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Cheech Marin

Richard Anthony "CheechMarin (born July 13, 1946) is a Mexican American comedian, actor and writer who gained recognition as part of the comedy act Cheech & Chong during the 1970s with Tommy Chong and early 1980s, and as Don Johnson's partner, Insp. Joe Dominguez on Nash Bridges. He has also voiced characters in several Disney productions, including Oliver and CompanyThe Lion KingIt's Tough to be a Bug!CarsCars 2 andBeverly Hills Chihuahua.

Marin's trademark is his characters' strong Mexican-accent; this is part of a comic persona, rather than a natural accent since Marin was born and raised in the United States.

Early life[]

Marin[1][2] was born in Los Angeles, California, the son of Elsa (née Meza), a secretary, and Oscar Marin, a policeman in the LAPD.[3] Marin was born with a cleft lip, which has long since been repaired. Although he speaks Spanish and uses it in some of his movies, he is not particularly fluent.[4]

Marin's nickname "Cheech" is short for "chicharron", a fried pork skin that is a popular snack in Mexican cuisine[5] and a favorite of marijuana smokers afflicted with "the munchies", and the nickname's alliteration with Chong's surname made "Cheech and Chong" an obvious choice for the name of the duo. The name of this character gave rise to the popular term "cheeched", meaning "under the influence of marijuana, usually at a relatively high dose".

Marin graduated from Bishop Alemany High School, located in California's San Fernando Valley, as well as from San Fernando Valley State College (now California State University, Northridge), where he was a member of Phi Sigma Kappa. Marin auditioned to sing for Frank Zappa in 1967, but moved to Vancouver, British Columbia in September of that year to avoid the U.S. draft during the height of the Vietnam War.[6] In Vancouver, Marin met his future comedic partner Tommy Chong.


Comedy albums and films[]

Main article: 

Cheech & Chong

As a part of the highly successful comedy duo Cheech & Chong, Marin participated in a number of comedy albums and feature film comedies in the 1970s and 1980s. Tommy Chong directed four of their films, while co-writing and starring in all seven with Cheech Marin.

Later films and television work[]

After he and Tommy Chong went their separate ways in 1985, Marin starred in a number of films as a solo actor, most notably Born in East L.A.Tin Cup, and Once Upon a Time in Mexico.

Marin made the transition to full-time television work when he co-starred on the short-lived The Golden Girls spin-off The Golden Palace (1992–1993), and later with Don Johnson, Jaime P. Gomez and Yasmine Bleeth in the police show Nash Bridges (1996–2001), in which they played San Francisco police-detective partners. In recent years he has been active in playing supporting roles in films and performing voice overs for animated features. After appearing in a supporting role in Judging Amy, playing an independently wealthy landscape designer, Marin starred in the CBS sitcom Rob, with Rob Schneider.

Marin is a favorite of director Robert Rodriguez, who has worked with Marin seven times; the last two installments of the Mexico trilogy, the Spy Kids trilogyFrom Dusk Till Dawn and Machete. He provided his voice for several Disney animated films, most notably Tito in Oliver & Company (1988), Banzai in The Lion King (1994) and Ramone in Cars (2006) and Cars 2 (2011). He also reprised the Banzai role in Kingdom Hearts II. He made a small appearance as a dockworker in the movie Ghostbusters 2.

Children's music albums[]

Marin has released two best-selling albums in the children's music genre, My Name is Cheech, the School Bus Driver (1992) and My Name is Cheech, The School Bus Driver "Coast to Coast"(1997). Both albums were released bilingually. In July 2007, Cheech Marin added children's book author to his list of accomplishments with the release of Cheech the School Bus Driver, illustrated by Orlando L. Ramirez (Published by HarperCollins).

Additional television appearances[]

In late 2006, Marin participated in Simon Cowell's Celebrity Duets, having sung with Peter FramptonRandy TravisClint BlackAaron Neville, and Al Jarreau. He was the fourth to be eliminated. In that same year, he voiced as Gaspar Gomez in Scarface: The World Is Yours.

In recent years, Marin has had a recurring role in the hit television series Lost, playing David Reyes, Hurley's father.

He was a co-host for WWE Raw on March 1, 2010 with his comedy partner Tommy Chong, in Oklahoma City.

Marin also sings on the hidden track "Earache My Eye" on Korn's album Follow the Leader.

