Danny Trejo Net Worth, Family, Career & More

Danny Trejo, an iconic American actor known for his tough-guy roles, has a net worth of $500 thousand as of 2024. Born on May 16, 1944, in Echo Park, Los Angeles, Danny Trejo is 80 years old. Despite a prolific career in film and television, Trejo’s financial journey has been tumultuous, leading him to file for bankruptcy in 2023. Let’s delve into the life, career, and ventures of this intriguing personality.

How Did Danny Trejo Start His Career?

Danny Trejo’s journey into the world of acting began unexpectedly. In 1985, while attending a Cocaine Anonymous meeting, he met a young man who later called him for support on the set of “Runaway Train.” His tough appearance caught the attention of the crew, and he was offered a role as a convict extra. His boxing skills, recognized by Edward Bunker, the film’s screenwriter, landed him a role training Eric Roberts for a boxing scene. This opportunity marked the beginning of Trejo’s prolific acting career.

What Are Some of Danny Trejo’s Notable Films and TV Shows?

Trejo’s distinctive appearance, characterized by facial scars, long hair, and tattoos, has made him a memorable figure in Hollywood. He has appeared in numerous films, including “Desperado,” “Heat,” “From Dusk Till Dawn,” “Con Air,” “Reindeer Games,” and “Grindhouse.” His role in “Machete” further solidified his status as a cult icon.

On television, Trejo has made appearances in over seventy shows since 1990. Some of his notable TV credits include “Baywatch,” “NYPD Blue,” “The X-Files,” “King of the Hill,” “Monk,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Breaking Bad,” “Modern Family,” “Sons of Anarchy,” “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “Rick and Morty,” “American Dad!,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “Blue Bloods,” “Dynasty,” and “The Book of Boba Fett.”

What Other Ventures Has Danny Trejo Pursued?

Apart from his acting career, Danny Trejo has ventured into various business enterprises. He is the owner of a record label, a chain of coffee and donut shops, and a successful restaurant chain, Trejo’s Tacos, with five locations around Los Angeles. His entrepreneurial spirit extends beyond the screen, showcasing his versatility and business acumen.

Why Did Danny Trejo File for Bankruptcy?

In February 2023, Danny Trejo filed for Chapter 11 personal bankruptcy, primarily due to a $2 million debt to the IRS. Trejo explained that the debt stemmed from mistaken deductions. He agreed to a payment plan involving four annual payments of $200,000 until early 2028. However, strikes by writers and actors disrupted his plans, forcing him to consider selling one of his houses to meet his financial obligations.

How Did Danny Trejo Overcome His Early Life Challenges?

Danny Trejo’s early life was marked by significant challenges. Born to Alice Rivera and Dionisio “Dan” Trejo, his family fled to San Antonio, Texas, when his father was accused of stabbing a man. They returned to Los Angeles after a year, where his father surrendered to the police. Trejo’s teenage years were turbulent, involving frequent run-ins with the law and substance abuse.

Trejo’s time in prison, particularly at San Quentin, became a turning point. He took up boxing, becoming a champion in the lightweight and welterweight divisions. More importantly, he joined a 12-step program that helped him overcome his drug addiction. This transformation laid the foundation for his future success in Hollywood.

What Is Danny Trejo’s Personal Life Like?

Danny Trejo has been married and divorced four times. His longest marriage was to Debbie Shreve, with whom he shares three children. Despite his tough on-screen persona, Trejo’s personal life reveals a more complex and compassionate individual. He is the second cousin of filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, a relationship discovered during the filming of “Desperado.”

What Properties Does Danny Trejo Own?

Danny Trejo owns several properties in the Los Angeles area. In June 1999, he purchased a home in Pico Rivera for $130,000, currently occupied by a relative. His primary residence since 2012 is a house in Mission Hills, California, bought for $550,000 and now valued at $1.2 million. Additionally, he inherited a property in Pacoima from his mother, valued at $750,000, which he might have to sell to meet his IRS payments.

What Is Danny Trejo’s Impact on Popular Culture?

Danny Trejo’s impact on popular culture extends beyond his film and TV roles. He has appeared in music videos for artists like Mobb Deep, Jay Chou, Enrique Iglesias, Train, and Slayer. His voice work in video games like “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City,” “Fallout: New Vegas,” and “Call of Duty: Black Ops” adds another dimension to his versatile career.


Danny Trejo’s life story is one of resilience, transformation, and relentless pursuit of success. From his early struggles with crime and addiction to his rise as a beloved actor and entrepreneur, Trejo’s journey is a testament to the power of redemption and hard work. Despite financial setbacks, his legacy in Hollywood and beyond remains indelible.


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