The legendary Latino action star Danny Trejo is having a big moment as he celebrates a major achievement in his journey of sobriety.
“I’m 55 years clean and sober today by the grace of God!” the 79-year-old actor, known for his roles in Heat, Machete and many more, wrote Wednesday on X (formerly Twitter), reflecting on his sobriety journey.
“I’ve done this one day at a time, and for anyone out there struggling, YOU CAN TOO!”
Thousands of fans of “the Mexican superhero” were quick to congratulate him for keeping it strong since Richard Nixon was still in the White House.
Earlier this week, Danny Trejo celebrated 55 years of sobriety with a touching post that quickly went viral
Image credits: officialDannyT
Image credits: officialDannyT
“Hats off, I’ve now been sober and clean for 8 years, navigating through life’s challenges day by day. May your journey grant you 55 more years of sober and clean triumphs,” one comment read.
“Just started my sober journey, Danny. Congratulations to you on yours, brother, and thank you for being yet another inspirational person and reason for me to keep my resolve, a day at a time” said another.
Danny has been vocal about his past challenges with addiction, sharing that he experimented with marijuana at the tender age of eight and began consuming alcohol by the time he was twelve. During his teenage years, he escalated to using heroin and even engaged in its distribution.
The 79-year-old LA native is known for his roles in Heat, Machete, Desperados and many other action flicks
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In his 2021 autobiographical memoir “Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption, and Hollywood,” the Desperados actor truly opened up about his experiences of spending eleven years in and out of prison, his transformative journey to sobriety, his upbringing within a Mexican-American family marked by intergenerational trauma, the profound impact of fatherhood, and the evolution of his acting career alongside his exploration of the culinary world.
Before venturing into the food business with Trejo’s Tacos and Trejo’s Coffee & Donuts, as well as launching his own record label, Trejo’s Music, the LA native had one hell of a life, so to speak.
Trejo’s troubles with sobriety started in his early childhood after he started smoking marijuana and transitioned to alcohol
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In 1969, at the age of 24, Trejo gave AA meetings a shot during his time at San Quentin State Prison in California. His arrest had occurred after he was apprehended attempting to sell heroin to an undercover police officer.
“They tell you if you leave [Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous], you will die, go insane or go to jail,” Trejo told Variety in 2019. “And I proved that right. Every time I left, I went to jail.”
The actor’s road to sobriety started in his mid-20s while serving time at San Quentin State Prison in California for selling heroin to an undercover police officer
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However, one of his more notorious stories dates back to 1961 when 17-year-old Trejo accidentally met Charles Manson, one of the most infamous American criminals in history, while serving time in prison.
“While I was waiting to get shipped out to Tracy, there was a greasy, dirty, scrawny white boy in County,” the actor wrote in his memoir.
While they were incarcerated together, Trejo shared that Manson presented an opportunity to guide him and fellow inmates in a meditation technique that Manson claimed could induce a heightened state of euphoria without the need for drugs. According to Trejo, the actor found Manson’s approach to be successful.
His career in Hollywood began when he was overseeing a teen as a counselor and ran into the cocaine-full set of Andrei Konchalovsky’s 1985 Runaway Train
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Following his focus on sobriety, Trejo transitioned into the role of a substance abuse counselor. He emphasized that helping others go through this grueling addiction “has been a blessing” and helped him to not steer off the right track.
“I honestly believe this sobriety and being clean depends on your support system,” he told Variety. “You’ve got this system of people around you that want you to stay clean and sober.”
Currently, Trejo is savoring the experience of being a parent and exploring the culinary world
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Trejo also credits his accidental success in the movie industry to his counseling work.
After being asked to come down to one of his teen’s workplaces because “there’s a lot of blow down” there, instead of a drug-fueled rampage, Danny found the movie set of Andrei Konchalovsky’s Runaway Train where he was asked to play a boxer for a daily fee of $320.
“I went down thinking he worked in a warehouse, that we’d sit out in his car at break, smoke cigarettes, drink coffee and afterwards he would go back inside. I walked on to this movie set [Andrei Konchalovsky’s Runaway Train] and it was the cutest thing I’d ever seen,” the actor recalled to the Guardian.
“I went from movie to movie but for five years, I didn’t have a name. I was either ‘Bad Guy’ or ‘Inmate No 1’. I was happy.”
People showered Desperados actor with congratulatory comments and shared stories of their own
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