Mar. 10th, 1940
Ryan, Oklahoma, USA
Chuck Norris' Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Chuck Norris is an Executive Producer of "Walker, Texas Ranger" (1993) as well as the star. Norris is familiar to fans worldwide as the star of action films such as The Hitman (1991), The Delta Force (1986) and Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection (1990). He also starred in Missing in Action (1984) and its sequels, Firewalker (1986) and Sidekicks (1992). Norris was born Carlos Ray in Ryan, OK. The eldest of three children, he helped his mother raise his two younger brothers in Torrance, CA, where his family moved when he was 12. Norris joined the Air Force after graduating from high school. During a stint in Korea, he began to study the Asian martial art of Tang Soo Do. After returning home, he worked for Northrop Aviation and moonlighted as a karate instructor. Two years later he was teaching full-time and running a number of martial-arts schools. His students included Steve McQueen (I), Priscilla Presley and the Osmonds. In 1968, he became the Professional World Middleweight Karate Champion, holding the title undefeated until he retired in 1974. He is a black belt in Tang Soo Do and Tae Kwan Do, both Korean fighting arts, and knows all forms of the martial arts. In 1969, he earned the Triple Crown for the highest number of tournament wins, and was named Fighter of the Year by "Black Belt" magazine. By the time he was 34, Norris had established 32 karate schools and had been a champion for six years. In 1996, he became the first Westerner to be awarded an eighth-degree black belt in Tae Kwan Do. Norris, who was urged to get into acting by his friend Steve McQueen (I), skillfully incorporates his martial-arts knowledge into his series and feature film projects, stressing action and technique over violence. He is the author of the books "The Secret of Inner Strength" and "The Secret Power Within - Zen Solutions to Real Problems". He works for many charities, including the Funds for Kids, Veterans Administration National Salute to Hospitalized Veterans, the United Way, Make-a-Wish Foundation and KickStart, a nonprofit organization he created to help battle drugs and violence in schools. He also starred in the television movie Bound by Honor (1993), broadcast on CBS. He lives on a ranch when not filming. His birthday is March 10.
- Reader's Digest once noted a story of how Norris, true to his characters, prefers to find a non-violent way to solve a situation. Norris was in a bar once when a customer walked in and said to him, "You're in my seat. Move." Norris complied, and as the customer sat down, he recognized Norris. He then said, "Chuck, you could've kicked my butt if you wanted to. Instead of moving, why didn't you just attack me?" Norris' response: "What would that have accomplished?" Norris later said the experience resulted in him getting a new admirer and a new friend.
- As a child, his idol and favorite actor was 'John Wayne (I)' (qv). Indeed, their on screen personas bear much in common. Both achieved their highest level of fame playing no nonsense good guys who were incorruptible and did whatever it took to make sure that justice was served and that the bad guys got what they deserved.
- His father Ray was killed in a car accident, shortly after cancer surgery. Part of Ray's throat and chin were removed; a tube was inserted in his trachea to help him breathe. Ray was thrown out of his car in the wreck, and the tube came out. Ray suffocated on the ground because no one at the accident site was aware of the tube.
- His voice and drama coach was 'Jonathan Harris (I)' (qv), of _"Lost in Space" (1965)_ (qv) fame. Harris "taught him how to speak," by putting his fingers in Norris's mouth, and stretching the mouth wide open. Chuck names Jonathan as the only man in the world who could get away with doing that to him... which Harris was always proud of.
- 1988: Campaigned for 'George Bush (I)' (qv) in the US presidential election.
- On an episode of _"Walker, Texas Ranger" (1993)_ (qv), his co-star's, 'Clarence Gilyard Jr.' (qv), character read the book, "The Secret Power Within," which Norris wrote himself.
- He has a 10th degree black belt in Tang Soo Do, and also an 8th degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do...that is, the Korean (or traditional) styles of each.
- Was the initial choice for the character of Red Forman on the Fox sitcom _"That '70s Show" (1998)_ (qv), but was still filming _"Walker, Texas Ranger" (1993)_ (qv), so he had to turn it down.