Danny Trejo is a well-known American film and television actor who has a net worth of $8 million. He has earned his net worth through appearing in numerous roles that are often hyper-masculine, villainous, and anti-heroes.
Dan Trejo was born in Echo Park, Los Angeles, on May 16, 1944, to Alice Rivera and Dionisio “Dan” Trejo. When he was thirteen year old, the family moved to the Pacoima neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Throughout the 1960s, Trejo was in and out of jail and prison in California. While serving out a sentence in San Quentin, Trejo took up boxing, and became a champion boxer in the prison’s lightweight and welterweight divisions. It was also during this time that he joined a 12-step program that helped him overcome his drug addiction. After his final release from incarceration, he enrolled as a student at Pitzer College in Claremore, California, but left after only one semester.
At a Cocaine Anonymous meeting in 1985, Trejo met a young man who later called him for support. Trejo ended up meeting him at what was the set of “Runaway Train” (1985), and he was offered a role as a convict extra, likely because of his tough appearance.
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While on set, Trejo was recognized by Edward Bunker, a well-respected crime author who was also the screenplay writer for “Runaway Train”. Bunker had also previously served time in San Quentin, which is how he recognized Trejo, and remembered Trejo’s boxing skills. Bunker offered Trejo $320 per day to train one of the movie’s stars, Eric Roberts, for a boxing scene they had to film. The film’s director, Andrei Konchalovsky, was impressed by Trejo’s work, and offered him a small role as a boxer.
Trejo is known for his distinctive appearance, which includes facial scars, long hair, a mustache, and lots of tattoos. Since “Runaway Train”, Trejo has enjoyed a highly prolific acting career. At times, he has appeared in five or more movies per year, across a variety of genres. Some of the major releases he has appeared in include “Marked for Death” (1990), “Desperado” (1995), “From Dusk till Dawn” (1995), “The Replacement Killers” (1998), “Animal Factory” (2000), “Bubble Boy” (2001), “Spy Kids” (2001), “XXX” (2002), “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” (2004), “Grindhouse” (2007), “Urban Justice” (2007), “Modus Operandi” (2010), “Machete” (2010), “Reaper” (2014), and “Range 15” (2016). Additionally, his own life is documented in the 2005 independent biographical film “Champion”. Trejo produced his first film, “Ambition”, in 2014, followed by the film “Bad Asses” that same year.
In addition to his film career, Trejo has appearance in over seventy different television shows since 1990. Some of the most well-known of these shows include “Baywatch” (1991-1992), “NYPD Blue” (1996-1998), “The X-Files” (2000), “King of the Hill” (2003-2010), “Monk” (2004), “Desperate Housewives” (2005), “The Young and the Restless” (2008), “Breaking Bad” (2009-2010), “Modern Family” (2010), “Bones” (2011), “Sons of Anarchy” (2011-2012), “NCIS: Los Angeles” (2014), “Rick and Morty” (2017), “American Dad!” (2017-2019), “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (2017), “Blue Bloods” (2019), and “Dynasty” (2020).
Although in both film and television Trejo is often typecast as a rugged, thuggish character, he has also appeared in more sympathetic roles, for example in “Spy Kids”, “Bubble Boy”, and “Monk”. His appearance in in season 2 of “Desperate Housewives” is also a good example of him as a more sympathetic character; he helps Gabrielle deal with the grief of losing her unborn child.
Trejo also has an extensive list of music video cameo appearances. Just a few examples include the videos for the songs “Got It Twisted” (2004) by Mobb Deep, “Double Blade” (2003) by Jay Chou, “Loco” (2013) by Enrique Iglesias, “Angel in Blue Jeans” (2014) by Train, and “Repentless” (2015) by Slayer.
Trejo has lent his voice to the video games “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City” (2002), “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories” (2006), and “Fallout: New Vegas” (2010). He has also appeared himself in the “Call of Duty: Black Ops” (2010), “Taco Run!” (2018), and “Call of Duty: Black Ops 4” (2019).
Trejo is also a successful restauranteur. The first restaurant that he opened was Trejo’s Tacos in 2016, followed by Trejo’s Cantina and Trejo’s Coffee & Donuts in 2017. The restaurants are overseen by executive chef Mason Royal.
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Trejo was married to Debbie Shreve from 1997 to 2009. They share three children together. He is the second cousin of filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, a relationship the two did not discover until the filming of the movie “Desperado”.
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