Chuck Norris starred in such films as “The Return of the Dragon” and “Missing Missing.” He also starred in the popular TV series “Cool Walker: Justice in Texas.”
Born Chuck Norris on March 10, 1940 in the town of Ryan, Oklahoma. As the oldest of the three, Chuck once said of himself as a “shy guy who did not do well at school”. His father was an alcoholic who disappeared from Norris’s life after a divorce. At the age of ten, Norris moved with his mother and brothers to California. There he studied at the school “North Torrance High School”. Norris married his school love, Diane Holechek, in 1958. In the same year he joined the ranks of the US Air Force. At Osan Air Force Base in South Korea, Norris began to study martial arts. He left the service in 1962 and got a job as a karate instructor.
Martial arts expert
In the 60’s Norris opened more than 30 karate schools. He taught karate several celebrities, including Priscilla Presley and Steve McQueen. McQueen invited his mentor to try to take part in the filming of films. As a mentor, Norris was also an avid fighter and took part in many martial arts competitions, most of which he won.
In 1968, Norris won his first world title in karate in middleweight. He defended his title five times, proving that he is indeed a great martial artist. After another victory in 1974, he decided to retire.
The Star of TV and Cinema
With an episodic role behind him, Norris became truly famous after the 1973 film, “The Return of the Dragon.” In one of the most important scenes of the film Norris fought in the Coliseum with Bruce Lee – the star of films about martial arts.
In 1977, Chuck Norris received his first full-fledged role in the film “Challenge.” Although the critics considered the actor to be “tight” and listless, the viewer liked how Norris gave bad guys a share of justice in the films “Good Guys Walk In Black” and “Forced Revenge”. In the film “Missing”, which was released in 1984, Norris played a former prisoner of war, who returns to Vietnam to rescue the captivity of the remaining soldiers. He starred in the film, as well as in the sequel to the film in honor of his younger brother Viland, who died in the battles for Vietnam.
For his role in the film “Code of Silence,” which was released in 1985, Norris received good reviews. Together with the legendary Lee Marvin, who previously played mostly bad guys, in 1986 Norris starred in the movie “Detachment” Delta. “
From the beginning of the 90’s Norris was less and less in films, and eventually moved from the movie screen to television, when he began to star in the television series “Cool Walker: Justice in Texas.” The series went on screen for eight years, and Norris played the role of Cordell Walker, a respected fighter against crime. The series had good ratings, including when the series ended in 2001. Since then, Chuck Norris has played several roles. He also took part in the advertising of goods, starring in commercials of exercise equipment.
Maecenas and activist
Chuck Norris for a long time supported many charitable organizations, including the charity fund “Make-A-Wish Foundation” and “United Way”. In 1992, Norris, with the help of the then US President George W. Bush, founded his charitable organization “Kickstart”. The organization helps students to learn martial arts, which contributes to the development of respect and discipline among schoolchildren and is designed to improve one’s self-esteem.
Being politically conservative, Norris participated in the election campaign of candidates from the Republican Party of the United States. In 1988, in the presidential elections, he supported George Bush, and in 2008 he supported Mike Huckabee. The supporter of the second amendment, together with the National Rifle Association of the USA, Chuck Norris struggled with bills aimed at limiting the rights to own weapons.
Chuck Norris was married twice. From the first marriage with Diana Kholechek, he has three children. The couple parted in 1988. In 1998, Norris married Gene O’Kelly, and three years later they were born twins.
Norris likes speed, and took part in competitions on motor boats. In 1997, he reached an important stage in his passion for martial arts, when he was awarded the title of Grand Master and Black Belt of the eighth degree in the Western Hemisphere.
Possessing contemplative abilities, Norris wrote several books. In 1988 he published his autobiography, “The Secret of Internal Power,” which became a bestseller. A few years later, Norris wrote a voluminous book, “The Secret Force Within Us: Zen Solutions for Real Problems.” In 2007, for years of support for the military, and especially those injured, Norris received the status of an honorary Marine.
“Children need heroes. You want to make peace, you do not want to, but I’m a patriot and therefore there are so many pro-American films in my films.”