Michael De Santa

Appearance(s): Grand Theft Auto V
Full name: Michael De Santa
Also known as: Michael Townley

Mike Mikey M Mr. De Santa Zolag / Zondar

Status: Player's Choice


Date of birth: 1968
Date of death: 2013(player's choice)
Home: Rockford HillsLos Santos
Nationality: American
Family: Amanda De Santa

(Wife) Jimmy De Santa(Son) Tracey De Santa(Daughter)

Main affiliation: Trevor Philips

Franklin Clinton Isiah Friedlander FIB Lester Crest Solomon Richards

Vehicle(s): Black Tailgater

Red Premier Blue Asea Player's choice

Businesses: Robbery

Film Industry

Voiced by: Ned Luke
"I want to be a good dad, love my family and live the dream. But at the same time, I really want the other stuff too."
―Michael talking to his therapist

Michael De Santa, formerly Michael Townley, is one of the three main protagonists in Grand Theft Auto V.


What is known of Michael's background comes from his dialogue with other characters.

Michael was born in the 1960s - possibly in the Midwest, which would explain why he spent some of his earlier criminal career inNorth Yankton and Carcer City. As a child, he didn't have the advantages his children have and grew up in a poor environment. During his time in high school, Michael was an all-state football quarterback. As time moved on, Michael eventually became a criminal, with his first bank job being in the outskirts of Carcer City, in1988, where he was able to steal $10,000. In the same year however, he had been arrested twice at the age of 20. While in prison, Michael was able to master many skills, sometimes through bizarre events, such as learning how to do tattoos by tattooing his name on his cellmate's buttocks.

As the years went on, Michael met Trevor Philips and was able to induce the latter into robbery as well. Both men were hugely successful at their profession. But while the friendship between them was in fine condition, it was later strained as Michael met his future wife, Amanda, who was a stripper at the time. Michael was even able to buy Amanda some breast implants, which would help with her stripping as well as her days as a hooker. This lead to Michael creating his own prostitution racket.

While the couples love for one another grew over time, Amanda married Michael and soon gave birth to their two children, Tracey and Jimmy. Michael, who was able to see that he has a lot more to lose if he was ever killed or imprisoned, grew more cautious over time as a criminal, much to Trevor's annoyance.

In 2004, In Ludendorff, North Yankton; Michael, Trevor, & A Fellow Robber Did A Bank Heist That Led To Disastrous Results. The Crew Was Ambushed By Over A Dozen Police Officers Ready To Arrest Or Kill Them. Michael Drove The Crew To Where He Claimed An Escape Chopper Was To Be, But They Found The Location To Be another ambush spot. The other bank robber was killed and Michael was wounded, forcing Trevor to escape. Michael made a deal with an agent in the FIB, which resulted in Michael Townley to be pronounced dead and for Michael to be redubbed "Michael De Santa". Soon After That, Michael & His Family moved to Los Santos; hoping to live a normal life and spend time with his kids. 

Events of GTA VEdit

This section is a stub. You can help by expanding it.Years later after the events of his false death, Michael's domestic life is spiralling out of his control. Amanda rarely shows love towards him and his children have little respect for him. With all of this, Michael goes through a mid-life crisis and goes to therapy often. After one therapy session, Michael has a chance encounter with a Los Santos youth named Franklin, who he unknowingly directs to Franklin's repossession assignment. [2]Michael briefly meets Franklin and Lamar. Jimmy later buys a SUV from Simeon Yetarian, an Armenian car salesman who sells the car to him with unaffordable prices. This led to Yetarian's repo man, Franklin Clinton, to "repossess" the SUV from the De Santa household. However, Michael spotted Franklin sneaking in and hid in the backseat of the car as Franklin steals it. Michael reveals himself and holds Franklin at gunpoint, ordering him to go to Yetarian's shop and drive the SUV through the store's window. Afterwards, MicHael pays Franklin to leave and beats Yetarian into submission, threatening more violence if he pulls another of his sale tactics on him or his family again (Complications).

