Entertainment

20 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Actor And Comedian Cheech Marin

Up in Smoke (1978) | lfla.org

Richard Anthony Marin, or simply known as Cheech, is one of the most recognizable Latinos in film mostly due to his role in the hippie counterculture film series “Cheech & Chong.” The 72-year-old comedian has starred in over 20 films since 1978 but has done more than just act. He is a stand-up comedian, actor, voice actor, writer and activist whose made an huge impact on Latino pop culture. Here are a few facts you may not know about the man we all know as Cheech. 

1. Cheech grew up in South Los Angeles.

CREDIT: cheechmarinofficial / Instagram


South LA gave him many of the ideas and skits he used throughout his movie career including the film “Born in East L.A.” It was also there where he developed a reputation as a class clown and sang in his friends’ bands.

2. He was nicknamed “Cheech”after fried pork.

CREDIT: cheechmarinofficial / Instagram


He was Richard Anthony Marin, but nicknamed Cheech as a kid because his uncle said he looked like a little chicharrón (fried pork rind). The name stuck with him growing up and he is now infamously known after the very popular Mexican snack.

3. He voiced several Disney animated films, most notably as a Hyena in the Lion King.

CREDIT: taylinicole / Twitter


He has provided his voice in Disney animated films like “Oliver and Company,” “The Lion King,” “Cars,” and most recently “Coco.” Don’t be surprised if the next time you’re watching a Disney movie and you hear Cheech. 

4. Cheech is a veteran writer and an author.

CREDIT: a_readers_diary / Instagram


Cheech recently published an autobiography, “Cheech Is Not My Real Name…But Don’t Call Me Chong,” about his life and the story behind “Cheech and Chong.” He also wrote for Poppin Magazine, a Canadian underground rock magazine and written a handful of children’s books. 

5. Marin is a frequent collaborator with director Robert Rodriguez.

CREDIT: ryeequalsfun / Instagram


Robert Rodriguez is one of the most notable Latino directors in the film industry and it’s no surprise he has worked with Marin seven times. He appeared in last two installments of the “Once Upon A Time In Mexico” trilogy, the “Spy Kids” trilogy, “From Dusk Till Dawn” and “Machete.”

6. He has an honorary doctorate degree.

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Otis College of Art & Design in Los Angeles gave Marin a Honorary Doctorate degree at its commencement ceremony back in May 2007. Cheech is a big fan of art so this made sense for him to be given such an honor. 

7. Cheech is believed to own one of the biggest private collections of Chicano art.

CREDIT: cheechmarinofficial / Instagram


Cheech Marin has one of the most exclusive private collection of Chicano art in the United States. Much of it formed the core of his exhibition “Chicano Visions: American Painters on the Verge,” which broke attendance records during its groundbreaking 12-city tour during 2001-2007 to major art museums across the United States.

8. He is currently in the works of opening up an arts center in Riverside, California.

CREDIT: cheechmarinofficial / Instagram


The museum, tentatively titled the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, Culture and Industry is scheduled to open in 2020 in Riverside, east of Los Angeles. California gave the stoner comedian $9.7 million this year for funding to open the museum.

9. Marin auditioned to sing for Frank Zappa back in 1967.

CREDIT: cheechmarinofficial / Instagram


Frank Zappa was one of the biggest rock groups during the late ’60s and Marin had a good shot of getting in the group but things didn’t pan out well. He moved to Vancouver, British Columbia in September of that year to dodge the draft during the Vietnam War. Marin would eventually release a solo album later in his career.

10. He is an avid golfer.

CREDIT: cheechmarinofficial / Instagram


He initially disliked the sport until he co-starred in the film “Tin Cup,” which is based on golfing. He also enjoys horse archery, which he practices on a special course that he has built on his private home. 

11. Marin has released two best-selling children’s music albums.

CREDIT: cheechmarinofficial / Instagram


“My Name is Cheech, the School Bus Driver” (1992) and “My Name is Cheech, The School Bus Driver ‘Coast to Coast'” (1997) became best-selling albums. They were both eventually released bilingually. In 2007, “Cheech the School Bus Driver” was turned into a book. 

12. He was in a fraternity in college.

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Marin graduated from Bishop Alemany High School and then studied at California State University, Northridge. He became a member of the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity. He has previously donated money to support the fraternity throughout the years. 

13. Cheech didn’t actually smoke any marijuana in any of the “Cheech and Chong” films.

CREDIT: cheechmarinofficial / Instagram


It may come as a surprise to some that Cheech and Chong never actually smoked any marijuana during any of their films. The only drug taken in the entire film series was Peyote.

Read: 24 Stages People Who Can’t Handle Weed Go Through When They Get High As Told By Gatos

14. He won the first Celebrity Jeopardy tournament back in 1992.

CREDIT: @HankusMackimus / Twitter


Cheech is pretty good when it comes to game shows as he has appeared twice on “Celebrity Jeopardy” even winning the inaugural contest back in 1992. In 2010, he was victorious again as he beat Anderson Cooper and actress Aisha Tyler on “Celebrity Jeopardy.”

