Entertainment

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

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.

CREDIT: malibugallery / Instagram


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.

CREDIT: csunkappasigma / Instagram


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.

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Andrea Arruti, The Mexican Actress Who Lent Her Voice To ‘Frozen’ In Spanish, Died At 21 Years Of Age

Entertainment

Andrea Arruti, The Mexican Actress Who Lent Her Voice To ‘Frozen’ In Spanish, Died At 21 Years Of Age

Andy AV / Facebook / frozendisney / Instagram

The young actress who lent her voice to the Spanish version of Elsa in “Frozen”, Diamond Tiara in “My Little Pony,” Neeko in “League of Legends,” among other characters, died this week and the Mexican entertainment industry is mourning the loss of a talented young voice actress. 

Actress Andrea Arruti who lent her voice to the Spanish-language version of Elsa in “Frozen,” died.

Mexican actress Andrea Arruti, died following a respiratory complication, which slowly debilitated her body over the course of several months. She was the voice behind many’s favorite characters in the Spanish version of animated series and films, such as “Anne with an E,” “My Little Pony,” “Phineas and Ferb,” and “League of Legends.” One of her most popular characters was Elsa in “Frozen.”

She reportedly died on Jan. 3.

The death of the 21-year-old actress occurred during the first days of the year, but the information wasn’t confirmed until this weekend, when several companies who worked with Arruti, expressed condolences.

The family shared official news of Andrea’s passing to appease rumors.

Credit: Andy AV / Facebook

Arruti’s family shared the news on her Facebook page and felt the need to be transparent about the young actress’s cause of death following false rumors.  “In the name of Andy Arruti’s family, we want to express our sincere gratitude for all the love and solidarity we have received after her passing in a hospital of Mexico City. After noticing some speculation around her death —in the media as well as in social media—we wanted to note that Andrea died due to a respiratory complication that weakened her body throughout the last months.”

The Arruti family made it clear that Andy ’had no addictions’ and that she was ‘an exemplary person’.

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La más bonita.???????? @andyarruti

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“Throughout this period it was sought for their well-being and was duly attended by specialists.“ the Facebook post reads. “For her part, she did everything in her power to meet her health status and fulfill her family, school and professional commitments in a normal way. Andrea was an exemplary person who had no addiction and those who knew her can realize that she was always a cheerful young woman.”

“League of Legends” expressed their condolences.

“We regret the death of Andrea Arruti, who lent her voice to Neeko, and we extend our condolences to her loved ones,” wrote the official video game “League of Legends'” Twitter account. 

Those in the Mexican entertainment industry have been paying their respects via social media.

So far, the actress’s family has not revealed the exact cause of death just stating an unnamed respiratory problem. However, on social media, fans and colleagues have lamented the news and remember her as a cheerful and talented person.

Her close friend and colleague Emilio Trevino also shared a loving message.

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Sin duda a veces la vida nos sorprende de maneras fuertes e inesperadas…buscar un porque o para que es absurdo pues son respuestas que realmente nunca tendremos y no espero tenerlas. Sin embargo creo que hoy para mi es más importante recordar todas aquellas cosas hermosas que viví contigo…pues esas son las que al final de todo realmente importan. ¿Qué te puedo decir? Tantos años…crecimos juntos…tantas experiencias y sueños compartidos que no se por donde empezar. Gracias por todas las noches desvelándonos platicando sobre nuestros sueños y como llegaríamos a ellos. Gracias por acompañarme a ver mi película favorita al cine y escucharme hablar de Philippe Petit por horas con tanto amor como tu lo sabias hacer, me acuerdo que pesaba “wow realmente me está escuchando , esta niña es diferente”. Ese momento en el que a la mitad de la película nos quedamos viendo uno al otro por instantes sin decir nada pero realmente decíamos todo…fue simplemente hermoso. Gracias por todas las videollamadas cantando juntos. Gracias por hablar conmigo de Harry Potter por horas hasta cansarnos. Gracias por hacer una fiesta de disfraces en la cual solo fuimos disfrazados tu y yo jajaja. Gracias por platicar conmigo de todos los misterios del mundo como los grandes detectives que nos sentíamos querida Señorita Adler y gracias por darme el nombramiento de Sherlock Holmes. Gracias por introducirme a la lectura y tenerme paciencia aunque nunca fui un muy buen lector…perdóname por perder el libro que me prestaste jajaja. Gracias por volar conmigo en el país de Nunca Jamás…jamás olvidaré cuando grabamos juntos esa serie…era tan bonito escucharte y sentir que me acompañabas en cada aventura, y gracias por compartir tu polvillo de hadas conmigo. Gracias por enseñarme a bailar y a reír sin parar cuando grabábamos Trolls…eres la Poppy más hermosa de todas. Gracias por vivir conmigo una historia de amor tan incondicional, mágica, sincera, divertida y vulnerable cuando grabamos “Anne with an E”….escucharte en cada toma era muy especial para mi. Sin duda ese personaje reflejaba gran parte de ti. Tu sabes que siempre serás mi única e irreemplazable Anne❤️. ……continua abajo

A post shared by Emilio Treviño Oficial (@emiliotrevino_) on

“Life undoubtedly surprises us in tough and unexpected ways, sometimes,” wrote Trevino, a young man who shared many projects with Andrea. “Te voy a extrañar mucho,” “I’ll miss you a lot,” he added in the caption of his Instagram post. 