At home, Michael attempts to relax by his pool, only to be interrupted by Franklin, who takes up his offering of a drink earlier. Surprised that Franklin actually took it to heart, Michael decides to sincerely take him out drinking. Unfortunately, Jimmy calls that instant and reveals he has tried to sell Michael's boat, ending with the "buyers" high-jacking the yacht themselves. Enraged, Michael and Franklin drives after the boat, saving Jimmy but was unable to rescue the yacht. Michael becomes angry at Jimmy but becomes fond with Franklin, who he tells to visit him any time and maybe be friends with Jimmy.

After the fiasco with the boat, Michael discovers Amanda sleeping with her tennis coach, leading him and a recently arrived Franklin to give chase. Furious, Michael chases the coach to an exotic house on the side of the Vinewood Hills. Michael then orders Franklin to hook their truck's winch onto the supports of the house and pulls them loose, causing the house to collapse, much to Franklin's shock and Michael's joy. However, it turns out that the house did not belong to the coach, but the girlfriend of a powerful Mexican gangster named Martin Madrazo, who sends men after Michael and Franklin. The two manages to fend them off, but Madrazo arrives at the De Santa residence and demands that Michael pays for the damages by paying him about two million dollars, money that Michael does not have. [3]Michael returns to robbingAdded by Willy WankaWith no other choice, Michael decides to return to bank robbing and contacts his old partner Lester Crest. Crest agrees to help Michael get the money if the latter agrees to sabotage founder of LifeInvader Jay Norris' phone. Michael does so and causes Norris' death when he calls the entrepreneur's sabotaged phone, which exploded next to his head.

After collecting information about a jewellery store and its gems, Michael and Lester set up a heist, with Michael insisting that Franklin be a part. 

"You forget a thousand things every day, pal. Make sure this is one of ‘em."
―Michael to the security guard during the heist.

The heist goes smoothly and Madrazo is paid. Unfortunately for Michael, the job is reported on the news, which Trevor sees on his TV. Trevor recognizes Michael's modus operandi from the report and goes partially berserk, making his way to Los Santos to confront the "ghost" of his former partner and friend.

Back home, Michael finds marijuana in the fridge, and correctly assumes it is Jimmy's. This creates an angry argument among the family until Trevor arrives, much to everyone's shock and horror. Thankfully, the tension is broken by Jimmy revealing that Tracey has gone to audition for Fame or Shame. Realizing that Tracey will embarrass herself in front of the nation due to her horrible dancing, Michael and Trevor rush to the Maze Bank Arena.

The two find Tracey doing a stripper-like dance and the show's host Lazlow Jones beginning to do a sexual pose behind her, enraging both Michael and Trevor. The two give chase to a fleeing Lazlow to the Los Santos river. Trevor forces Lazlow to take off his pants and dance for them as he records on his phone. In the aftermath, Tracey angrily blames her father for ruining her life, which doesn't seem to bother him.

Soon after, Michael is assigned by Dave Norton to do a favor for him. When they get to the meeting point, Dave request him to confirm the death of a suspect in a morgue. To do this, Norton knocks Michael out and delivers him as a corpse to the morgue. Michael wakes in the middle of the autopsy and then finds out that the suspect isn't dead by finding his name tag on a woman's corpse. Michael escapes the morgue by killing the guards. In a panic, Michael calls Franklin and accidentally reveals he is affiliated with the FIB, though Franklin continues to trust Michael due to the better pay from jobs with him. [4]Extracting Mr. KAdded by Willy WankaMichael continues to work for Norton. Steve Haines, a corrupt FIB agent working with Norton, contacts him and makes him team up with Franklin and Trevor to extract a prisoner of the IAA, dubbed Mr. K, out of the IAA building and into the hands of the FIB. Later, Michael and Trevor are summoned to a remote warehouse where Michael is briefed that he will accompany Norton to assassinate an Azebaijani suspect whilst Trevor and Haines torture Mr. K. The mission is successful and Michael refuses to know any more details of the mission.

When Michael returns home, he finds his wife with her yoga instructor Fabien, who asks Michael to join them. After a few poses, Fabien begins doing a sexual pose on Amanda, causing Michael to go angry and attack Fabien, who dodges him and makes him fall into the pool. Angered by her husband's attitude, Amanda leaves with Fabien.

