Danny Trejo is celebrating 55 years of sobriety, saying he’s “done this one day at a time.” The 79-year-old “Machete Kills” actor posted about the achievement on Instagram this week and offered words of encouragement to others trying to stay clean.
“I’m 55 years clean and sober today by the grace of God! I’ve done this one day at a time, and for anyone out there struggling YOU CAN TOO!” he said Wednesday.
After a difficult upbringing as Trejo notes in his memoir, “Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption, and Hollywood,” he spent 11 years in and out of California’s most notorious prisons for crimes including selling drugs and armed robberies.
In a 2021 interview on “CBS Mornings,” Trejo said he vowed to change his life after a moment in 1968.
“I made a promise, ‘Lord if you let me die with dignity, I’ll say your name every day and I’ll do whatever you can for my fellow inmate.’ And I said inmate because I never thought I was getting out of prison,” he said.
He went on attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, and after being released in 1969, he became a drug counselor. About 15 years later, he stopped by the “Runaway Train” set trying to help a struggling addict. Andrei Konchalovsky, the movie’s director, took notice of Trejo’s stare, and when he learned he had been a boxing champ in prison, he put him in the ring with Runaway Train star Eric Roberts. It launched Trejo’s career and he now has some 400 on-screen appearances.
“Everything good that has happened to me has happened as a direct result of helping someone else,” Trejo told CBS Mornings.