15. Marin was delivering carpets when he met Tommy Chong.

CREDIT: cheechmarinofficial / Instagram


Cheech was working as a delivery man for an upholstery company when he ran into Tommy Chong, a musician who was running an improv comedy troupe from a strip bar owned by his family. After a brief spell with the troupe, Marin and Chong began performing as a musical act, then as stand-up comedy duo. 

16. He has been married three different times.

CREDIT: cheechmarinofficial / Instagram


Marin was first married in 1975 and now is married to his third wife, Natasha who is a Russian pianist. They married in August 2009, and has three children from previous marriages.

17. He had a brief and somewhat successful singing career.

CREDIT: cheechmarinofficial / Instagram


He got his start at 5 years old when his friend’s mother had a recording studio and he sang classic Mexican songs on a record. This got him interested in music and eventually started a rock band in high school where he threw backyard gigs. Before him and Chong became actors they were primarily a singing group which led them to later performing.

18. His dad was a police officer. Which meant he was constantly getting in trouble.

CREDIT: cheechmarinofficial / Instagram


Marin grew up with Mexican American parents, Oscar Marin, a policeman in the Los Angeles Police Department, and his wife Elsa Marin, a secretary. He grew up in a traditional Mexican household where he was constantly getting in trouble throughout grade school.

19. He joined a long list of celebrities that have made a cameo on The Simpsons.

CREDIT: cheechmarinofficial / Instagram

On March 13, 2011 Cheech made a surprise cameo on an episode of The Simpsons. In the episode, The Simpsons family attends a live Cheech and Chong show where Homer attempts to join the duo. The episode had various references to Cheech and Chong skits throughout their respective careers. 

20. Cheech is an avid and true blue fan of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

CREDIT: cheechmarinofficial / Instagram

There is no surprise here since he was born and grew up in Los Angeles, Marin is a huge fan of the LA Dodgers. He even threw out the first pitch at a game back in 2009 and has been seen at countless games throughout the years.

Antonio Banderas Owes His Life To A Heroic Drag Queen Who Stopped Traffic To Save His Life

Entertainment

Antonio Banderas Owes His Life To A Heroic Drag Queen Who Stopped Traffic To Save His Life

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Antonio Banderas is one of the most iconic actors to ever live. He has played a long series of characters spanning time, ideologies, and sexual orientations. However, Banderas recently shared a story that suggests his storied career might not have ever happened.

In a recent interview, Banderas recently admitted that he was in a horrific accident when he was a teenager.

Credit: @DNAmagazine / Twitter

Banderas recently spoke to The Independent and the interview started with a story about how a drag queen came to his rescue. Banderas was only about 16 years old at the time and continues to thank and think about the drag queen who came to his rescue.

“It was 1976,” Banderas recalls to The Independent.

“And the front wheel of my motorbike went into a ditch and, boom! I hit a car and my head hit the tank. Bam! Then this person who was working a corner for clients, came from nowhere, got in the middle of the road and stopped a car to take me to hospital,” Banderas told The Independent.”The kickstand got me here [in the calf]. Blood everywhere. You could see the bone.”

That’s right. A 16-year-old Banderas owes his life to a drag queen who drove him to the hospital after a motorbike accident.

We don’t know who the drag queen is and Banderas didn’t give any more details other than the rescue. However, it is pretty cool to hear Banderas recall a story from so long ago that many never knew.

The interview was for Banderas’s new role in “Pain and Glory” where he plays a gay man.

“I don’t really know,” Banderas said when asked if straight people are given LGBTQ+ roles too often. “I’ve played gay characters for a long time and have always tried to be very respectful to the gay community. I’m an actor. I just play the character and try to believe them completely when I’m doing them. I try not to perform them; I try to live them. But, you know, I’m not Zorro, either. I have never been heroic. I run away!”

Banderas has played the role of a gay man multiple times starting in 1987 with “Law of Desire.”

Whoever the person is who saved Banderas’s life all those years ago, thank you. You saved an artistic gem and we are all better for it.

READ: Despite The Quintanilla Family’s Protests, Telemundo Is Moving Forward With The ‘El Secreto De Selena’ T.V. Series

This Iconic Actor Is One Of The Funniest Memes On Twitter And Here Are The Best That Make Us JAJAJAJA

Entertainment

This Iconic Actor Is One Of The Funniest Memes On Twitter And Here Are The Best That Make Us JAJAJAJA

@diecproducciones / Instagram

If you grew up in a Latino family, particularly a Mexican family, chances are that you either grew up watching or have heard of Chabelo. He is Mexican pop culture royalty due to the long run of his show En Familia con Chabelo in which he personified childhood silliness.

Yes, he was a grown man dressed as a boy and talking in a high pitched voice.

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For the rest of the world this might seem a bit weird and even uncanny, but for Chabelo is a symbol of childhood and a reliable presence throughout our lives. Imagine if your dad, your kids, and your grandpa all watched the same show when little! In addition to this super successful show in which he sang and organized fun competitions, he has appeared in more than thirty films and at his height recorded more than thirty albums with kids songs.

Because he has been around for so long, Chabelo has also become an Internet celebrity.

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Memes constantly pop up making fun of his longevity, but most do it in a very respectful manner BTW!  