Michael goes upstairs and tries to do something with Jimmy, who asks him to go with him to get a package from a friend. They meet him at Burger Shot, who gives Jimmy some pot and a drink. In the way home, Michael drinks from Jimmy's drink and begins to feel strange. Jimmy reveals that he drugged the drink and then pushes Micahel out of the car and reveals he is moving out and he is going to keep the car. Michael begins having strange dreams and wakes up only with his underwear a few blocks away from his home. When he gets to the house, he finds a note from Amanda that his family has left due to Michael's behavior.

Later, Trevor contacts Michael and Franklin to partake in his own heist; of security force Merryweather's cargo at the docks. The heist goes as planned and Trevor finds a superweapon that Lester reveals is highly dangerous, especially in the hands of someone like Trevor. Michael and Franklin agree, and Trevor is furious that he cannot keep the loot.

After the Merryweather heist, Michael is called upon by millionaire Devin Weston, who offers him partnership with movie producer Solomon Richards if he steals several rare cars for him with Trevor and Franklin. Offered his dream job, Michael eagerly agrees and delivers the cars to Weston.

Michael is thrilled to finally meet his idol Solomon Richards, who hires him as an assistant. His first job is to convince Rocco Pelosi to obey Solomon's wishes for how the actors should behave during the production of the digital movie Meltdown. This gets Michael on Richard's good side and is promised the role of producer for the upcoming film if Michael continues his good work.

Martin Madrazo later summons Michael and Trevor to his home, and offers them pay if they bring down his cousin's airliner, which is carrying a package Madrazo wants. Michael does his part by bringing it down with a weapon inside a van. After destroying the van, Michael finds out to his horror that Trevor has kidnapped Madrazo's wife Patricia. Knowing full well what Madrazo might do to them if he catches them, Michael agrees to hide out on Sandy Shoreswith Trevor.

Characters Murdered by Michael De SantaEdit

Jay Norris - Murdered for Lester Crest, so that he would re-join Michael for robberies.

Tahir Javan - Murdered on orders from Steve Haines for alleged ties to Terrorist groups.

Walton O'Neil - Murdered for seeking retribution against Trevor Philips

Wynn O'Neil - Murdered for seeking retribution against Trevor Philips.

Rocco Pelosi - Murdered for harassing Solomon Richards.

Gianni - Murdered for harassing Solomon Richards.

Trevor Philips - Murdered if Franklin follows orders from Steve Haines and Dave Norton to kill him but doesn't shoot Trevor at the end then Michael will instead. (Kill Trevor Ending)

Harold "Stretch" Joseph - Murdered for trying to have Franklin Clinton and Lamar Davis killed. (Deathwish Ending)

Devin Weston - Murdered for trying to have Michael killed. (Deathwish Ending)

Optional MurdersEdit

United Liberty Paper contact - Can be killed during the mission The Wrap Up.

Isiah Friedlander - Can be killed during Michael's final visit to him.

Abigail - Can be killed after the Strangers and Freaks mission Death at Sea.



Michael has a darker and violent side to him. He has an exceptionally short temper, which fills him with rage and causes him to not think at times. One example would be where he caught Amanda having an affair with her tennis coach. He chases the coach to a mansion and pulls it off a hillside thinking it was the coaches', (however, everyone around Michael, including the tennis coach himself, knew that the mansion was too expensive for him to afford on his salary). Another example would be Michael smashing Jimmy's flat screen television after the latter rudely told him to leave his room.Michael has a very complex personality.

Michael is highly egotistical; he'll often complain about his own well being and safety, rather than his team mates, before doing a dangerous and life threatening mission as well as doing the same when someone doesn't support him, his decisions and/or criticizes him. One example would be the arguments that he has with Amanda, as she'll often criticize him for his rude and conceited behavior, to which Michael will arrogantly bring up the fact that he was the one who made their lives a lot more wealthy with the decisions he made. He is also very sarcastic, as he made fun of Trevor's meth lab. After the two men argue about it, Michael angrily claims that sarcasm is the one thing he can use, as he doesn't have many things left in this world.

Michael also makes bad judgement calls and and has a large willingness to make large moral compromises, one example for each of the two being his deal with the FIB. The latter demonstrates much hypocrisy, as he'll often criticize Trevor for his ability to kill people without remorse, even though he does the exact same thing.