Despite her young age, Andrea Arruti had been working in the entertainment industry for a long time.

In addition to interpreting the Spanish version of Elsa in “Frozen,” Arruti was a part of other projects such as “Phineas and Ferb” where she played the role of Brigette.

Andrea’s voice has been immortalized in other projects like “Detective Pikachu,” “Goosebumps 2,” “Zombies,” “Powerful Minds,” “World War Z” and many many more.

READ: Cards Against Humanity Bought Land On The Border And Plan On Making Trump’s Border Wall Very Difficult To Build

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A Mexican Telenovela Actor Was Kidnapped At A Popular National Park And His Kidnappers Demanded A Ransome

Things That Matter

A Mexican Telenovela Actor Was Kidnapped At A Popular National Park And His Kidnappers Demanded A Ransome

2019 has been one of the most violent years in contemporary Mexican history. The new government headed by Andrés Manuel López Obrador promised a new era of “amor y paz” (his words!) and “abrazos no balazos” (hugs instead of bullets) as a way to fight crime on a local and federal levels.

However, reality has hit hard and the year will likely end up with close to 40,000 murders. That is an overwhelmingly dark figure that will hang on the AMLO presidency like a bad omen. Besides murder, kidnapping has seen numbers raise as organized crime networks , among them drug cartels, look for alternative sources of revenue. A recent case put the spotlight on forced abductions and the government’s response to these as the victims were high profile and the crime took place in a popular touristy spot that is generally unlikely to be safety concern. 

El Nevado de Toluca is a snowy volcano that attracts climbers from all over the world.

Credit: Plan B Viajero / Instagram

It is located in the State of Mexico, which borders the capital Mexico City. The state has faced some pretty serious challenges in terms of security as it presents abysmal social differences, being home to some of the richest and the poorest of Mexicans. The state is home to Mexico’s thriving manufacturing boom, but also to some of the fiercest criminal groups, some of which have made kidnapping their modus operandi.

A group of tourists were kidnapped and the newly formed National Guard was called into action. One of the victims is French, which presents all sorts of diplomatic trouble.

Credit: Notigram

According to reports from El Universal newspaper in Mexico, last Sunday November 24 a group of tourists that were travelling by van to the upper section of El Nevado were intercepted by kidnappers. The tourists were travelling in two vans, a Jeep and a Toyota, according to reports. As one of the tourists is French, the event became an international affair which affects Mexico’s already battered reputation.

According to Fox News, French authorities have already joined the investigation: “The ministry said French officials were working closely with Mexican authorities to secure his return”. The fact that French authorities will get involved in the investigation is a sign of international cooperation, of course, but also a blow to the credibility of AMLO’s security cabinet and of the administration of State of Mexico’s governor Alfredo Del Mazo Maza, who has harbored some presidential aspirations and comes from one of the most powerful political families in the country. 

Mexican actor Alejandro Sandi is also among the victims.

Credit: Alejandro Sandi

According to Mexico Daily News, the victims have been fully identified: “Unofficial reports state that the actor was Alejandro Sandi, 37, who has appeared in a number of television series including the popular telenovela El Señor de los Cielos (Lord of the Skies). The French tourist was identified as Frederic Michel.”

The two men were kidnapped while their companions were left free by the criminals. According to MDN, this is what the witnesses stated: “The kidnappers forced her [Sandi’s companion] and another friend out of the car and escaped in it, taking the actor with them. Meanwhile, Mathieu Noirot Julien told police a similar story. He said that he and his friend Michel were riding in a Toyota truck when they were forced to stop. The kidnappers forced him out and took the truck with Michel in it”. 

The kidnappers have already asked for a ransom.

Alfonso Durazo, boss supreme of Mexican federal security forces, revealed that the kidnappers have already asked for a ransom, and that the case could end soon. Durazo did not provide further details other than stating that the right protocol had been activated. This sounds optimistic, but negotiations can hit a wall and kidnappings in Mexico are known to be lengthy, tortuous situations.

As noted, kidnappings have increased in relation to 2018. As MDN reports: “According to the National Public Security System (SESNSP), kidnappings have increased by 9% in the first year of President López Obrador’s administration. There were 1,273 reported kidnappings from January to October 2018, and 1,392 in the same period in 2019, amounting to 119 more cases during the new administration”. It is important to note that kidnapping victims are not only high-profile individuals: basically anyone is at risk. Kidnappings known as “secuestros express” have been a constant in Mexico City life since the 1990s: they consist in an abduction whereby the victim is taken from ATM to ATM until their accounts are completely drained. They are then left to their own devices in an faraway and isolated area in the outskirts of the city. 

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