Ernie Reyes Jr.

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Ernie Reyes Jr.
Ernie Reyes Jr cropped.jpg
Ernie Reyes Jr. at a 2009 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 25th anniversary
Ernie E. Reyes Jr.

(1972-01-15) January 15, 1972 (age 50)
San Jose, California, United States
OccupationActor, martial artist
Years active1985–present

Ernie Reyes Jr. (born January 15, 1972)[1] is an American actor and martial artist, known for his acting work in films such as The Last Dragon, Red Sonja (1985), as Donatello's stuntman in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (1991), Surf Ninjas (1993) and The Rundown (2003). He has also done stunt work in films such as Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, as well as motion capture stunts in films such as Avatar and Alice in Wonderland. His TV work includes season 3 episode 4 Highway to Heaven dramas such as the short-lived Sidekicks (in which he co-starred with Gil Gerard) and NCIS: Los Angeles and reality TV series such as Final Fu.

Early life[edit]

Reyes was born in San Jose, California, to actor/stuntman Ernie Reyes Sr. and is the grandson of Filipino immigrants.[2] He has three brothers and two sisters, one of whom, Lee Reyes, is a boxer and another, Santino Ramos, is a filmmaker/artist. By the age of six, Reyes had joined his father's group, the "West Coast Demo Team".[citation needed]


Reyes made his film debut at age 13 in the 1985 film The Last Dragon. The same year he shared the screen with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Brigitte Nielsen in Red Sonja. During this time, he also had his own television series, Sidekicks, a spin-off of the original Walt Disney one-time special The Last Electric Knight, alongside Gil Gerard presented by Michael Eisner.[2] He also appeared in an episode of the hit television series MacGyver in 1988.[3] Reyes had starring roles in Surf Ninjas, the second Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film, The Secret of the Ooze, as Keno, the pizza delivery boy. He also served as the martial arts stunt double for Donatello in the first Ninja Turtles film.[4] He later appeared in films such as Rush Hour 2 playing Zing[5] and in The Rundown alongside WWE wrestler Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.[4] Reyes guest starred in three episodes of the TV series Kung Fu: The Legend Continues alongside David Carradine.[6]

In 2006, Reyes hosted the MTV martial arts reality show Final Fu.[7]

Reyes has a professional fight record of 3–0 in Strikeforce which was a large mixed martial arts organization but started out as a Muay Thai and kickboxing organization. Ernie fought Anthony Elkaim the WKA ISKA Champion. Reyes knocked out the champion in the 3rd round. His next two fights would be won by decision, including a unanimous decision over Veasna Thach,[8] which aired on ESPN. Ernie Reyes Jr.'s fight against the champion Anthony Elkaim also aired on ESPN.[9][10][11][12]

Reyes has done motion capture stunts for blockbuster films such as Avatar and Alice in Wonderland.[13] He also played a cemetery warrior in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull who gets killed by his own poison dart. Reyes guest starred on NCIS: Los Angeles "The Frozen Lake" playing "Jay Thapa", a Nepalese soldier who is an expert in knife-fighting.

Personal life[edit]

In October 31 2007, he and his wife Lisa had a daughter, Lotus Blossom, who appeared in the 2020 film We Can Be Heroes. On January 7, 2013, he and his wife had a second child named Phoenix Reyes.[citation needed]

In June 2015, it was reported that Reyes was suffering from kidney failure and was in need of a transplant. According to his sister, Reyes undergoes dialysis three times per week for four hours each day. His family set up a GoFundMe campaign to help raise $75,000 for his medical expenses.[14][15]


As actor[edit]

