Tommy Chong Biography
Tommy Chong born Thomas B. Kin Chong is a Canadian-American comedian, actor, writer, director, musician and cannabis rights activist born on May 24, 1938 at the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta. His mother was Lorna Jean, a waitress of Scots-Irish ancestry, and his father was Stanley Chong, a Chinese truck driver who emigrated to Canada from China in the 1920s.The senior Chong had first lived with an aunt in Vancouver after arriving in Canada.
As a youth, Tommy Chong moved with his family to Calgary, settling in a conservative neighbourhood Chong has referred to as “Dog Patch”. He has said that his father had “been wounded in World War II, and there was a veterans’ hospital in Calgary. He bought a $500 house in Dog Patch and raised his family on $50 a week.”
Tommy Chong Career
He was playing guitar for a Calgary soul group called The Shades ,by the early 1960s. The Shades moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, where the band’s name changed to “Little Daddy & The Bachelors”. They recorded a single, “Too Much Monkey Business. Together with band member Bobby Taylor, Chong opened a Vancouver nightclub in 1963. Formerly the Alma Theatre, they called it “Blue Balls”. They brought in the Ike & Tina Turner Revue, which had never been to Vancouver before. Although Little Daddy & The Bachelors built up a small following, things soured when they went with Chong’s suggestion and had themselves billed as “Four Niggers and a Chink before taking on the moniker Bobby Taylor & the Vancouvers.
In 1965, the Vancouvers signed with Gordy Records . They recorded their debut album, an eponymous release, and their debut single, the Tommy Chong co-composition, “Does Your Mama Know About Me,” which peaked at number 29 on the Billboard Hot 100. While on tour in Chicago for a short time, the band followed opening act The Jackson 5. He later referred to the young Michael Jackson as a “cute little guy”. After the band released two additional singles, Chong and Wes Henderson were fired by Chris Clark and Motown producer Johnny Bristol for missing an appointment to apply for Green cards to enable them to live in the US. The group broke up shortly afterwards, when Chong tried to reduce the number of players covered by the Vancouvers’ contract. He intended that he, Taylor, and Henderson would constitute the group, while other members would be classified as sidemen and session artists.
While Cheech & Chong, was a very successful comedy act, it split in 1985 due to creative differences and Marin’s desire to focus on a mainstream acting career. This began a difficult time for Chong. He did not act regularly until filling the recurring role (later a regular role) as the fun-loving, aging hippie “Leo” (similar to his Chong character) on That ’70s Show. Chong was absent during the fifth and sixth seasons of the show as he was serving a brief jail sentence; upon his release, he returned to the series for its final two seasons. He also played a role as a hippie in Dharma and Greg. He was originally going to voice the character of Shenzi, the hyena in the Disney film The Lion King. Cheech Marin voiced Banzai. He did provide the voice of the character Yax in the 2016 Disney film Zootopia.
In September 2005, he premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. The documentary, produced, written and directed by Josh Gilbert, chronicles Chong’s comedic and personal history. It includes material related to his prosecution by the US Justice Department and imprisonment. The project features interviews with Cheech Marin, Bill Maher, George Thorogood, Peter Coyote, Lou Adler, Eric Schlosser and Jay Leno. In 2011, Chong appeared as a Judge in an episode of Franklin & Bash.
On September 4, 2014, Chong was announced as one of the celebrities participating on the 19th season of Dancing with the Stars. He paired with professional dancer Peta Murgatroyd. Despite being at the bottom of the leader board numerous times, Chong and Murgatroyd were able to make it to the night of the semi-finals but were eliminated at the end of that night. Chong is the oldest contestant to have made it to the semi-finals of the show. He was in Ann Arbor, on April 4, 2015, Michigan, for the annual “Hash Bash” event which focuses on cannabis legalization. He was a guest speaker at this event, took pictures with fans and signed autographs.
Tommy Chong Marriage-Childen
In 1960, he married Maxine Sneed ,a multi-racial of Black Canadian and Cherokee descent and divorced in 1970. They have two daughters, Rae Dawn born in 1961, and Robbi Chong born in 1965. He later married Shelby Fiddis in 1975 Los Angeles. They had three children, sons Paris born in 1974, and Gilbran born in 1981, and daughter Precious Chong born in 1978, the couple adopted Marcus Wyatt. Rae Dawn, Robbi, Marcus, and Precious Chong have each pursued careers in acting.
Tommy Chong Cancer
On June 9, 2012 , he announced that he is battling prostate cancer. He described the cancer as a slow stage one,that he had for a long time. He said that he had been drug-free for about three years, during which time he began having prostate-related problems. On the 15th July, 2012, he tweeted that the hemp oil treatment he’d been using to cure his cancer was effective and that he was “99% cancer free.” However, on June 16, 2015, he stated that he had contracted colorectal cancer and was cannabis in order to endure the treatment.
Tommy Chong Net Worth
His net worth is estimated as $8 million.
Tommy Chong That 70s Show
First episode date: 23 August 1998
Final episode date: 18 May 2006
Theme song: In the Street
Writers: Mark Brazill, Terry Turner, Bonnie Turner, Linda Wallem
Set in the mood ring and polyester era of the 1970s, the programme is a retro-hip situation comedy about an eclectic group of friends on the verge of adulthood. The group live in the suburbs of Wisconsin, where they yearn for independence amid the growing pains of becoming adults.
Tommy Chong Movies
- That ’70s Show (TV Show)
- A/k/a Tommy Chong (Movie)
- Pauly Shore Is Dead (You’Ll Never Wiez In This Town Again) (Movie)
- The Wash (Movie)
- Dharma & Greg (TV Show)
- Half Baked (Movie)
- Mchale’s Navy (Movie)
- National Lampoon’s Senior Trip (Movie)
- Ferngully: The Last Rainforest (Movie)
- The Spirit Of ’76 (Movie)
- Far Out Man (Movie)
- After Hours (Movie)
- Cheech And Chong’s The Corsican Brothers (Movie)
- Yellowbeard (Movie)
- Still Smokin’ (Movie)
- Things Are Tough All Over (Movie)
- Cheech And Chong’s Nice Dreams (Movie)
- Cheech And Chong’s Next Movie (Movie)
- Up In Smoke (Movie)
- Method & Red (TV Show)