Cheech Marin was born on the 13th of July in
1946 in South Central L.A. and raised in Granada Hills, a suburb of the San Fernando Valley. He always
loved music. "As a little kid, I was a singer and recorded albums. I was always in bands-you name it, I sang it--R&B, jazz, funk, I did
it all," he says. He went to Cal State Northridge
and studied English, but left eight credits short of a degree to "pursue pottery and avoid the draft."
Moving to Vancouver, British Columbia as a political refugee, Cheech soon met Tommy Chong who owned a topless club. He worked there for nine months combining music and improvisational comedy. "It was great--you could call it modern day burlesque," he quips.
Eventually Cheech and Chong teamed up and moved back to Los Angeles. They performed their stand-up/music act at clubs all over L.A. until they were discovered at "The Troubador" by music industry magnate Lou Adler. "The Rest," as Cheech says, "is history."
Cheech and Chong were a critically acclaimed duo for 15 years, but have worked separately for the past ten years. They teamed together for eight feature films: the first, "Up In Smoke", was the highest grossing comedy of 1978, topping $100 million at the box office. That followed with "Cheech And Chong's Next Movie", "Cheech And Chong's Nice Dreams", "Things Are Tough All Over", "Cheech And Chong: Still Smoking" and "Cheech And Chong: The Corsican Brothers". They also made guest appearances in "Yellowbeard" and Martin Scorsese's "After Hours".
After splitting with Chong, Cheech wrote, directed, and starred in Universal's hit comedy "Born In East L.A." Other film and television credits include "Cisco Kid", "Rude Awakenings", "Fatal Beauty" and "Shrimp On The Barbie".
Not one to be typecast, Cheech is in high demand these days and is currently involved with a wide range of projects. As a multi-generational star - or as Cheech jests, "People know me from the womb to the tomb," he attracts fans through his comedy and films, as well as his children's' projects. To this day, Cheech and Chong films are the number one weekend video rental.
In 1996, Cheech was starring opposite George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino again for Roberto Rodriquez in "From Dusk Till Dawn". Cheech also starred in Robert Rodriquez's "Desperado", as the "short bartender," alongside Antonio Banderas. On May 3rd 1996, Cheech starred opposite Samuel Jackson, Jeff Goldblum and Damon Wayans in "The Great White Hype". If that is not enough, Cheech is also playing in
"Tin Cup" a caddy and best buddy to Kevin Costner.
With his entry into the "kids set," Cheech's 'littlest' fans only know him because of his work in children's music and animation. When he lent his voice to our hyena Banzai he became known to an international children's audience. He also spoke for the streetwise Chihuahua in Disney's "Oliver And Company". That movie is about a kitten suddenly finding himself among a bunch of cool backstreet dogs. And every Saturday morning, Cheech can be heard as "Lencho the Flea" on CBS's new show, "Santo Bugito". Cheech is also featured in the Turner Entertainment CD-ROM game entitled Za Zoom.
Moreover, due to his phenomenal success of this first bilingual children's album, "My Name Is Cheech, The School Bus Driver", he released a second record "My Name Is Cheech, The School Bus Driver Coast To Coast," in 1996.
According to Cheech, "The music speaks directly to kids in an intelligent way-they're fun, but educational." In fact, the record so impressed the Los Angeles Unified School District, that they are using one of his songs to teach kids about how to mix and use colors. The second album will feature a bus trip from Los Angeles to Miami, and through a combination of latin rhythms, the music will address such issues as rewards and lessons on how to get along.
As for the future, Cheech hopes to continue acting, writing and directing. He also desires to become more involved in animation projects. "I love animation because it is such a pure form of acting, created just by the voice," he says. When he is not working, Cheech devotes a great deal of time to such organizations as El Rescate and the Inner City Arts Council.
Additionally, Cheech develops his own scripts and actively works to build his collection of Chicano art, which is the largest owned by a private citizen.
However, the best times for Cheech are those hanging out with his wife, a painter, and their three children. The family divides their time between homes in San Francisco and Park City, Utah.
Best known as one half of the hilariously irreverent, satirical, counter-culture, no-holds-barred duo of Cheech and Chong, Cheech Marin is a paradox in the world of entertainment - if you think you know what he is all about, you've got a lot more to think about! As an actor, director, writer, musician, art collector and humanitarian, he's a man who has enough talent, humor, and intelligence to do just about anything.
I did not watch any of Cheech Marin's movies yet
What I did watch, though, is "Married with Children"
where he does the voice of the Bundy's dog "Buck".
I just love that show and Buck is giving the best comments.
If you want to see all the movies and other performances
Cheech Marin did, go to the
Internet Movie Data Base
Go to Banzai
Go to Characters
Home to The Elephant's Graveyard