|Walker, Texas Ranger||José Rodriguez||TV; episode Rise to the Occasion|
|2000||From Dusk till Dawn 3: The Hangman's Daughter||Razor Charlie|
|The X-Files||Spider-Man/Cesar Ocampo||TV; episode Redrum|
|2002||13 Moons||Hoodlum #2|
|The Salton Sea||Little Bill|
|Do It for Uncle Manny||Pedro|
|The District||Danny||TV; episode Convictions|
|Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams||Machete Cortez|
|Grand Theft Auto: Vice City||Umberto Robina (voice only)||video game|
|The Hire: Beat the Devil||Bob||short film|
|Nightstalker||Officer Frank Luis|
|2003||Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over||Machete|
|Once Upon a Time in Mexico||Cucuy|
|Alias||Emilio Vargas||TV; episode Countdown|
|The Brothers García||Eduardo 'Ed' Garcia||TV; episode It Was Fun While It Lasted|
|Double Blade||El Patron||short film|
|King of the Hill||Enrique (voice only)||TV; 17 episodes; 2003–2010|
|2004||Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy||Bartender|
|Def Jam: Fight for NY||Trejo (voice only)||video game|
|Lost||Edward James Archer|
|Grounded for Life||Raul||TV; episode (She's Got) Kegs|
|Monk||Spyder Rudner||TV; episode Mr. Monk Goes to Jail|
|Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie||Bartender|
|2005||All Souls Day||Vargas Diaz||a.k.a. All Souls Day: Dia de los Muertos|
|The Curse of El Charro||El Charro (voice only)|
|George Lopez||Bobby||TV; episode George's Extreme Makeover: Holmes Edition|
|Chasing Ghosts||Carlos Santiago|
|High Hopes||Shady||formerly Nice Guys|
|The Devil's Rejects||Rondo|
|The Crow: Wicked Prayer||Harold||A catholic-indian priest, chief of a Puerto-Rican gang. Usually dances naked.|
|Dreaming on Christmas||Train Driver|
|Desperate Housewives||Hector Ramos||TV; episode The Sun Won't Set|
|TV: The Movie||Crow|
|Living the Dream||Chuck|
|Danny Roane: First Time Director||Hector|
|Heist||Ernesto||TV; episode How Billy Got His Groove Back|
|Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories||Umberto Robina (voice only)||video game|
|Hood of Horror||Derelict||a.k.a. Snoop Dogg's Hood of Horror|
|Haunted Prison||Priest||TV film; a.k.a. Death Row|
|Delta Farce||Carlos Santana|
|The Knights of Prosperity||Hector||TV; episode Operation: Open the Safe|
|Battle for Terra||Elder Barum (voice only)|
|The Blue Rose||Junk|
|Urban Justice||El Chivo|
|Stargate: Atlantis||Omal||TV; episode Missing|
|On Bloody Sunday||The Ref|
|Blood Ties||Pacha Kamaq||TV; episode Wrapped|
|2008||Valley of Angels||Hector|
|Through the Valley||Don Reyes|
|The Art of Travel||Limo Driver|
|Alone in the Dark II||Perry|
|The Young and the Restless||Bartender||TV; 15 episodes|
|2009||The Grind||Nicholi Guzman|
|The Spectacular Spider-Man||Ox (voice only)||TV; episode Probable Cause|
|The Haunted World of El Superbeasto||Rico (voice only)|
|Modus Operandi||Director Holiday|
|The Boys of Ghost Town||Father|
|Breaking Bad||Tortuga||TV; episode Negro Y Azul|
|2010||The Killing Jar||Jimmy|
|Shoot the Hero||Crazy Joe|
|Burn Notice||Vega||TV; episode Friendly Fire|
|Breaking Bad||Tortuga||TV; episode I.F.T.|
|Shadows in Paradise||Matador|
|Boston Girls||Uncle Reggie|
|Pastor Shepherd||Phil Harrison|
|Saint John of Las Vegas||Bismarck|
|The Bill Collector||Uncle Frankie|
|Lean Like a Cholo||The O.G.|
|Fallout: New Vegas (video game)||Raul|
|Food Stamps||Mr. Fernandez|
|Sebring feat. Danny Trejo||Danny Trejo||Do IT LIVE webisode, season 1|
|The Devil Inside||Mondo|
|Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!||Suspect||TV; episode Comedy|
|North by El Norte||Uncle John||forthcoming film|
|Machete||Machete Cortez||first leading role|
|2011||Death Race: Frankenstein Lives||Goldberg||forthcoming film|
|A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas||forthcoming film|
|2012||Vengeance II||forthcoming film|
Plastilina Mosh, a Mexican alternative rock band, paid tribute to Trejo with their song "Danny Trejo", featured in their album All U Need Is Mosh. Trejo is also featured in the 2004 hip-hop fighting game Def Jam: Fight for NY as a soldier to Crow's side. Crow is voiced by and his looks are captured by Snoop Dogg.
In addition to his acting career, Trejo is also the founder of ITN Clothing, which offers hip-hop style T-shirts and accessories.
- ↑ His birthname is simply "Dan", according to the State of California. California Birth Index, 1905-1995. Center for Health Statistics, California Department of Health Services, Sacramento, California. Searchable at http://www.familytreelegends.com/records/39461
- ↑ Beale, Lewis (2007-05-09). "He ain't that bad". Daily News (New York).
- ↑ Danny Trejo Biography (1944-)
- ↑ Danny Trejo Biography - Yahoo! Movies
- ↑ Danny Trejo Talks 'Predators,' 'Machete' and The Jonas Brothers
- ↑ Strauss, Bob (2003-09-11). "ROBERT RODRIGUEZ WEARS A HOST OF HATS, STAYS AWAY FROM TINSELTOWN AND EMBRACES DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY WITH GRITTY END TO `MARIACHI' TRILOGY". Daily News (Los Angeles, CA). Retrieved 2010-08-30.
- ↑ Danny Trejo: The illustrated man
- ↑ Meet Danny Trejo as the Badass Cuchillo in New 'Predators' Character Profile
|40x40px||Wikimedia Commons has media related to [[commons: Category:Danny Trejo
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- Danny Trejo: The illustrated man
- Official site for Champion a documentary about Trejo
- Audio interview (2010) from 'Rafferty/Mills Connection' podcast
- Random Roles: Danny Trejo