Richard Anthony "Cheech" Marin (born July 13, 1946) is an American comedian, actor, voice actor and writer who 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 productions, including Oliver and Company, The Lion King, It's Tough to be a Bug!, Cars, Cars 2 and Beverly Hills Chihuahua. Marin's trademark is his characters' strong Mexican accent; this is part of a comic persona, rather than a natural accent, as Marin is of Mexican descent yet was born and raised in the United States. Marin was born in Los Angeles, California, the son of Oscar Marin (1922-2015), a policeman in the LAPD, and his wife Elsa (Meza) (1923-2010), a secretary. He is Mexican American. Marin was born with a cleft lip, which was repaired. He speaks some Spanish and uses it in his movies, but he is not fluent. Marin's nickname "Cheech" is short for "chicharron", a fried pork skin that is a popular snack in Mexican cuisine and a favorite of marijuana smokers afflicted with "the munchies", and the nickname's alliteration with Chong's surname made "Cheech and Chong" an obvious choice for the name of the duo. The name of this character gave rise to the popular term "cheeched", meaning "under the influence of marijuana, usually at a relatively high dose". Marin graduated from Bishop Alemany High School, and then studied at San Fernando Valley State College (now California State University, Northridge), where he was a member of Phi Sigma Kappa. He dropped out before graduating. Marin auditioned to sing for Frank Zappa in 1967, but he moved to Vancouver, British Columbia in September to dodge the draft during the Vietnam War. Marin met his future comedic partner, Tommy Chong, in Vancouver. 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 Cheech Marin. After he and Tommy Chong went their separate ways in 1985, Marin starred in a number of films as a solo actor, most notably Born in East L.A., The Shrimp on the Barbie, Tin Cup, and Once Upon a Time in Mexico. 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 favorite of 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 in Oliver & Company (1988), Banzai in The Lion King (1994) and Ramone in Cars (2006) and Cars 2 (2011). He also reprised the Banzai role in Kingdom Hearts II. He made a small appearance as a dockworker in the movie Ghostbusters II. 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, Cheech Marin added children's book author to his list of accomplishments with the release of Cheech the School Bus Driver, illustrated by Orlando L. Ramirez (Published by HarperCollins). In 2005, Marin appeared on Nickelodeon in the Dora the Explorer series. The episode was titled A Crown for King Bobo, and Juan Bobo was voiced by Marin. 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. In that same year, he voiced as Gaspar Gomez in Scarface: The World Is Yours. In recent years, Marin has 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. 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 on the third week of the competition. Marin is an avid collector of Chicano art. Two national touring exhibitions have featured works from his private collection. Marin started collecting Chicano art in the 1980's. 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." He is also an avid golfer, although he initially disliked the sport until he co-starred in Tin Cup. 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. Patti is responsible for his interest in Chicano Art. Marin married his longtime girlfriend, Russian pianist Natasha Rubin, on August 8, 2009, in a sunset ceremony at their home. Marin resides in California.