New ‘Iron Chef’ Judge Danny Trejo Is Also A Restauranteur

Videos by Rare

Videos by Rare

Actor Danny Trejo’s face is one that once seen is never forgotten. His strong features and long dark hair, yes, this includes his mustache, make sure of that, along with an abdomen piece of a woman in a sombrero.

Trejo has made his mark in Hollywood with his unique look, to the point of being typecast in many cases. The actor was recently named a judge in the new streaming series, Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend starring Masaharu Morimoto.

He was born in Echo Park, a neighborhood in Los Angeles, California. His parents were normal people, his father, a construction worker. However, he is also a second cousin to Robert Rodriguez, the filmmaker who directed Desperado. He didn’t find that out until he was working on set. 

The rise of Danny Trejo was definitely a slow one.

Early Life:

In the 60s, Trejo spent a lot of time behind bars in and out of California prisons. He says many of that was simply due to his appearance– i.e., being Mexican, which may have been the case. He made some accomplishments at the time, though. While in San Quentin, he became a prison champion boxer in both the lightweight and welterweight divisions. Later this was something that would be a door into Hollywood for him.

He got his film start in the 80s. At the time, he worked as a youth drug counselor when one of his patients asked for help with a cocaine problem on the Runaway Train set. While he was there, he was offered an extra role in a prison boxing scene because the screenplay writer recognized him from San Quentin.

Movies and Television:

His lengthy filmography 300 films including Blood In Blood Out, Desperado,  From Dusk till Dawn, Anaconda, Con Air, Cuchillo in Predators, Animal Factory, Bubble Boy, Spy Kids, Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams,  XXX Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Muppets Most Wanted, The Devil’s Rejects, Snoop Dogg’s Hood of Horror, Dead in Tombstone,  Modus Operandi Quentin Tarintino’s grindhouse, bubble boy, Machete, A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, Dora and the lost city of gold, The Book of Life, Bad Asses. Spy Kids, starring alongside Antonio Banderas, is where the character Machete Cortez was first seen. This character was brought to life again, bigger, and his first leading role in Machete & Machete Kills.

Aside from the hundreds of movies, he’s also been in plenty of TV shows. He played a bartender in soap opera The Young and the Restless, and appeared in Sons of Anarchy, Modern Family, Family Guy, as Enrique on King of the Hill, in episodes in season 2 and 3 of Breaking Bad, Razor Charlie in From Dusk till Dawn, and recently in the Rick and Morty’s “Pickle Rick” episode and, The Flash.

Off-Screen Danny:

While he isn’t acting, Danny Trejo is also a restauranteur. He has a taco restaurant, Trejo’s Tacos, in La Brea Avenue in Los Angeles. His other ventures include Trejo’s Cantina and Trejo’s Coffee & Donuts on Santa Monica Blvd and around the area.

Since his budding career, he has been able to buy his childhood home and even live there for a while. Speaking of family, The actor is also a father. He was married in 1997 to Debbie Shreve. They have since divorced but remained together until 2009. Together they had five kids: Gilbert Trejo, Danielle Trejo, Esmeralda Trejo, Danny Boy Trejo, and Jose Trejo.

Trejo has even ventured into being an author. He has a cookbook: Trejo’s Tacos: Recipes and Stories from LA”.  If you want to know even more about him, check out his documentary, Inmate #1: The Rise of Danny Trejo.

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