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Cheech Marin facts for kids

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The surname Marin is of Spanish language origin. In Spanish, it is spelled Marín, with an acute accent on the í.
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Cheech Marin
Cheech Marin by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Marin at the 2022 WonderCon
Birth name Richard Anthony Marin
Born (1946-07-13) July 13, 1946 (age 77)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Medium Film, stand-up, television
Years active 1971–present
Genres Character comedy, musical comedy, political satire, sketch comedy
Subject(s) Latin American culture, everyday life
Darlene Morley
(m. 1975; div. 1984)
Patti Heid
(m. 1986; div. 2009)
Natasha Rubin
(m. 2009)
Children 3

Richard Anthony "Cheech" Marin (born July 13, 1946) is an American comedian, actor, musician, and activist. He 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, although Marin himself is not fluent in Spanish.

Early life

Marin was born on July 13, 1946, in South Los Angeles, California, to Mexican parents Elsa (née Meza) (1923–2010), a secretary, and Oscar Marin (1922–2015), a police officer for the LAPD. Marin was born with a cleft lip, which was surgically repaired. Marin identifies as Chicano; he speaks some Spanish and often uses it in his movies, but he is not fluent.

Marin's nickname "Cheech" is short for "chicharron", fried pork rind, which is a popular snack and ingredient in Latin American cuisine. In a 2017 NPR interview, Marin attributed the nickname to his uncle: "I came home from the hospital, I was like a couple of 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?"

In 1955, Marin and his family moved to Granada Hills, California, and he attended primary school at St. John Baptist de la Salle Catholic School. Marin then went to high school at Bishop Alemany High School, during which he started to attend folk music events at the Ash Grove on Melrose Avenue as a teenager. Afterwards, he studied at California State University, Northridge (then known as San Fernando Valley State College), where he was a member of Phi Sigma Kappa. During his second semester at CSUN, he worked almost full-time at Nordskog Industries in Van Nuys, while enrolled more than full-time as a college student. It was also during this time that he became acquainted with Timothy Leary at a local Students for a Democratic Society event, who would become a lifelong friend. Graduating CSUN as an English major in 1968, soon after he auditioned to sing for Frank Zappa's band, The Mothers of Invention. Not being offered the gig during his audition, a day later Marin moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, in order to evade the draft during the Vietnam War. Marin met his future comedic partner, Tommy Chong, in Calgary, Alberta.


Comedy albums and films

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.

Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong, 1979

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., which was also his directorial debut, 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 appeared in the Fox sitcom Married... with Children as the voice of the Bundy's Briard dog, Buck; he voiced the character in three episodes: Look Who's Barking, Change for a Buck and Assault and Batteries.

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.

Cheech appears in several episodes of AMC's Lodge 49 as El Confidente, a member of Lodge 55 in Mexico.

Children's music albums and related works

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. He appeared in the episode "A Crown for King Juan el Bobo", as the Puerto Rican folk hero Juan Bobo.

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.

Marin 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. It is a cover of an original song by Cheech and Chong. The song is performed by a fictional singer named Alice Bowie.

In 2009, he appeared in the Hallmark Channel movie Expecting a Miracle.

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.

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 in the third week of the competition.

The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, Culture & Industry

Marin is an avid collector of Chicano art and started his collection in the 1980s. Two national touring exhibitions have featured works from his private collection. 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". In collaboration with the city of Riverside, California, and the Riverside Art Museum, Marin established The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, Culture & Industry, in the City of Riverside, which opened June 18, 2022. Marin will be donating his collection of over 700 pieces of Chicano art, the largest collection of such art in the world. The center will provide a location for the presentation and study of Chicano art, and is expected to draw international attention.

Other interests

He is an avid golfer, although he initially disliked the sport until he co-starred in the golf-themed comedy Tin Cup. Marin also practices horse archery on a special course built on his private land.

In 2019, he was featured in The Little Mermaid: An Immersive Live-to-Film Concert Experience playing the role of Chef Louis at the Hollywood Bowl.

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. Marin married artist Patti Heid in 1986; they had two children and have since divorced. Marin married his longtime girlfriend, Russian pianist Natasha Marin, on August 8, 2009, in a sunset ceremony at their home.

Marin resides in Malibu, California.



Year Title Role Notes
1978 Up in Smoke Pedro de Pacas
1980 Cheech and 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 Also director and writer
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 (voice)
1995 Desperado Short Bartender
1996 From Dusk Till Dawn Border Guard/Chet Pussy/Carlos
The Great White Hype Julio Escobar
Tin Cup Romeo Posar
1998 Paulie Ignacio
1999 The Nuttiest Nutcracker Mac (voice) Direct-to-video
2000 See You in My Dreams Estaban
Luminarias Jesus
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 Cameo
Pinocchio The Fox (voice)
2003 Masked and Anonymous Prospero
Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over Felix Gumm The Fake Uncle Cameo
Once Upon a Time in Mexico Belini
Good Boy! The Henchmen (voice)
2004 The Lion King 1½ Banzai (voice) Direct-to-video
Christmas with the Kranks Officer Salino
2005 Sian Ka'an Unknown role (voice)
Fall Down a School Erick Matthew, 202, 26, 57, 211 Bus Motorists (voices)
Underclassman Captain Victor Delgado
2006 Cars Ramone (voice)
Mater and the Ghostlight Ramone (voice) Short film
2007 The Union: The Business Behind Getting High Himself
Grindhouse Padre Benicio Del Toro
2008 Beverly Hills Chihuahua Manuel (voice)
2009 Race to Witch Mountain Eddie Cortez The 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 (voice)
2012 El Santos vs. La Tetona Mendoza Narrator, El Charro (voices) (Spanish-language Mexican animated film)
Seven Psychopaths The Dog, Erick Matthew (voice)
Tad, The Lost Explorer Freddy (voice) US English dub
2013 Cheech & Chong's Animated Movie Cheech/Pedro de Pacas (voice)
2014 The Book of Life Pancho Rodriguez (voice)
2016 El Americano: The Movie Martin (voice)
Dark Harvest Ricardo
2017 Cars 3 Ramone (voice)
Coco Corrections Officer (voice)
2019 The Cheech: An American Icon's Crusade for the Chicano Art Movement Himself A documentary covering Marin's lifelong advocacy for Chicano art, and his efforts to develop The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, Culture and Industry.
2020 The War with Grandpa Danny
2022 Angry Neighbors Hector Voice only
Shotgun Wedding Robert
2023 Champions Julio
The Long Game Pollo