Michael admits to his therapist that he kills without remorse (and that he possibly killed someone on his way to the therapist) but says that he is neither a psychopath or a sociopath, this causes Michael confusion as he doesn't know where he fits in as while he does try to be a good person, even if it is sometimes half-hearted, he enjoys the thrill and rewards of his old life. The therapist himself says that Michael is "addicted to chaos" despite some of latter's complaints about almost getting killed and risking his life numerous times.

The second time Michael visits his therapist, he can be told that he is a combination of a psychopath and a deluded sociopath, though clearly Michael has emotions that make him unlikely to be a true sociopath even if he is capable of remorselessly killing.

Despite all of the negatives, Michael does possess a good side to his personality. When in comparison to Trevorand Franklin, Michael is also seemingly the more level headed of the three. He can be a very considerate individual, as he paid Franklin for doing what he was forced to do and drive through the front of his boss' business, even though the latter broke into Michael's mansion.

Relationships With Other CharactersEdit

Trevor Philips - Trevor's relationship with Michael started at an unknown time period, but the two met when Trevor spotted Michael robbing people by a bridge. Michael convinced Trevor to join him to commit further robberies and thus started a long partnership, Michael and Trevor would often have troubled friendship with one another. After a heist goes wrong, Michael and Trevor both assumed that one another was dead. After Michael's relapse into crime, Trevor discovers he is alive and comes to the conclusion that he faked his death. Trevor and Michael's friendship becomes strained as Trevor feels betrayed by Michael but both still get on well enough. Their friendship is even further strained when Trevor finds the truth about Michael's survival, leading to a stand off between the two. After a while, the two team up again to pull off one big job and to kill their enemies. In the Deathwish ending, it seems that Michael and Trevor have finally managed to rekindle their friendship.

Franklin Clinton - Franklin meets Michael after the stealing a car from the latter's house, Michael then has Franklin take him to whomever tasked Franklin to steal his son's car.  After a while and a few meetings and a heist, they develop a father-son relationship with Michael saying in one mission that Franklin is the son he always wanted, and saw potential in him. Franklin in turn seems to have respect for Michael and is grateful for improving his life and is loyal to him for it. Dan Houser has also stated that the father-son relationship between the two could lead to some "interesting situations."

Amanda De Santa - Amanda's relationship with Michael also started in an unknown time where she was a stripper and a hooker, Michael paid for Amanda's breast implants so that she could earn more money. The eventually two fell in love with one another, got married and had two children. During the events of the game, she can barely tolerate him any more (mainly because Dan Houser also confirmed that Michael has been awful to her in the past few years). One of the reasons she fell in love with Michael is because she is bound to him by their past lives, but now both of them can't stand each other any more (another statement by Dan Houser). Amanda is also having an affair with her Tennis coach which further strains their marriage. Amanda finally hits the breaking point when Fabien LaRouche, her yoga instructor, does a sexual pose which angers Michael and attempts to punch him, ending with Fabien sidestepping and makes Michael land in the swimming pool. Amanda then berates Michael for his attempted action, calling him "a pathetic psychopath" and leaves him with Tracey. while Jimmy moves out on his own ( according to him ). Michael later suffers from depression after his wife and kids leave him. However, Jimmy soon comes back and attempts to bring back his dysfunctional family together. Amanda was then seen hanging out with Fabien at a coffee shop and she becomes annoyed with his arrogant behavior and allows Michael to beat him up. 

Jimmy De Santa - Jimmy's relationship with his father is rocky as well and even though Michael is far from perfect, he loves his son but does not know how to display it. His son is not very moral either as he often takes drugs and attempted to sell his father's boat without him knowing, ending with the boat being stolen. They've both have a confused and strained relationship with each other. Michael does try to improve their relationship by spending time with his son, but to no avail as his son lacks any form of respect for his father and even at one point drugs him, takes money from his bank account, and steals his car. However, Jimmy soon regrets his actions and visits his father, saying he does love him and promises to get a job and not be a lazy, pot-smoking, video game addict, which can be seen in-game.

Tracey De Santa - Michael's relationship with his daughter is also said to be weak, as in the second trailer, her first appearance, didn't show any dialogue with Michael. Despite their weak relationship, Michael does love his daughter but is often angry at Tracey's loose behavior and social life such as her hanging out with drug dealers and porn stars, and embarrasses her by interrupting her audition for " Fame or Shame " by chasing Lazlow out of the building.


