Danny Trejo can now add “hero” to his resume full of villain roles. The beloved actor and activist, 75, came to the rescue when a horrific accident left a young special-needs child trapped in an overturned car in Los Angeles on August 7. The Machete star and another bystander raced to the scene after witnessing a car plow into another on the street, flipping it over and trapping the boy and his grandmother inside. Danny climbed into the wreckage and tried to unbuckle the carseat, but told local ABC 7 that he couldn’t do it at that angle. The other bystander, a young woman, managed to unbuckle the boy from the other side of the car, allowing Danny to pull him to safety. They had to wait for firefighters to arrive at the scene to free his grandmother, who was behind the wheel at the time of the accident.
The cause of the accident is under investigation, but Danny believes he witnessed the other car run a red light. He said that he tried his best to distract the little boy while firefighters were working to free his grandma. “He was panicked. I said ‘okay, we have to use our superpowers.’ So he screamed ‘superpowers’ and we started yelling ‘superpowers,” Trejo said. “I said do this, with the muscles. He said ‘muscles.’ We got kind of a bond. I kept facing him away from the accident… the only thing that saved that little kid was his car seat, honest to God.”
The boy and his grandmother were taken to the hospital with no life-threatening injuries. Their identities have not been made public at this time. “Everything good that has happened to me has happened as a direct result of helping someone else. Everything,” Danny told the news outlet. After his heroic act, it’s time to learn five things you may not have known about Danny Trejo:
- He’s a former convict who spent years in and out of prison. Danny is very open about his tumultuous criminal past. His first stint in prison came when he was just 12, after hitting another kid with a rock. He continued his crime streak by serving as a getaway driver for his uncle as a teen; he went to jail again when he was 18 for stabbing a sailor with a broken bottle. In his 20s, Danny committed five armed robberies, and was sentenced to 10 yeas in prison at San Quentin after selling an undercover cop a $30,000 baggie of heroin. Danny bounced from prison to prison while becoming a gifted boxer.
- He became interested in acting after serving time in solitary confinement. His life changed while imprisoned in Mexico. The inmates rioted on Cinco de Mayo, and Danny was sent to solitary confinement. In order to stay sane, Danny said, he acted out scenes from The Wizard of Oz and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. He credited prayer for helping him reform his life, and after his charges were miraculously dropped, he continued to pray and committed to getting sober from alcohol and heroin. He’s now been sober for 50 years! He worked as a drug counselor for 15 years after being released from prison
- He’s known for playing villains and badasses. Danny has 300 roles to his name to date, but his most popular by far is the assassin Machete in several Robert Rodriguez films. His first role came in 1985, in the Jon Voight and Eric Roberts movie The Runaway Train. While a drug counselor, one of his clients, who was working on the film, called him and confessed that he was struggling to not use cocaine. Danny went to the set and was asked to play a boxer in the prison-set film after the screenwriter found out about his skills.
Over the next three decades, Danny played a series of badass villains in action films, including Con Air and the Machete films. But he has incredible range, and landed roles in children’s films like Muppets Most Wanted, Spy Kids, and Dora and the Lost City of Gold (he voices Boots — seriously).
Not only is @officialDannyT (Danny Trejo) one of the nicest actors, he’s also a #hero!
He was right behind a crash in Sylmar and pulled a special needs baby out of an overturned car. He distracted the boy until grandma was OK. ♥️ —> https://t.co/tS2Za4bZVZ@ABC7 pic.twitter.com/U9iLzAkHkA
— Veronica Miracle (@ABC7Veronica) August 8, 2019
- He’s a dedicated activist and advocate. Danny is still a drug counselor, and speaks to at-risk youth and children with special needs. He and his ex-wife, Debbie Shreve, started an animal rights group called K9 Compassion Foundation, which aims to make a “difference in the lives of animals by educating young people about the importance of spay/neuter and by fundraising for other lifesaving programs.”
- He runs a taco shop and a donut shop in Los Angeles. If you’re in LA, stop by one of the Trejo’s Tacos restaurants, Trejo’s Coffee & Donuts, or the Trejo’s Cantinas.
Original article: https://hollywoodlife.com/feature/who-is-danny-trejo-actor/