So, yes, Chabelo was born in the United States, but he is currently a Mexican citizen.

Credit: canalestrellas / Instagram

Xavier López Rodríguez was born in Chicago, Illinois, from a couple who was originally from Leon, in the Mexican state of Guanajuato. Xavier was drafted by the U.S. Army when he turned 18 and was going to fight in the Korean War, but the conflict ended. He then moved to Mexico to study.

OK, let’s clarify something first: so how old is Chabelo? Really?

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He was born on February 17, 1935 (not at the beginning of time as the Internet claims!). He is only 84 years old, but his career as an actor has spanned over 60 years. Sure, there are actors and other celebrities that have worked for that long, but Chabelo has been a constant, weekly presence in Mexican television, so many viewers have actually grown up watching him. He says if his long presence in the public imagination: “My audience makes the difference, the one that participates, what has kept me viable, I thank the Mexican audience that has allowed me to do what I love and not have an actual job.”

He has been there for at least three generations of Latin American kids.

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Chabelo started his career in 1952 and established himself as a reliant comedic voice. However, his big breakthrough happened in 1967, when his weekly show En Familia con Chabelo started airing on Mexican free to air television. The show ran for a total of 48 seasons and ended in December 2015 after 2495 episodes. He says about children: “Children are honest, marvelous and beautiful beings, one hundred percent of what a person should be”. 

He almost became a medical doctor, but his true passion took over! Gracias a Dios, cuates!

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Just like any father, Chabelo’s puso el grito en el cielo when his son told him he wanted to become an actor, especially because he “When I quit med school in second year my father thought I was making a big mistake, a sinful mistake, in abandoning my med career to be an actor. I knew, however, that being an actor was just as noble, dignified and important as being a doctor, so I had the obligation to study and I keep learning every day.”

He even shared the screen with the great late Cantinflas.

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Just look at that image: if you have Mexican heritage this will bring tears of joy and nostalgia! What a moment! It comes from the 1962 film El extra and you can watch the scene here.

He was a union leader for actors and was therefore spied on by the Mexican government!

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Chabelo has always looked after his peers and was a union leader for years until he became disenchanted with the political side of showbiz. However, as recently opened files reveal, he was a person of interest for intelligence agencies in Mexico. As NF News Center reports: “Several reports contained in the file of Xavier López Rodríguez, Chabelo, then press secretary and dissemination of the acting union, account for the meetings of unionized at the headquarters of the ANDA, such as the dissidence, led by Enrique Lizalde, in theaters Fru-Frú, Jorge Negrete and Café Colón.”  

The great Vero Castro was an aide in Chabelo’s show!

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As CE Noticias Financieras reports: “The image shows a very young Verónica Castro with the friend of all the children, who has long hair and holds a microphone. In 1969, Cristian Castro’s mother became the first aide for the program En familia con Chabelo, which had its first broadcast in 1967, and came to an end in December 2015”. True Mexican pop culture royalty here, folks! 

Everything you read from here on is actually NOT FACTUAL, well, it is just true in the wonderful world of Internet memes.

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OMG, we would love to have this Loteria-themed T-shirt showcasing Chabelo as The Immortal.  Just look at that godlike, dignified look in his eyes! 

Two Mexi-Greek gods.

Credit: memexicoficial / Instagram

Chabelo is friends with generations of celebrities and politicians. Here, he is enjoying a drink at the beach with Luis Miguel. Is Chabelo the Father of Time? Is Luismi the Lord of The Sun? (his nickname is El Sol, remember?). 

Is Chabelo the true hero of the 1910 Mexican Revolution?

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He could have shared the battlefield with Emiliano Zapata and Pancho Villa, according to Internet conspiracy theories! 

Chabelo is epic, magical, biblical!

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Was he one of the first followers of Jesus back, back, back, back in the day? 

When we make any political choice, we gotta think of Chabelo’s future.

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This is a good one: “Before voting, think about the type of country we will leave behind for Chabelo”. Ha! 

Does Chabelo predate the mass dinosaur extinction?

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He could actually have been the inventor of selfies, when dinos were still roaming the Earth. 

Or perhaps he was born in the height of the Aztec Empire, before the Spanish made their fateful appearance on the coast of Veracruz?

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We gotta admire the Photoshop skills on this one!

Nothing can stop the pop culture superteam of Chabelo and Luismi!

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Chabelo is also a constant feature in Mexican street art. Just look at this amazing obra de arte in the streets of Oaxaca. 

When Stan Lee was a kid, Chabelo was already a TV celebrity.

Rest in Peace, Stan Lee!

He will outlive anyone, according to the Internet.

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Translation: “I never had any pets, they once tried to gift me a turtle. But they only live for 300 years, you grow fond of them but then they died”. 

Sorry, we just had to! This image was just too bizarre for us to let it pass! 

Credit: aurisalgado / Instagram

In fact, Chabelo is just 11 years older than Donald J. Trump and looks better! We are sure that Chabelo wouldn’t laugh if he saw this, though!

READ: After 50 Years Of Telling Us What To Expect In Life, Walter Mercado Is Being Honored With An Exhibit

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