Title Year Role Notes
The Last Dragon 1985 Tai (Karate Student)
Red Sonja 1985 Prince Tarn
Sidekicks 1986 Ernie Lee
Ernie and Master Kim 1989 Ernie
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1990 Donatello (Martial Arts Stunt Double)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze 1991 Keno
Secret Bodyguard 1991 Ernie Rey
Kung Fu: The Legend Continues 1993 Emperor Sing Ling
Surf Ninjas 1993 Johnny Also Associate Producer
White Wolves II: Legend of the Wild 1995 Steve
Paper Dragons 1996
Small Time 1996 Marty
The Ultimate Fight a.k.a. The Process 1998 Jesse Also Director
Rush Hour 2 2001 Zing
Poolhall Junkies 2002 Tang
The Rundown 2003 Manito
Redline 2007 Ernie
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull 2008 Cemetery Warrior
The Red Canvas a.k.a. The Art of Submission 2009 Johnny Sanchez Also Executive Producer
NCIS: Los Angeles 2013 Jay Thapa episode: "The Frozen Lake"
Ninja Apocalypse 2014 Hiroshi
NCIS: Los Angeles 2015 Jay Thapa episode: "Expiration Date"
The Librarians 2017 Monkey King episode: "And the Fatal Separation"
Brooklyn Nine-Nine 2018 Bob #2 episode: "The Negotiation"
The Next Kill 2018 Badass Blue-Shirt-Wearing Pizza-Loving Surfer Dude
Superstore (TV Series) 2018 Customer episode: "Toxic Workplace"
Uncharted Live Action Fan Film 2018 El Tigre

As stunt performer[edit]

Title Year Role
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1990 Fight/Stunt Double: Donatello
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze 1991 Fight/ Performer: Keno
Avatar 2009 Utility Stunts
Alice in Wonderland 2010 Stunt Double: Tweedledee
Act of Valor 2011 Stunts

Kickboxing record[edit]

Kickboxing record
3 Wins (1 KO), 0 Losses
Date Result Opponent Event Location Method Round Time Record
2005-10-00 Win United States Ryan Fotheringham Strikeforce San Jose, California, USA Decision 5 3:00 3-0
1999-00-00 Win Cambodia Veasna Thach Strikeforce San Jose, California, USA Decision (unanimous) 5 3:00 2-0
1998-00-00 Win France Anthony Elkaim Strikeforce Milan, Italy KO 3 1-0
Legend:   Win   Loss   Draw/No contest   Notes

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ernie Reyes Jr". AllMovie. Retrieved 2018-07-22.
  2. ^ a b Wiltens, Jim (June 1987). "Big and Little Ernie Reyes: Sidekicks for Life". Black Belt. 25 (6): 59.
  3. ^ Rizzo, Francis (2005-08-25). "MacGyver - The Complete Third Season". DVD Talk. Retrieved 2016-01-03.
  4. ^ a b Dornbush, Jonathon (2015-06-12). "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II's Ernie Reyes Jr. needs kidney transplant". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2016-01-03.
  5. ^ Rothman, Michael (2015-06-12). "'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' Star Ernie Reyes Jr. Needs Kidney Transplant". ABC News. Retrieved 2016-01-03.
  6. ^ Remer, Justin (2014-07-07). "Kung Fu: The Legend Continues: The Complete First Season". DVD Talk. Retrieved 2016-01-03.
  7. ^ Iverson, Dan (2006-07-16). "The Final Fu". IGN. Retrieved 2016-01-03.
  8. ^ Fight Sports Championship Kickboxing – 'Ernie Reyes, Jr. vs. Veasna Thach' Episode Info – MSN TV Archived 2012-10-12 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 2011-07-25.
  9. ^ Ernie Reyes Jr. the fighter – Ernie Reyes Jr. Fan Site Archived 2010-10-01 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 2011-07-25.
  10. ^ ISKA Karate Ernie Reyes, JR fight.
  11. ^ Ernie Reyes Jr. – Sherdog Mixed Martial Arts Forums Archived 2011-09-28 at the Wayback Machine. (2007-02-13). Retrieved on 2011-07-25.
  12. ^ Ernie Reyes, Jr. – MMA News Forums Archived 2011-07-19 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 2011-07-25.
  13. ^ West, Jay (2011-03-10). "'Star Tours' flashback: The rapping C-3PO of 1987". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2016-01-03.
  14. ^ Takeda, Allison (June 12, 2015). "Ernie Reyes Jr., Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Actor, Needs a Kidney Transplant". Us Weekly. Retrieved June 13, 2015.
  15. ^ "'TMNT' Actor Ernie Reyes Jr. Needs Kidney Transplant". ABC News. 2015-06-13. Retrieved 2015-10-29.

External links[edit]