Year Title Role Notes
1987 The Tracey Ullman Show Azai 1 episode
1990 Mother Goose Rock 'n' Rhyme Carnival Barker
1991 Great Performances El Cosmico 1 episode
1991–1994 Married... with Children Buck's Voice 3 episodes
1992 Ring of the Musketeers [de] Burt Aramis
1992–1993 The Golden Palace Chuy Castillos 24 episodes
1993 Tales from the Crypt Dr. Beneloy 1 episode
1994 The Cisco Kid Pancho
Dream On Waiter 1 episode
Sesame Street Genie Episode 3259
1995 Santo Bugito Lencho the Flea Unknown episodes
The Courtyard Angel Steiner
Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child Alberto (voice) Episode: "Hansel and Gretel"
1996 Latino Laugh Festival Host
1996–1998 Tracey Takes On... Carlos 2 episodes
1996–2001 Nash Bridges Inspector Joe Dominguez
2000 Funny Flubs & Screw-Ups V Host
The 26th Annual People's Choice Awards Host
Resurrection Blvd. Hector Archuletta
South Park Carlos Ramirez (voice) Episode: "Cherokee Hair Tampons"
2003 The Ortegas Henny Ortega Unaired TV series
Tracey Ullman in the Trailer Tales Himself
George Lopez Lalo Episode: "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Honey"
2004–2005 Judging Amy Ignacio Messina 20 episodes
2005 Dora the Explorer King Juan el Bobo (voice) Episode: "A Crown for King Juan el Bobo"
2007 Storm Hawks Cyclonian Pilot
2007–2009 Lost David Reyes 3 episodes
2008 Mind of Mencia Gay man's father
2008 Grey's Anatomy Otis Episode: "Where the Wild Things Are"
2009 MADtv Himself
2009 Outnumbered Television film
2009 Expecting a Miracle Father Arturo Television film
2010 WWE Raw Himself (Guest Host)
2011 Off the Map Papa
The Simpsons Himself (voice) Episode: "A Midsummer's Nice Dream"
Lopez Tonight Himself
2012 American Dad! Horatio (voice) Episode: "Stanny Tendergrass"
Psych Deacon Jones
Rob Fernando
Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off Himself (celebrity contestant)
2014 Anger Management Hector
2015 Jane the Virgin Edward
2017 Disjointed Cheech Episode: "The Worst"
2017–2020 Elena of Avalor Quita Moz (voice)
2018 Rob Riggle's Ski Master Academy Condor De Bogota
2018–2019 Lodge 49 El Confidente
2020 Broke Don Dominguez Episode: "The Test"
2021 Maya and the Three Hura / Can / Teca (voice) 5 episodes
Bubble Guppies Fogzilla Episode: "Fogzilla!"
Nash Bridges Joe Dominguez Television film
2022 Home Economics Roberto Episodes: "Round-Trip Ticket SAN-OAK, $234", "Wedding Bouquet, $125"
Cars on the Road Ramone (voice) Episode: "Dino Park"
2023 Lopez vs Lopez Carlos Episode: "Lopez vs. Ghosts"
The Legend of Vox Machina Trinket (voice)
The Eric Andre Show Himself (guest) Upcoming episode

Video games

  • Animated Storybook: The Lion King (1994) - Banzai (voice)
  • Blazing Dragons (1996) - Sir George / Guido the Pizza Chef / Loudmouth Guard
  • Kingdom Hearts II (2006) - Banzai (voice)
  • Cars (2006) - Ramone
  • Cars Mater-National Championship (2007) - Ramone
  • Cars Race-O-Rama (2009) - Ramone
  • Cars 2 (2011) - Ramone
  • Kinect Rush: A Disney-Pixar Adventure (2012) - Ramone
  • Disney Infinity (2013) - Ramone
  • Cars: Fast as Lightning (2014) - Ramone

Theme park attractions

  • It's Tough to Be a Bug! (1998) - Chilic
  • Radiator Springs Racers (2012) - Ramone


  • Cheech and Chong (1971)
  • Big Bambu (1972)
  • Los Cochinos (1973), won Best Comedy Recording at the 16th Annual Grammy Awards
  • Cheech & Chong's Wedding Album (1974)
  • Sleeping Beauty (1976)
  • Up in Smoke (1978)
  • Let's Make a New D*** Deal (1980)
  • Get Out Of My Room (1985)
  • My Name Is Cheech the School Bus Driver (Released October 27, 1992)
  • Follow the Leader (1998)


See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Cheech Marin para niños

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