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Dan "Danny" Trejo / Actor.
Screening of Modus Operandi
Dan "Danny" Trejo
Dan "Danny" Trejo (Spanish pronunciation: ['trexo]; born May 16, 1944) is an American actor who has appeared in numerous Hollywood films, most notably in "tough guy" roles as a villain or an anti-hero. Born Dan Trejo in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, Trejo is the son of Alice Rivera and Dan Trejo, a construction worker. He is of Mexican descent. He is a second cousin of filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, though the two were unaware that they were related until the filming of Desperado. As a youth, he roamed the streets around his home area, committing various petty crimes with his uncle, and eventually became addicted to heroin. He was arrested numerous times as an adolescent.
While on the streets, Trejo developed talent as a boxer and considered taking it up as a profession. That ambition was dashed by a lengthy prison sentence. He served 11 years for drug and robbery charges in the Holmesburg Prison. While in Holmesburg, he became the Pennsylvania 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. He also served time in Folsom State Prison. Trejo was released in 1972.
While speaking at a recovery meeting in Los Angeles, 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 in the film's prison scenes. 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. It was widely misreported that Trejo was actually serving time in the prison where filming took place. Bunker remembered Trejo's boxing skills, and offered him $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 Machete, 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 married to Debbie Shreve and has four children. On February 7, 2012 Trejo visited John H. Francis Polytechnic high school to talk to students about education.