Tommy Chong is a comedian, musician, actor, writer, and cannabis rights activist with a Canadian-American background. There has never been a celebrity who has been so committed to the free legal use of marijuana as he has. He became even more famous through his marijuana-themed comedies and films called Cheech and Chong. He is fully committed to what he believes should be the right of people to own and use marijuana.
Tommy Chong Wiki, Parents
Tommy Chong’s real name is Thomas B. Kin Chong. He was born on 24 May 1938 at the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, the son of his mother Lorna Jean, and his father Stanley Chong. His mother was a waitress of Scotch-Irish origin, while his father was a Chinese truck driver.
Chong and his parents lived in Calgary, where they settled in a conservative neighborhood in a house that his father had bought for $500 at the time. According to him, his father was a wounded World War II veteran and there was a veterans hospital in Calgary. This was the reason why the family decided to move there. Tommy Chong described the area as “Dog Patch”.
Although he was not very educated, he attended school for a while before he left high school at the age of 16. Since he was idle and didn’t have anything serious to do, he started to play music by playing guitar to earn money. And yes, he made money! According to him, he was about 16 years old when he discovered that you can have sex with music, even if you’re a skinny, long-haired, geeky-looking guy like himself.
He continued along this path and joined a Calgary soul group called The Shades in 1960. In 1963, together with Bobby Taylor, one of his band members, they opened a nightclub in Vancouver called Blue Balls. This venture worked out quite well for them as it not only promoted their music but also put more money in their pockets. At a certain time, they brought other musicians on board because the group was quite successful and had gained popularity by then. But in 1965 the group split up.
Chong is also an established actor who has appeared on many Cheech & Chong comedy albums. He shared the Grammy Award for best comedy album with Cheech Marin in 1973. Despite this joint success, the two split up in 1985 due to so-called creative differences. This took its toll on Tommy Chong, as he no longer performed regularly, which was exacerbated by his short prison sentence. His acting career took off again some years later and several roles followed. In 2017 he starred as a guest in an episode of the Trailer Park Boys spinoff Out of the Park.
Tommy Chong Net Worth
Tommy Chong’s net worth is estimated at $8 million. His musical career has been very successful, and despite the problems with his health, he looks like someone who doesn’t take the time to return to active music once he is fully recovered.
Wife and Kids
Tommy Chong was married twice and had 6 children, one of whom was divorced. In 1960 he married Maxine Sneed, a Canadian of black and Cherokee descent. They were parents of 2 girls, Rae Dawn, born in 1961, and Robbi Chong, born in 1965, but Chong and Sneed divorced in 1970.
Five years later, love found him and Shelby Fiddis together in 1975. They got married in Los Angeles and have 3 children together. A son named Paris, born in 1974, another son named Gibran, born in 1981, and a daughter named Precious. They adopted Marcus Wyatt in 1978.
Three of his children, Rae Dawn, Robbi, Marcus, and Precious Chong, each pursue a career in acting, in which they are very good.
Is Tommy Chong Dead?
In the 1990s there was a rumor that Chong died of cancer. However, there was no source of authority to believe the claim or rather the rumor. As time passed, the rumor became less and less true.
In June 2012, on June 9th, Tommy Chong publicly announced that he was fighting prostate cancer, which he described as a slow stage he had had for a long time. He said he had been drug-free for up to 3 years during the treatment of this disease, but unfortunately, the prostate came back.
In 2015, good news came from him when he announced through his Twitter handle that the hemp oil treatment he had used to treat his cancer was effective. This victory was not too long in coming, as he soon developed colon cancer and was using cannabis like crazy to tolerate the treatment. It is believed that he is still undergoing treatment.