Carlos Ray "Chuck" Norris (born March 10, 1940) is an American martial artist, action star, and Hollywood actor.
A native of Ryan, Oklahoma, Norris has two younger brothers, Wieland and Aaron Norris, the latter of whom is a Hollywood producer. Norris was born to an alcoholic father, half Irish and half Cherokee, and a mother, also half Irish and half Cherokee. Norris is very proud of his Native American heritage, and frequently referred to his origins on his hit show Walker, Texas Ranger. When Norris was ten, his parents divorced and he later relocated to Prairie Village, Kansas and then Torrance, California with his mother and brothers. Norris describes his childhood as downbeat. He was unathletic, shy, and scholastically mediocre. Other children taunted him about his mixed ethnicity, and Norris daydreamed about beating up his tormenters. Norris mentioned in his autobiography that his father had a very serious problem with drinking and "wasn't there" a lot for him growing up. Norris admitted that he loved his father but did not like him. However, he professed that he only felt pity for the man because "that was just how he was and he missed so much".
Norris finished high school and soon married his girlfriend, Diane Holechek. In 1958 Norris joined the United States Air Force as a Military Policeman and was sent to Osan Air Base, South Korea. It was in South Korea that Norris acquired the nickname Chuck and began his training in Tang Soo Do, an interest that would lead to black belts in Tang Soo Do, Tae Kwon Do, and Shinto-Ryu Karate, and a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu; and the founding of the Chun Kuk Do ("Universal Way") form and the education associations United Fighting Arts Federation and "Kick Start", formerly "Kick Drugs Out of America", a middle school and high school based program intended to give at-risk children a focus point in life through the martial arts. When he returned to the states he continued to act as an MP at March Air Force Base California. Norris was discharged in August of 1962. He worked for the Northrop corporation and opened a chain of karate schools, which the son of Steve McQueen, Chad McQueen attended.
Rise to fame
Chuck Norris.Chuck's entrance into tournament karate began on a losing note. He was defeated in his first two tournaments, dropping decisions to Joe Lewis and Allan Steen. However, by 1967, Norris began to demonstrate his greatness and scored victories over the likes of Joe Lewis, Skipper Mullins, Arnold Urquidez, Victor Moore, Ron Marchini and Steve Sanders. In early 1968, Chuck suffered the 5th and last loss of his career, losing an upset decision to Louis Delgado. However, on November 24, 1968, Chuck avenged his defeat to Delgado and in the process won the Professional Middleweight Karate champion (non-contact) title, which he held for six consecutive years. In 1969, he won Karate's triple crown for the most tournament wins of the year, and the fighter of the year award by Black Belt magazine. It was also in 1969 that Norris made his acting debut, in the Dean Martin movie The Wrecking Crew.
In 1970, his younger brother Weiland was killed in Vietnam. Norris later dedicated his Missing in Action films to his brother's memory.
At a martial arts demonstration in Long Beach, Norris met the soon-to-be famous Bruce Lee. In 1972, he acted as Bruce Lee's nemesis in the movie Way of the Dragon, and in 1974, McQueen encouraged him to begin acting classes at the MGM Studio. Chuck Norris retired with a karate record of 65-5 and he reversed all of his defeats.
Norris' first starring role was 1977's Breaker! Breaker!, and subsequent films such as The Octagon (1980), An Eye for an Eye (1981), and Lone Wolf McQuade proved his increasing box office bankability. In 1984, Norris starred in Missing in Action, the first of a series of POW rescue fantasies produced by Israeli cousins Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus and released under their Cannon Films banner. Also in that year, he was offered the part of the sensei of the Kobra Kai dojo in the movie The Karate Kid, but declined the part. He reportedly did not want to take part in depicting martial artists in an unfavorable light. . However, Norris disputes this story. On a February 9, 2006 episode of The Adam Carolla Show, Norris said that he was never offered the role. Norris noted that he was already playing leading roles by the time The Karate Kid was in production.
Over the next four years, Norris became Cannon's most prominent star, appearing in eight films, including Code of Silence, The Delta Force, and Firewalker, in which he co-starred with Academy Award winner Louis Gossett, Jr.
In 1986, he was involved in the production of the Ruby Spears Cartoon Karate Kommandos
Walker, Texas Ranger
Chuck Norris as Texas Ranger Cordell Walker in Walker, Texas RangerBy the close of the 1980s, Cannon Films had faded from prominence, and Norris' star appeal seemed to go with it. He reprised his Delta Force role for MGM, who had acquired the Cannon library after the latter's Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Norris went on to make several more largely ignored films before making a transition to television. In 1993, he began shooting the series Walker, Texas Ranger, which lasted eight years on CBS and continued in heavy syndication on other channels.
On October 16th, 2005, CBS Premiered the Sunday night "Movie of the Week" Walker Texas Ranger: Trial By Fire. The production was a continuation of the series, and not scripted to be a reunion movie. Norris reprised his role as Cordell Walker for the movie. He has stated that future Walker Texas Ranger "Movie of the Week" projects are expected.
