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Michael De Santa

General Info

Michael De Santa logo
Job TitleCriminal, Movie producer
Birth Date1965-01-01
Birth PlaceMidwest
Knows aboutHeisting, Cinema
Alternate NameMichael Townley
Character NameMichael De Santa
Michael De Santa, a retired criminal and family man, is one of three characters in Grand Theft Auto V. He's a former career criminal turned FBI informant whose story stems from the glamorous but deadly underbelly of Los Angeles. Cut off from mundane reality by dubious success, Michael lives a life of wealth, holed up in his mansion in Rockford Hills. But his life remains turbulent. Plagued by personal struggles, constant betrayals and a disastrous family life, his path is littered with violence and regret. Despite his troubled lifestyle, his sharp mind, master of shooting and experienced criminal strategies make him an amazing personality. His journey through the past, present and longing for a more peaceful future is the cornerstone of GTA V's dark and fascinating story.


Michael De Santa, formerly known as Michael Townley, is a notorious and wealthy retiree who lives a luxurious lifestyle in Los Santos, the grand city of the Grand Theft Auto universe. A history marked by violence, bank robberies and encounters with death, Michael's past is more than bright. It's chaotic.
Somewhere amidst all the chaos are her failed attempts to create a peaceful family life. Married to an ex-stripper and the father of two spoiled and incompetent children, any semblance of a normal domestic existence seems to be gone forever. He effortlessly plays both the role of a devoted family man and a seasoned criminal, juggling these contrasting characters perfectly, bringing out the nuances of his character.
A misfit character with a great sense of humor, Michael embodies the contradictions of the American Dream as he yearns for more despite his lavish lifestyle. Throughout the game, he searches for redemption while battling a mid-life crisis, making him one of the most humane characters in the GTA universe. Michael De Santa's character offers a fascinating exploration of a man entrenched in a life of crime, driven by desire, haunted by his past and constantly grappling with the duality of his nature.


Michael De Santa, formerly known as Michael Townley, is one of the main characters of the infamous Grand Theft Auto game series. Michael is introduced to the players as a retired criminal who lives in the upper class of the city of Los Santos in San Andreas.
Born in 1965 In the Midwest, Michael began a life of crime at a young age that quickly progressed from petty theft to large-scale bank robberies. Along with Trevor Phillips and Brad Snider, the trio made a name for themselves in the world of organized crime before disbanding. However, their attempt to achieve another "major achievement" for Michael has reportedly come to an untimely end. Dead in the eyes of the government and the underworld, Michael Townley was given a second chance at life. He resurfaced as Michael De Santa, who was under FBI custody, which was unusual, to avoid life in prison.
However, it was difficult to adjust to family life away from crime. Soon, Michael is grappling with personal demons from his past, living under a false identity, and struggling with the struggles of life in an alien home. From his tumultuous relationship with his sons Tracey and Jimmy to his strained marriage to Amanda, his personal life is completely at odds with his professional life. In the ever-changing Los Santos area, retiree Michael is drawn back into the world of crime by a chance connection with the ambitious Franklin Clinton. Their strange alliance not only brings him face to face with figures from his past, but also makes him question the value of his own life and that of his family.
As a character, Michael De Santa strikes a tricky balance between a criminal trying to put the past behind him and a man trying to transition to the normalcy that everyday life demands. From big money heists to everyday familiar situations, Michael leads the way and embodies the spirit of Grand Theft Auto. His story, one of redemption, revenge and achievement, is a journey that every GTA player embarks on, making the game an unforgettable experience.

Creation and Development

Michael De Santa, formerly Michael Townley, is one of three characters credited to Rockstar Games for Grand Theft Auto V. Voiced by Ned Luke, the character is introduced as a retired professional bank robber who is forced to return to his life of crime after a series of unfortunate events.
The character of Michael was greatly developed during the development process. The creators of Rockstar North intended to introduce a character who had already achieved the infamous "American Dream" that many other characters in the series aspired to. This provided a dynamic new perspective that contrasted with the stories of the previous characters. His retired lifestyle is inspired by classic crime movie characters like Tony Soprano and Tommy Vercetti. This was a new approach, as until now characters usually started from scratch and lost nothing.
In terms of character design, Michael represents the quintessential hardened criminal, but with a unique twist: he tries to balance his personal life with his illegal activities while trying to manage his dysfunctional family, shady friends, and his past.
Michael De Santa's character also has satirical elements, criticizing the "greed is good" ethos and, to some extent, the concept of the flawed American dream. The dialogue, mannerisms, and even the setting are carefully crafted to emphasize this concept. The creation of Michael's character took years of careful planning and execution. The result was a highly complex, relatable and flawed character that added another layer of depth to the story of the Grand Theft Auto universe.

