Cheech Marin – Bio
CHEECH MARIN – BIO
Best known as one half of the hilariously irreverent, satirical, counter-culture, no-holds-barred duo ‘Cheech and Chong,’ Cheech Marin is a paradox in the world of entertainment. Cheech is an actor, director, writer, musician, art collector and humanitarian, a man who has enough talent, humor, and intelligence to do just about anything. As a multi-generational star — or as Cheech jests, “People know me from the womb to the tomb.” To this day, ‘Cheech and Chong’ films are the number one weekend video rentals.
Currently Cheech is in production on THE THIRD MIRACLE (Mandalay Entertainment) about a failed baseball coach who takes a local Little League team of dirt-poor kids in Mexico to the Little League World Series in 1957. Cheech was last seen in the Disney/PIXAR animated feature film CARS where he provided the voice of Ramone. When Hollywood is not monopolizing his time, Cheech is busy promoting CHICANO, his vision of Chicano art and expression as brought to life in an unprecedented museum exhibition. CHICANO features Cheech’s own personal Chicano art collection, one of the largest in the world which forms the core of “Chicano Visions: American Painters on the Verge”.
CHICANO first opened in November 2001 at the San Antonio Museum of Art and since has toured through out the United States including The Smithsonian Institution. CHICANO is currently on display at the de Young Museum in San Francisco and will continue touring until 2007. For more details, visit www.chicano-art-life.com.
In the past few years, Cheech has kept himself busy with numerous film roles including: UNDERCLASSMAN, CHRISTMAS WITH THE KRANKS, SPY KIDS 3-D and ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO. At the same time, Cheech had a recurring role on the CBS television series JUDGING AMY. And if that was not enough, Cheech directed the Broadway production of LATINOLOGUES, a collection of comedic and poignant monologues revealing the Latino experience in America.
Cheech probably owes the resurgence in his career to his scene-stealing role in the movie TIN CUP, where he played Kevin Costner’s caddy, Romeo Posar. Shortly afterwards, long time friend and TIN CUP co-star, Don Johnson, asked Cheech to play his side-kick in the CBS crime series NASH BRIDGES.
Cheech has also become a favorite with children the world over through his many roles in animated movies and music projects. This includes providing the voices of Banzai, one of the dastardly hyenas in THE LION KING and well as the streetwise Chihuahua in Disney’s OLIVER AND COMPANY. Cheech has managed to maintain this popularity with the “kids set” via his role in the SPY KIDS trilogy and his phenomenally, successful bilingual children’s albums, MY NAME IS CHEECH, THE SCHOOL BUS DRIVER and MY NAME IS CHEECH, THE SCHOOL BUS DRIVER: COAST TO COAST. According to Cheech, “The music speaks directly to kids in an intelligent way–they’re fun, but educational.” In fact, the record 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.
Cheech was born in South Central L.A. and raised in Granada Hills, a suburb of the San Fernando Valley. He has 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. After attending Cal State Northridge to study English, he 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 and starred in eight feature films together. The first, UP IN SMOKE, was the highest grossing comedy of 1978, topping $100 million at the box office. Then came 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. The twosome also made guest appearances on YELLOWBEARD and Martin Scorsese’s AFTER HOURS. In 2005, Cheech & Chong re-united for the first time in more than decade when they were honored at the Aspen Comedy Festival.
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 AWAKENING, FATAL BEAUTY, and SHRIMP ON THE BARBIE, and DUSK UNTIL DAWN.
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. Cheech was the recipient of the 2000 Creative Achievement Award from the Imagen Foundation. In addition, he received the 1999 National Council of La Raza/Kraft Foods ALMA Community Service Award for his work on behalf of the Latino community.
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. Cheech also has a line of three gourmet hot sauces on the market that are in the words of Cheech – ‘Whatappenin!’
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Source: Evergreen Exhibitions