In 1963, his first child with Holechek, a son named Mike, was born; a daughter, Dina, was born in 1964; and a second son, Eric, followed in 1965. After 30 years of marriage, Norris and Holechek divorced in 1988. He married again in 1998, this time to former model Gena O'Kelley, and she delivered twins in 2001: Dakota Alan Norris, a boy, and Danilee Kelly Norris, a girl. Norris has always been a very loving family man. It was often noted in a People magazine article that his sons as adults still hugged and kissed him goodbye. "It's great my boys aren't afraid to show love". Norris said. "Nothing can buy that". Norris's son Mike said of his father "Dad never had a lot of love growing up, but he has given me and my brother all that he should have had in multiples". However, it should be noted that in the same interview Mike said that he still wouldn't want to mess with his dad!
Norris regained popularity as a cult icon during the mid-2000's, especially on the Internet. Among the more high-profile parodies and references are these instances:
Late Night with Conan O'Brien's parent company, NBC, acquired Universal in early 2004, giving O'Brien permission to show footage of Walker, Texas Ranger without paying royalties. O'Brien and his writers subsequently created a new segment in which O'Brien shows short, out of context clips for comedic purposes. The "Walker, Texas Ranger Lever" quickly became one of the most popular segments on Late Night, with Norris himself showing up to parody his show and using his martial arts on O'Brien. This segment has been credited as jump-starting the Norris craze and leading to enough interest to produce a Walker, Texas Ranger TV movie.
Norris is the object of an Internet phenomenon known as Chuck Norris Facts documenting and proclaiming fictional, often heroic feats and characteristics, which began to circulate in late 2005. Norris has written his own response to the parody on his website, stating that he doesn't feel offended by them, and finds some of them funny. . He recently read 10 of them on a The Best Damn Sports Show, Period, and said that his favorite one is "They once tried to carve Chuck Norris's face into Mount Rushmore, but the granite wasn't hard enough for his beard.
Adult Swim, a late night segment on Cartoon Network, currently airs Chuck Norris' Karate Kommandos as a joke. Now it's part of the lineup in rotation.
Norris was parodied in a Saturday Night Live music video spoof entitled "The Young Chuck Norris", aired January 21, 2006. 
Chuck Norris sponsors the infomercial, Total Gym Fitness, which usually airs in the late night or early morning hours.
During the March 10, 2006 show of ESPN's Pardon the Interruption, numerous references were made to Norris on his birthday, including all of the cut-out heads on the set, which are usually of current sports stars, being replaced with Chuck Norris heads. Also, several humorous comments in reference to Chuck Norris were made by co-host, Tony Kornheiser, in a similar tone to that featured on the Chuck Norris Facts website.
Norris served as a guest referee at the World Wrestling Federation's Survivor Series 1994 for the casket match between The Undertaker and the late Yokozuna. A similar match had taken place at Royal Rumble 1994 where ten other wrestlers beat down The Undertaker. Norris was called upon to ensure a similar situation didn't take place. As guest referee, he kicked then-WWF star Jeff Jarrett square in the stomach.
Norris appeared as himself on an episode of Yes, Dear, where he shadows one of the main characters (Jimmy) to understand the life of a security guard.
He recently had a cameo role in the movie Dodgeball as a judge at a dodgeball tournament.
In the video game magazine Nintendo Power, the volume 203 'Pulse' section features 11 humorous references to Chuck Norris, which were all stated in numerous letters and responses from Nintendo Power writers and the magazine's subscribers. One article features a photograph of a Chuck Norris look-alike "...about to break a man in half with his bare hands."
Based on gg fansubs, Chuck Norris was referenced and parodied in 2 episodes of the Japanese anime series, Pani Poni Dash! In episode 22, Ichijou says "Chuck Norris is better" when comparing Miyako's favorite actor, Keinoujin Tokairu. In episode 24, Yuuma "chucks her mouth" (pronounced "chakku") and on the second time she does it, she says "I'll Chuck Norris my mouth.". There's even a reference in episode 24 that shows a short clip of Chuck Norris laying on the ground in the movie The Way of the Dragon.
Chuck Norris also starred in his own Atari 2600 videogame, Chuck Norris Superkicks
Chuck Norris in "Braddock: Missing in Action III".The Wrecking Crew (1969)
Way of the Dragon (1972)
The Student Teachers (1973)
Slaughter in San Francisco (1974)
The Warrior Within (1976) (documentary)
Bruce Lee, the Legend (1977) (documentary)
Breaker! Breaker! (1977)
Good Guys Wear Black (1978)
A Force of One (1979)
The Octagon (1980)
An Eye for an Eye (1981)
Silent Rage (1982)
Forced Vengeance (1982)
Lone Wolf McQuade (1983)
Missing in Action (1984)
Code of Silence (1985)
Invasion U.S.A. (1985)
The Delta Force (1986)
The Karate Kommandos (1986), animated children's show, with Chuck Norris himself appearing to reveal the episode and the moral contained in the episode.
Hero and the Terror (1988)
The Hitman (1991)
Top Dog (1995)
Forest Warrior (1996)
Bells of Innocence (2003)
The Contender (2005)
The Cutter (2005)
· 1 decade ago