|Date of Birth
||13 July 1946
|Place of Birth
||Los Angeles, California, USA
With Tommy Chong, Cheech Marin first co-founded the improv group “City Works” and performed standup/music acts at a Vancouver nightclub. At the end of the 60s, the pair began performing as “Cheech and Chong” in American and Canadian clubs and became the opening act for several rock bands, including the Allman Brothers Band and the Rolling Stones. In 1971, the duo recorded their first comedy album titled Cheech & Chong and immediately earned a Grammy nomination for Best Comedy Recording. It was then followed by the largest-selling comedy recording of all time Big Bambu (1972) and the Grammy-winning Los Cochinos (1973).
Five years later, Marin, along with Chong, made his movie debut as the co-screenwriter, songwriter and actor in the comedy Up in Smoke (1978, starred as Pedro De Pacas, sang “Up in Smoke”). He next directed, co-wrote and acted in Cheech & Chong’s Next Movie (1980, as Cheech/Dwayne ‘Red’ Mendoza) and Nice Dreams (1981, also sang the titular song). Marin also took on the double task of the screenwriter (with Chong) and actor in the action comedy Things Are Tough All Over (1982, as Cheech/Mr Slyman/Narrator) before returning to the director’s chair with Still Smokin (1983), Cheech & Chong’s Corsican Brothers (1984) and Get Out of My Room (1985), which was his last project with Chong.
Going for the stage, Marin was cast in the supporting role of Jose Mondragon in Robert Redford’s “The Milagro Beanfield War” (1986, reprised the role on the audio version). He also played Syd in the drama comedy Echo Park (1986), alongside Susan Dey and Tom Hulce.
Marin directed, wrote the script, acted and did the soundtrack for the comedy Born in East L.A. (1987), where he starred as Rudy, a Mexican-American wrongly deported to Mexico as an illegal immigrant. Before long, he swept up three Havana Film Festival prizes (one for Best Screenplay, one for Glauber Rocha Award, and another for Grand Coral, the third prize). For the movie, Marin also performed “Purple Haze,” “Summertime Blues” and the self-penned titular song. Still in 1987, he released the self-directed “Born in East L.A” (1987) music video.
Working with Disney, Marin’s voice was heard as Tito in the animated movie Oliver & Company (1988). Subsequent to his turn as Jesus Monteya in the comedy Rude Awakening (1989), the comedian played Carnival Barker in the TV special program Mother Goose Rock ‘n’ Rhyme (1990). Next up for Marin, he voiced the guest character Buck in the sitcom “Married with Children” (1991, 1993, 1994), reunited with Tommy Chong in the animation film FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992, voiced Stump), appeared in an episode of “Tales of the Crypt” (1993), provided vocals for Banzai the Hyena in The Lion King (1994) and was cast as the Short Bartender in Robert Rodriguez’ popular thriller Desperado (1995).
1996 was an important year for Marin because he earned three NCLR Bravo award nominations, each for his effort in hosting the TV special program Latino Laugh Festival, playing Romeo Posar in the romantic comedy Tin Cup, and carrying out the regular role of Inspector Joe Dominguez in the series “Nash Bridges” (1996-2001, opposite Don Johnson). In addition, for his part in “Nash Bridges,” he later received four ALMA nominations for Best Actor in a Television Series.
Two other ALMA nominations came after Marin hosted the 2nd Annual Latino Laugh Festival (1998) and had the role of Ignacio in the family movie Paulie (1998). After taking part in the short animation It’s Tough to Be a Bug (1999), the actor earned one more ALMA nomination for being the host of the TV Funny Flubs & Screw-Ups V (2000).
The recipient of the 1999 ALMA Community Service award re-teamed with director Robert Rodriguez to play Felix Gumm in the three-part Spy Kids movies, Spy Kids (2001), Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams (2002) and Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (2003). Returning to television series, Marin joined the cast of the drama “Judging Amy” (2005-2006) as Ignacio Messina.
Marin recently lent his voice for Ramone in the animated film Cars (2006). Additionally, the former comedian became one of the contestants of the talent show program “Celebrity Duets” (2006), where he was teamed up with such professionals as Peter Frampton, Randy Travis, and Clint Black. He reportedly will be one of the leading characters in the upcoming The Third Miracle (2006).