Cheech Marin

Cheech Marin

Marin at the 2012 ALMA Awards.
Birth name Richard Anthony Marin
Born (1946-07-13) July 13, 1946
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Medium Stand-up
Nationality American
Years active 1971–present
Genres Latin comedy, stoner comedy
Subject(s) Recreational drug use,
drug culture
Spouse Darlene Morley (1975–1984),
Patti Heid (1986–2009),
Natasha Rubin (2009–present)
Children 3
Notable works and roles Nash Bridges,
Cheech & Chong,

Richard Anthony "Cheech" Marin (born July 13, 1946) is an American 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 productions, including Oliver & Company, The Lion King, It's Tough to Be a Bug!, Cars, Cars 2 and Beverly Hills Chihuahua.

Marin's trademark is his characters' strong Mexican accents; this is part of his comic persona, as he was born and raised in the United States.

Early life

Marin[1][2] was born in Los Angeles, California, the son of Oscar Marin, a policeman in the LAPD, and his wife Elsa (Meza), a secretary.[3] He is Mexican American. 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.[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.

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.[6] Marin met his future comedic partner, Tommy Chong, in Calgary, Canada.[7]


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 Marin.

Later films and television work

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.

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 sequel Cars 2 (2011). He 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 2005, Marin lent his voice to the animated children's series Dora the Explorer.[8] He appeared in the episode "A Crown for King Bobo", as the Puerto Rican folk hero Juan Bobo.[9]

Additional television appearances

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.

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!'s Million Dollar Celebrity Invitational. Cooper admitted he was "crushed" by Marin.[10] 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.[11]

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.[12]

Other interests

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."[13]

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.[14] Marin married artist Patti Heid in 1986; they had two children and have since divorced. Patti is responsible for his interest in Chicano Art.[15] Marin married his longtime girlfriend, Russian pianist Natasha Rubin, on August 8, 2009, in a sunset ceremony at their home.

Marin resides in California.[16]



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 Terms of Enrollment Elvis Friend & Fan
Echo Park Sid
1987 Born in East L.A. Rudy Robles
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 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
1995 Desperado Short Bartender
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
1998 Paulie Ignacio
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 Luminarias Jesus
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
Pinocchio The Fox Voice
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
2005 Sian Ka'an Voice
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
2006 Cars Ramone Voice
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.
2011 Cars 2 Ramone Voice
Hoodwinked 2: Hood vs. Evil Mad Hog
2012 El Santos vs. La Tetona Mendoza Narrator, El Charro Voice (Spanish-language Mexican animated film)[17]
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[18] Martin Voice
2017 Cars 3[19] Ramone Voice

Television credits

Cheech and Chong comedy albums


  1. "Cheech Marin high on art". CNN.
  2. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. Wedlan, Candace A. (May 10, 1999). "Whatever Works / CHEECH MARIN; A Comic Axed by His Own Club".
  4. Archived August 25, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. "The Comedy Couch – Cheech Marin Interview". 2006-07-10. Retrieved 2015-11-05.
  6. Marin, Cheech (2009). Greasy Love Songs (Media notes). Frank Zappa. Zappa Records.
  7. "'Tommy Chong talks comedy, pot, politics and his days as a Calgary Herald Paperboy'". Calgary Herald.
  8. Nickelodeon. IMDB, A Crown for King Bobo. Aired October 23, 2005 Retrieved 2013-05-29
  9. IMDB, A Crown for King Bobo Retrieved 2013-05-29.
  10. Steve Krakauer. "Another CNN Anchor Fails At Celebrity Jeopardy".
  11. "Cheech Marin Donates ''Jeopardy!'' Winnings to Charity". Retrieved 2015-11-05.
  12. "Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-Off: New Show Premieres This Winter". 2011-07-29. Retrieved 2015-11-05.
  13. Allen, Mike (21 April 2013). "In collection, W&L talk, Cheech Marin champions Chicano art". The Roanoke Times. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
  14. Rikki Marin
  15. Cheech Marin – Biography
  16. "Limelight Listing – Cheech Marin's Malibu home". SFGate. 3 June 2011. Retrieved 6 September 2011.
  17. AnimaWeb. "Personajes". Santos vs. Tetona. Retrieved 2015-11-05.
  18. Hopewell, John (20 May 2014). "'El Americano 3D' Kicks Off Pre-Sales at Cannes (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety (magazine). Retrieved 21 May 2014.
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