On March 18, 2010, Marin beat journalist Anderson Cooper and actress Aisha Tyler on Celebrity Jeopardy!'Million Dollar Celebrity Invitational. Cooper admitted he was "crushed" by Marin.[7]Marin also won his semifinal round early May but lost in the May 6–7 final to Michael McKean. He had previously won the first Celebrity Jeopardy! tournament in 1992.[8]

In January 2012, he was one of eight celebrities participating in the Food Network reality series Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off. He was eliminated on the third week of the competition.[9]

Other interests[]

Marin is one of the foremost collectors of Chicano art in the United States, and his private collection is claimed[by whom?] as the most renowned. Two national touring exhibitions have featured works from his collection.

He is also an avid golfer, although he initially disliked the sport until he co-starred in Tin Cup.

Personal life[]

Marin was married in 1975 to Darlene Morley, who co-produced Cheech & Chong's The Corsican Brothers and also played minor roles in earlier Cheech & Chong films under the name Rikki Marin. The couple had one child and divorced in 1984.[10] Marin married Patti Heid in 1986; they had two children and have since divorced.[11] Marin married his longtime girlfriend, Russian pianist Natasha Rubin[12] on August 8, 2009, in a sunset ceremony at their home.

Marin resides in California.[13]



Year Title Role Notes
1978 Up in Smoke Pedro de Pacas
1980 Cheech & Chong's Next Movie Cheech/Dwayne "Red" Mendoza
1981 Nice Dreams Cheech
1982 Things Are Tough All Over Cheech/Mr.Slyman/Narrator
1983 Still Smokin' Cheech
Yellowbeard El Segundo
1984 Cannonball Run II Tire Store Employee
Cheech & Chong's The Corsican Brothers Corsican Brother
1985 Get Out of My Room Cheech/Ian Rotten
After Hours Neil
1986 Charlie Barnett's Tems of Enrollment Elvis & Fan
Echo Park Sid
1987 Born in East L.A. Rudy
Fatal Beauty Bartender
1988 Mickey's 60th Birthday Disney Janitor
Oliver & Company Tito the Chihuahua Voice
1989 Ghostbusters II Dock Supervisor
Rude Awakening Jesus Monteya
Troop Beverly Hills cameo
1990 Far Out Man Cheech
The Shrimp on the Barbie Carlos
1992 Ferngully: The Last Rainforest Stump Voice
1994 Charlie's Ghost Story Coronado
The Magic of the Golden Bear: Goldy III Master Borgia
A Million to Juan Shell Shock
The Lion King Banzai the Hyena Voice
1995 Desperado Short Bartender
1996 Blazing Dragons Voice
From Dusk Till Dawn Border Guard/Chet Pussy/Carlos
The Great White Hype Julio Escobar
Tin Cup Romeo Posar
1998 Paulie Ignacio
It's Tough to be a Bug! Attraction at Disney's Animal Kingdom
1999 The Nuttiest Nutcracker Mac Voice
2000 See You in My Dreams Estaban
2000 Luminarias Jesus
2000 Picking Up the Pieces Mayor Machado
2001 Spy Kids Felix Gumm
2002 Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams Felix Gumm
2002 Pinocchio The Fox Voice
2003 The Ortegas Henny Ortega
2003 Masked and Anonymous Prospero
2003 Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over Felix Gumm
2003 Once Upon a Time in Mexico Belini
2003 Good Boy! The Henchmen Voice
2004 The Lion King 1½ Banzai the Hyena Voice
2004 Christmas with the Kranks Officer Salino
2005 Sian Ka'an Voice
2005 Judging Amy Ignacio Messina
2005 Underclassman Captain Victor Delgado
2005 Kingdom Hearts II Banzai the Hyena Voice; video-game
2006 Cars Ramone Voice
2006 Scarface: The World is Yours Gaspar Gomez
2006 Mater and the Ghostlight Ramone Voice
2007 The Union: The Business Behind Getting High Himself
2008 Beverly Hills Chihuahua Manuel Voice
2009 Expecting a Miracle Father Arturo Television film
2009 Race to Witch Mountain Auto Mechanic
2010 The Perfect Game Padre Estaban
2010 Tales from Earthsea Hare Voice
2010 Machete Padre Cheech also makes an appearance as the Padre in the (then) fictitious Machete trailer for the 2007 Grindhouse double feature. The trailer appears in the DVD for the Planet Terror portion of Grindhouse.
2011 Cars 2 Ramone Voice
2011 Hoodwinked 2: Hood vs. Evil Mad Hog Voice
2012 El Santos vs. La Tetona Mendoza Narrator, El Charro Voice (Spanish-language Mexican animated film)[14]

Television credits[]

Cheech and Chong comedy albums[]