Michael De Santa
Name: Michael De Santa
Also known as/Alias(es): Michael Townley, Mikey, Mike, M
Appearance(s): Grand Theft Auto V
Gender: Male
Status: Alive (Canon)
Determinant (Non-Canon)
- Fell to his death from a generator tower
Date of birth: January 13, 1965 (if Alive 54)
Date of death: Palmer-Taylor Power Station, Los Santos County/Blaine County, San Andreas, September 17 , 2013 (aged 48 if died by Player's Choice, non-canon)
Home: Rockford Hills, Los Santos
Nationality: American
Affiliation(s): FIB
Trevor Phillips
Isiah Friedlander
Vehicle(s): Black Obey Tailgater (default, can be customized)
Red Declasse Premier
Business(es): Richard’s Majestic (Assistant Producer)
Family: Amanda De Santa (Wife)
Tracey De Santa (Daughter)
Jimmy De Santa (Son)
Weapon(s): Player's Choice
Voiced by: Ned Luke
"I pay you to listen to my problems. I'm rich. I'm miserable. Half the time, my kids can't stand me. The other half, my wife is cheating on me. I kill people without remorse, Doc. Hell, I'm pretty average for this town, really."
―Michael while talking to his therapist.

Michael De Santa, formerly known as Michael Townley is a character in the Grand Theft Auto series who will be appearing in the newest Grand Theft Auto game, Grand Theft Auto V as one of the three playable characters.


Early LifeEdit

"I'm just a fat washed up jock who can't get his head around the fact his high school football career didn't play out the way that he planned. The only way I'm content and competent is with a gun in my hand or a price on my head."
―Michael to his therapist.
Michael's background comes from his dialogue as well as other characters dialogue in the game.

Michael was born on Wednesday, January 13th, 1965, in the American Midwest (Springfield, Illinois). It is suggested that Michael didn't have such a positive or wealthy childhood, as when Michael's therapist asked questions about Michael himself and his son, Jimmy De Santa, he explains that he didn't have the advantages that Jimmy has. It was this chain of events that ultimately lead to Michael becoming a criminal. Michael's first bank robbery was in 1988, 25 years before the events of the game, in the outskirts of Carcer City where he took a small franchise for over $10,000. In the same year, however, he was arrested twice at the age of 20, which is something that he confessed to his therapist. During his time as a young criminal, Michael not only robbed banks but also ran a prostitution racket and smuggled dope in from other states.

Events of GTA VEdit

Character OverviewEdit

When Rockstar created Michael, their idea was that they wanted to accomplish something completely different from all the games in the series. The question that popped inside their mind was what if they have a Grand Theft Auto-style character who finished the game and decided to settle down? Michael would be an older protagonist who was very successful but gets sucked back into the game.

Dan Houser found this character interesting and fun and knew that the story of Michael would be a great one with a lot of freshness to it - just like Grand Theft Auto IV's story of Niko Bellic as a hardworking immigrant.

Physical Appearance and AnimationEdit

Michael is a Caucasian male, with black hair and gray highlights, and light green/blue eyes. He is 6'3" (190 cm) and weighs 215 lbs (97 kg). He has a cleft chin, square face, and sports a five o'clock shadow. Michael's appearance doesn't make him look out of place in high society, as he has a clean-cut appearance and nice, elegant and composed clothes. His movement shows off his age, as he has an older, more considerable movement, and an early-40s paunch.

Personality and CharacteristicEdit

Michael is thoughtful, calculated and a man of extreme cunning, thinking his motions and actions through carefully and precisely while being sure to keep his actual motivations a secret.

Another well known, yet unfavorable side of Michael is his composure, inflated ego, an inability to control his temper, and his ease and willingness to make large moral compromises, (Michael's deal made with the FIB maybe a perfect example of that). Furthermore, Michael wants to live his life in two portions; the first side is he wants to continue to live out his lifestyle as a family man and try his hardest to place his marriage and family into the once pleasant state it was in a long time ago, while the second side is he wants to return to his old life of crime, as the latter's depression increasingly rises over time for not doing so. In Fact, Michael's new home life has been affected by his past life, perversion for chaos and his temperament so much to the point where it has caused him to alienate himself from the rest of his family.