Michael has a nice clean-cut appearance, along with nice clothes, usually seen in screenshots and artworks with a gray, black or dark blue dress suit with a light green or white dress shirt underneath. He bears a resemblance to his voice actor, Ned Luke. In the "Michael, Franklin and Trevorartwork he is seen dressed with a creamy-yellow collared shirt with blue dress pants. During the opening scene in the second trailer, Michael walks outside to his pool with nothing on but sandals, swimming trunks and a pair of glasses, showing us that he is a small portion over weight but still in good shape.

Skills and AbilitiesEdit

Michael has a special ability to slow down time while shooting.

Mission appearancesEdit


Franklin and Lamar



Marriage Counseling

Daddy's Little Girl

Friend Request

Casing the Jewel Store

Carbine Rifles (if A option is chosen)

The Jewel Store Job

Mr. Phillips

Fame or Shame

Dead Man Walking

Did Somebody Say Yoga?

Three's Company

By The Book

The Merryweather Heist

Trash Truck (optional)

Boiler Suits (optional)

Masks (optional)

Tow Truck (optional)

Blitz Play

Mr. Richards

I Fought The Law

Caida Libre

Paleto Score Setup

Military Hardware (optional)


The Paleto Score


Monkey Business

Surveying the Score

Bury the Hatchet

Fresh Meat

The Ballad of Rocco

Cleaning Out the Bureau

Reuniting the Family

Legal Trouble

The Bureau Raid

The Wrap Up


Driller (optional)

The Big Score

The Third Way

Side MissionsEdit

Strangers and Freaks

Death at Sea

What Lies Beneath

Grass Roots - Michael

The Truth missionline

Character TrailerEdit

GTA 5 Official Character Trailer - Michael Trailer HD CC

GTA 5 Official Character Trailer - Michael Trailer HD CC


  • Michael was the first protagonist that came to Rockstar's mind when they began the development of Grand Theft Auto V.
  • Michael is the only protagonist in the entire Grand Theft Auto series to be a family man.
  • As seen in Trailer one and two, Michael is seen with green eyes and an older look. In the Michael and Gameplay trailer, Michael has brown eyes and a younger look. This includes a Beta version of this protagonist.
  • Being in his mid 40s, he is the oldest protagonist in the GTA series.
  • The song that plays in the Michael trailer is "Radio Ga Ga" by Queen.
  • Michael's special ability might be a reference to Max Payne, another Rockstar-owned franchise, where the title character possess an ability called "Bullet-time", that allow him to slow down time. Elements for Michael's ability might also be taken from Rockstar's Red Dead games, which feature a similar ability called "Dead-eye".
  • The quote that Michael uses in Prologue and The Jewel Store Job, "You forget a thousand things everyday, make sure this is one of them.", is from the Solomon Richards movie Author's Penny Sanatorium, although slightly modified. The original line is "We forget a thousand things everyday, can't we just make this one of them?"
  • Michael Townley is a real person under federal witness protection.
  • Michael is the first GTA protagonist to join the Epsilon Program, and is renamed Zondar by fellow cultists.
  • In a cutscene, Michael revealed that he was a football star in high school. He then claims that his high school football career "didn't work out like the way he planned", possibly pushing him towards a life of crime.
  • If you shoot at Michael's house as Trevor Phillips or Franklin Clinton, he will text you saying 'stop shooting at my house'. If you shoot his house after he texts you, he will call you saying stop shooting up my house!.
  • Michael along with Trevor are currently the first protagonists in the GTA series who can become a final boss and must be killed in the finale. However this is if Franklin chooses to kill either of them instead of the "Death Wish" choice.
  • Michael seems to love watching movies, specifically "classic Vinewood", as he is seen watching one in his house during several cutscenes. In a phone call with Lester during the mission "Friend Request", he seems to pride himself as being a "movie guy", according to the comments he makes about his opinion on films.
  • Michael shares his new last name with Vincente de Santa, one of the antagonists of Red Dead Redemption.
  • Upon returning to his house, one possible line of dialogue for Michael to shout is "Daddy's back, you bitches!", the first line of dialogue in Grand Theft Auto IV.
  • Michael often refers to helicopters as "Eyes in the sky".