Danny Trejo

A veteran of over 250 film and television appearances, Danny Trejo’s formative years were spent in prison, with crimes included committing an armed robbery by the age of 14. He was sent to both juvenile detention and prison in the 1960s, including at California’s notorious San Quentin. While incarcerated there, Trejo became a champion boxer in the prison’s lightweight and middleweight boxing competitions. Trejo’s first appearance on screen was as an extra in the 1985 film Runaway Train, where he portrayed an inmate. One of the films writer’s, Edward Bunker, was also a former San Quentin prisoner, and recognised Trejo as the prison’s boxing champion. He subsequently hired Trejo to train the film’s star, Eric Roberts, for a boxing scene. After Roberts was nominated for an Academy Award for his role, Trejo became in hot demand in Hollywood. Trejo’s credits include playing an escaped prisoner in the film Con-Air, and a San Quentin inmate in Animal Factory. Trejo acknowledges he has been typecast in film as a Mexican criminal, though states ‘that’s okay, because I was one.’

Newcastle Libraries · Danny Trejo

Next image