Character Profile

Michael De Santa, also known as Michael Townley, is a fascinating character in the Grand Theft Auto (GTA) universe. Michael is a retired criminal in the witness protection program after years of being a successful bank robber. He has a distinct personality, a charismatic yet lively personality that makes him the ideal anti-hero.
Despite his past as a prolific robber, Michael longs for a normal, stable life. He strives for a peaceful family life with his wife Amanda and two children, Jimmy and Tracey, but a troubled past and fiery temper disrupt this peaceful existence. His frustration often makes him angry, manifesting in tantrums and violent outbursts.
But on the other hand, Michael shows signs of vulnerability and desire for change. Reunited with old associates, he is constantly torn between helping his friends and a new, safer way of life. This internal struggle gives his character depth, making him an intriguing figure in the world of GTA.
His skills and talents are a testament to his history as a master criminal. His experience in planning and executing heists and his skill with firearms make him a force to be reckoned with.
This dynamic makes Michael De Santa one of the most unique and multi-layered characters in the GTA universe.

Story Arc

Michael De Santa, formerly known as Michael Townley, is a retired bank robber and one of the three main characters in the Grand Theft Auto V universe. His story begins in the Midwestern town of North Yankton, where he partners with Trevor Philips on the roads. robberies However, in 2004 after a botched heist, Michael makes a secret deal with FBI agent Dave Norton to turn over Trevor in exchange for witness protection.
The deal fell through and although Michael successfully faked his own death, Trevor managed to escape, causing a rift between the two old partners. Michael was relocated to Los Santos with a new identity: Michael De Santa. In Los Santos, Michael lives a life of discontented luxury with his dysfunctional family and develops some bad habits, including alcoholism and an unshakable sense of boredom.
Dissatisfied with his retirement and looking for excitement, Michael returns to a life of crime. His story takes several twists and turns as he inadvertently draws the attention of dangerous elements, including a Mexican drug kingpin, the FBI, and even Trevor, who realizes that Michael was alive all along.
Through a series of daring heists and near-death encounters, Michael navigates this risky landscape as he tries to come to terms with his past and his family. His story is marked by betrayal, redemption and a constant struggle to balance his criminal instincts with his desire for a stable life. This character's story adds a compelling tone to the high-octane action that the Grand Theft Auto series is known for.

Cultural Impact

Considered the epitome of the modern American dream, Michael De Santa became an instant icon after being introduced to the Grand Theft Auto universe. Its recognizable mid-life crisis, fused with elements of criminal glamour, resonates with players and offers a compelling exploration into the double life of a deceptively average suburbanite. Michael De Santa's well-crafted personality enriched the story and changed the paradigm of one-dimensional characters in video games.
With his portrayal, Michael made a large audience empathize with the character, who was essentially a defeated man trying to escape his past. To add to his unique appeal, Rockstar Games' decision to portray Michael as a semi-retired criminal yearning for some kind of normalcy was poignant. Mykolos' subtle, almost cynical humor criticizes modern society and reflects many real-world situations. This character not only shaped the players' experience, but also sparked debate about adult responsibility, consequences, and the impact of a life of crime. Michael De Santa's cultural resonance continues to permeate the video game industry, enhancing the industry's artistic and narrative potential.


Michael De Santa, known before his retirement as Michael Townley, will forever be remembered as an emblem in the tumultuous underbelly of the GTA universe. His legacy ranges from a career filled with bank robberies and a web of lies to living in semi-retirement in a luxury home in the lush Rockford Hills of Los Santos. Behind his facade of wealth and success lies a troubled man struggling with middle age, family problems and a tendency towards violence. However, Michael is also a symbol of resilience, as he repeatedly found himself in dangerous situations just to emerge victorious. Despite the moral ambiguity of his actions, his strategic mind and unparalleled determination make him a figure to be reckoned with, etching his name indelibly into the annals of the GTA series. His story continues to captivate millions of players and leaves behind a legacy that truly embodies the gritty and chaotic essence of Grand Theft Auto.