Relationship With Other CharactersEdit


  • Amanda - Amanda's relationship with Michael began in an unknown time period. The couple fell in love because they were bound together in their past lives, got married and had two children. But as time moved on, Michael's abusive nature towards Amanda over the years has led the two to lose interest in one another as she can barely tolerate him anymore during the events of the game.
  • Jimmy - Jimmy's relationship with his father is rocky as well and even though Michael is far from perfect, so is his son. They've both got a confused and awful relationship with each other. This was seen in Michael's trailer, in which Jimmy angrily questions his father by saying "Why do I have to hold your hand through this whole midlife crisis bullshit?!"
  • Tracey - Michael's relationship with his daughter was also said to be weak, by Rockstar. Though the second trailer, her first appearance, didn't show any dialogue with Michael. According to Dan Houser, they barely talk anymore. In Michael's trailer, Michael was seen roughhousing Tracey over the projector remote, in which Michael wins.
  • Larry MacIntosh- Michael's relationship with Larry is unknown. Larry was Michael's Stepbrother and they didn't get along very well (as Michael states in the cut mission "The Sharmoota Job." Michael also states that Larry was arrested in 1995, 9 years before the Robbery in North Yankton. Larry was born on September 5, 1964. The only recent conversation about Larry was Michael talking about him to Trevor after "The Sharmoota Job."


  • Trevor - Trevor's relationship with Michael started at an unknown time period, but the two had a long, often troubled friendship with each other. Both men had a falling out which caused a rift in between their friendship (some believe that it was Michael's deal with the FIB that caused that rift). It was said that Michael had to get away from Trevor. It has also been express that when Michael is in comparison to Trevor, despite seeming to be the good guy, he might end up being worse than Trevor in the end. Although, neither Michael nor Trevor are a hero in any way.
  • Franklin - Franklin's job repossessing luxury cars brings him into a chance encounter with Michael. This leads both men to begin this father-son relationship. Michael himself held some affection for Franklin and even saw the potential and a younger Michael in Franklin. Plus, Franklin doesn't really have a family and he wants to move up in the criminal underworld. But yet at the same time, he doesn't know how to do so. So, he saw his way in after meeting Michael. Dan Houser has also stated that the father-son relationship between the two could lead to some "interesting situations."

Skills and AbilitiesEdit

Michael is the brains of the team and is a very effective leader. Michael is also a smooth operator, being able to manipulate anybody or any situation. Michael is also versatile, being capable of many different uses skills.

Even though Michael is in his early-to-mid-40s, that doesn't mean he's lost his touch when it comes to combat. As said above, Michael is capable of many different skills. One of those skills is shooting, as he can handle up to a load of weapons. His experience in shootouts from his early criminal days make him more mobile. Michael is no stranger to fist fights either. An example can be seen down below in Michael's trailer.

Mission AppearancesEdit

  • As one of the three main protagonists in the game, Michael will thus appear in almost every mission.
  • The Extraction
  • Blitz Play


Michael has had a very positive response from critics and fans, one of the reason is because of him being the first playable character in the entire GTA Series that has a family. Another reason is that Michael's addiction to chaos and his love for his family interest the fans. 

Developers Take on MichaelEdit

Dan HouserEdit

  • "Michael, to me, is... Who is he? I know who he is, I'm just trying to... He's the person who is trying to ignore some rather large mistakes that they have made. The person who's trying to forget about certain practical but still selfish decisions that they took. He's a man, also, obsessed by images and by appearances and who, when the world doesn't live up to those images and appearances, doesn't know what to do. He just retreats into his head. What he also is, when we started out... What he kind of evolved into as we began thinking about him and developing him... He was the first character we came up with. He began as the idea of, what happens to a regular GTA protagonist after they retire? Then you think, what would make him retire? He's a man with a big ego and plenty of good values and plenty of bad values."
  • =="One of the advantages of the three-character system is you can have characters who, if they were the only protagonist, would be far too flawed for you to find appealing. With other equally flawed protagonists, but flawed in different ways, I think it gets more understandable. Michael's flaws are certainly his large ego, an inability to control his temper, and his willingness to make large moral compromises. To me, that's a very interesting character. A guy who's in his mid-40s and on the cc V.==
  • Michael's zodiac sign is Capricorn.
  • Michael is the only protagonist in the entire series to be a family man.
  • Michael is the oldest Protagonist in the entire GTA Series.
  • Michael's appearance went through a change between the second game trailer and his trailer. During the second game trailer his head is larger and more square angular, he has a wider mouth, there are more wrinkles on his face, and he looks older. But during Michael's trailer, his face is round, his mouth is less wide, he has fewer wrinkles on his face and he looks younger. Many fans have stated that the change in Michael's appearance makes him look better, (as they did not want him to look golden so s am s
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