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Marin at the 2012 ALMA Awards
|Birth name||Richard Anthony Marin|
July 13, 1946 |
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Medium||Stand-up, film, television|
|Genres||Latin comedy, stoner comedy|
|Subject(s)||Recreational drug use, drug culture|
|Spouse||Darlene Morley (m. 1975; div. 1984)
Patti Heid (m. 1986; div. 2009)
Natasha Rubin (m. 2009)
|Notable works and roles||Cheech & Chong
Richard Anthony "Cheech" Marin (born July 13, 1946) is an American stand-up comedian, actor, voice actor, writer and activist who gained recognition as part of the comedy act Cheech & Chong during the 1970s and early 1980s with Tommy Chong and as Don Johnson's partner, Insp. Joe Dominguez, on Nash Bridges. He has also voiced characters in several Disney films, including Oliver & Company, The Lion King, the Cars series, Coco and Beverly Hills Chihuahua.
Marin's trademark is his characters' strong Chicano accents.
Marin was born in Los Angeles, California, to Mexican American parents, Oscar Marin, a policeman in the LAPD, and his wife Elsa (Meza), a secretary. Marin was born with a cleft lip, which was repaired. He speaks some Spanish and uses it in his movies, but he is not fluent.
Marin's nickname "Cheech" is short for "chicharron", a fried pork skin that is a popular snack and an ingredient in Mexican cuisine. In a 2017 NPR interview, Marin attributed the nickname to his uncle: "I came home from the hospital, I was like a couple days old or something, my uncle came over and he looked in the crib and he said [in Spanish], 'Ay, parece un chicharrón.' Looks like a little chicharrón, you know?"
Marin graduated from Bishop Alemany High School and then studied at San Fernando Valley State College (now California State University, Northridge), where he was a member of Phi Sigma Kappa. He dropped out before graduating. Marin auditioned to sing for Frank Zappa in 1967, but he moved to Vancouver, British Columbia in September to dodge the draft during the Vietnam War. Marin met his future comedic partner, Tommy Chong, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
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 Marin.
After Cheech & Chong disbanded in 1985, Marin starred in a number of films as a solo actor, most notably Born in East L.A., The Shrimp on the Barbie, Tin Cup, and Once Upon a Time in Mexico. He made a cameo appearance as a dockworker in Ghostbusters II. In 2004 he made his second appearance as a policeman, as "Officer Salino" in the film adaptation of John Grisham's holiday novel "Skipping Christmas", under the title "Christmas With the Kranks", starring Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis.
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 frequent collaborator of the director Robert Rodriguez, who has worked with Marin seven times; the last two installments of the Mexico trilogy, the Spy Kids trilogy, From Dusk Till Dawn and Machete. He provided his voice for several Disney animated films, most notably Tito the Chihuahua in Oliver & Company (1988), Banzai the hyena in The Lion King (1994), and Ramone in Cars (2006) and its sequels Cars 2 (2011) and Cars 3 (2017). He also played Pancho in The Cisco Kid (1994), and reprised the Banzai role in the video game Kingdom Hearts II.
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, the book Cheech the School Bus Driver was released, written by Marin, illustrated by Orlando L. Ramirez, and published by HarperCollins.
In late 2006, Marin participated in Simon Cowell's Celebrity Duets, having sung with Peter Frampton, Randy Travis, Clint Black, Aaron 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.
On March 18, 2010, Marin beat journalist Anderson Cooper and actress Aisha Tyler on Celebrity Jeopardy!'s Million Dollar Celebrity Invitational. Cooper admitted he was "crushed" by Marin. 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.
Marin is an avid collector of Chicano art. Two national touring exhibitions have featured works from his private collection. Marin started collecting Chicano art in the 1980s. He feels that it's important to "use his celebrity status to call attention to what he saw as an under-appreciated and under-represented style of art."
He is an avid golfer, although he initially disliked the sport until he co-starred in Tin Cup. He also enjoys horse archery, which he practices on a special course that he has built on his private land.
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. Marin married artist Patti Heid in 1986; they had two children and have since divorced. Patti is responsible for his interest in Chicano Art. Marin married his longtime girlfriend, Russian pianist Natasha Rubin, on August 8, 2009, in a sunset ceremony at their home.
|1978||Up in Smoke||Pedro de Pacas|
|1980||Cheech and Chong's Next Movie||Cheech/Dwayne "Red" Mendoza|
|1982||Things Are Tough All Over||Cheech/Mr.Slyman/Narrator|
|1984||Cannonball Run II||Tire Store Employee|
|Cheech & Chong's The Corsican Brothers||Corsican Brother|
|1985||Get Out of My Room||Cheech/Ian Rotten|
|1986||Charlie Barnett's Terms of Enrollment||Elvis Friend & Fan|
|1987||Born in East L.A.||Rudy Robles|
|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||Himself|
|1990||Far Out Man||Cheech|
|The Shrimp on the Barbie||Carlos Munoz|
|Mother Goose Rock 'n' Rhyme||Carnival Barker|
|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|
|1996||Blazing Dragons||Sir George/Guido/Loudmouth Guard||Voice|
|From Dusk Till Dawn||Border Guard/Chet Pussy/Carlos|
|The Great White Hype||Julio Escobar|
|Tin Cup||Romeo Posar|
|It's Tough to be a Bug!||Chili||Attraction at Disney's Animal Kingdom|
|1999||The Nuttiest Nutcracker||Mac||Voice|
|2000||See You in My Dreams||Estaban|
|2000||Picking Up the Pieces||Mayor Machado|
|2001||Spy Kids||Felix Gumm||The Fake Uncle|
|2002||Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams||Felix Gumm||The Fake Uncle|
|2003||The Ortegas||Henny Ortega|
|2003||Masked and Anonymous||Prospero|
|2003||Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over||Felix Gumm||The Fake Uncle|
|2003||Once Upon a Time in Mexico||Belini|
|2003||Good Boy!||The Henchmen||Voice|
|2004||The Lion King 1½||Banzai the Hyena|
|2004||Christmas with the Kranks||Officer Salino|
|Fall Down a School||Erick Matthew, 202, 26, 57, 211 Bus Motorists|
|Underclassman||Captain Victor Delgado|
|Kingdom Hearts II||Banzai the Hyena||Voice; video-game|
|Scarface: The World is Yours||Gaspar Gomez|
|Mater and the Ghostlight||Ramone||Voice|
|2007||The Union: The Business Behind Getting High||Himself|
|Grindhouse||Padre Benicio Del Toro|
|2008||Beverly Hills Chihuahua||Manuel||Voice|
|2009||Expecting a Miracle||Father Arturo||Television film|
|Race to Witch Mountain||Auto Mechanic|
|2010||The Perfect Game||Padre Esteban|
|Tales from Earthsea||Hare||Voice; US version only|
|Machete||Padre Benicio Del Toro||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.|
|Hoodwinked 2: Hood vs. Evil||Mad Hog|
|2012||El Santos vs. La Tetona Mendoza||Narrator, El Charro||Voice (Spanish-language Mexican animated film)|
|Seven Psychopaths||The Dog, Erick Matthew||Voice|
|2013||Cheech & Chong's Animated Movie||Cheech/Pedro de Pacas|
|2014||The Book of Life||Pancho Rodriguez|
|2016||El Americano: The Movie||Martin||Voice|
|2017||The War with Grandpa||Danny||Post-production|