An assertive crusader for cannabis reform, Tommy Chong smoked weed for the first time at the age of 17. According to him, his decision to give marijuana a try changed his life because he later realized that weed is more psychedelic than other substances.
But beyond this, Chong is a wonderful American personality who has touched the lives of people in so many ways. From music to comedy, and acting, he is a total package and has been active in the showbiz business since 1962.
The multi-hyphenated icon started out as a blues musician after he relocated to Vancouver from Alberta in the early 1960s. After settling down, he began playing the guitar for a Motown musical band known as Bobby Taylor and the Vancouver. It was in the course of his performance in the city that he met Cheech Marin, a handsome young man who later became his comedy partner.
Together with Marin, Chong delved into comedy, music, and acting. Their first album was titled Cheech and Chong while their comedy show centred on drug use and how weed affects people’s behaviour.
His Parents and Early Life
Chong was born to a waitress mother called Lorna Jean and a father known as Stanley Chong, who is of Chinese ancestry. His father, Stanley was raised in China but later migrated to Canada in 1920, after which he got married to Lorna, who is of Scots-Irish descent.
The Canadian-American actor was born in Edmonton, Alberta, in Canada, on May 24, 1938. He was named Thomas B. Kin Chong by his parents, who were of middle-class. Growing up as a Chinese-Caucasian youngster in Alberta was really challenging for Tommy as he was persistently attacked by most children living in the area because he looked different.
His parents later enrolled him at Crescent Heights High School in Alberta. It was there that he became attracted to blues and jass music. Chong dropped out of school at the age of 17, after which he began to actively pursue a career in music.
Tommy Chong’s Wife and Daughter
The Canadian-American multi-talented personality is currently married to Shelby Chong (nee Fiddis), a Los-Angeles born actress, producer, and stand-up comedian. The two tied the knot in Los Angeles in 1975; they share two sons and one daughter together. Their names are Paris Chong (born 1974), Precious Chong, and Gilbran Chong (born 1981).
Born on February 1, 1948, Shelby worked as her husband’s opening act at his comedy concerts from 1996–2000. She has also starred in her family’s movie productions like Cheech & Chong’s Next Movie (1980), Things Are Tough All Over (1982), Nice Dreams (1981), and Sandman (1993).
Prior to Tommy Chong’s marital relationship with Shelby, he was previously married to Maxine Sneed, with whom he welcomed two daughters named Robbi Chong and Rae Dawn. The two tied the knot in 1970 and divorced after 10 years of living together as husband and wife.
Though Comedian Chong is a biological father to Maxine and Shelby’s five children, he has an adopted son called Marcus Chong. Born Marcus Wyatt in Seattle, Washington, on July 8, 1967, Marcus’ father was a sports reporter and he has Afro-American roots. He was adopted by the comedian and his second wife in the year 1978. Like his siblings, he is into acting and has appeared in over 20 movies and 13 television series.
What Is His Net Worth?
Having been around since 1962, it comes as no surprise that Tommy Chong boasts an eye-popping net worth estimated to be around $8 million. The veteran entertainer is believed to have built his fortune from his heavy involvements in comedy, acting, music, and television shows.
Some of his movie credits include Half Baked, Zootopia, Up in Smoke, Pauly Shore Is Dead and much more. He has also appeared in the following TV series – Sliders, South Park, Nash Bridges, and much more. Chong also has to his name, a Grammy award for Best Comedy Recording together with Cheech Marin, his comedy partner of many years.
Is Tommy Chong Dead?
Chong is not dead and has beaten cancer twice. He was first diagnosed with prostate cancer sometime in 2012. He later announced on June 16, 2015, that he was battling with colorectal cancer but was fast recovering with the help of cannabis. At the time of this writing, the Canadian-American accomplished personality is strong and healthy.