According to the infographic, Movie Mortality, put together recently by the website, Buzz Bingo, using IMDb sources, Trejo has notched up more on-screen deaths — 65 — than any other Hollywood actor. The earlier record-holder was Christopher Lee, who is now at second place with 60.
Trejo, now 75, is still going strong. He debuted in 1985 as a boxer in Runaway Train. In 2019, he dies in a zombie flick, 3 from Hell, playing Rondo, a member of a chain gang.
Trejo first showed his genre expertise in Death Wish 4 (1987). The late great Charles Bronson, in yet another vigilante role, walks up to him as he is eating in an Italian restaurant, and, posing as a salesman, offers him a wine bottle. Trejo says, "Hey, don't I know you?", his first line of dialogue in a feature film, and minutes later he is blown up as the bottle explodes.
Trejo remembers the film for being chosen to play Art Sanella, his first character with a name. As the actor, an ex-convict, has said in numerous interviews: "The first five years of my career, I played Inmate Number One" — nameless roles in which his weather-beaten face and a much-tattooed body, which looked as if it had known many adventures, is all that was required for the job.
But every underdog has his day. Though nobody has fancied him as a romantic face, he did get to play lead in the cult Machete movies and kiss Jessica Alba eight times.