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Profile of Chuck Norris
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|Also Know As:
|Date of Birth:
||10th March 1940
|Place of Birth:
||Ryan, Oklahoma, USA
Carlos Ray Norris Jr. (born March 10, 1940), better known in the entertainment world as Chuck Norris, is a martial artist, an American action movie actor and Hollywood star.
A native of Ryan, Oklahoma, Norris has two younger brothers, one of which is Hollywood producer Aaron Norris. Both of Norris's parents are half Cherokee Indian and half Irish.
When Norris was 12, his parents divorced and he relocated to California with his mother and brothers. There, he finished high school and soon married his girlfriend, Diane Holechek. After marriage, 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.
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 without ever seeing combat besides that provided on base.
Norris has indicated in his own biography that he has black belts in Tang Soo Do, Tae Kwon Do, and is founder of Chun Kuk Do ("Universal Way"). Mr. Norris has also practiced Judo, Shinto-Ryu Karate, and Brazilian jujutsu. He is also founder of The United Fighting Arts Federation (UFAF).
Norris returned to the United States in 1962, working for the Northrop corporation and opening a karate school, which many celebrities, including Steve McQueen attended. In 1963, his son Mike was born. A daughter, Dina followed in 1964, and a second son, Eric, in 1965. But another important moment happened in 1964: at a demonstration in Long Beach, Norris met the soon to be famous, Bruce Lee, who would ingrain Norris in martial arts history forever with his portrayal as Lee's nemesis in The Way of the Dragon. But while the two were publicly friendly, contrary to what many (including Norris himself) state, they were not close friends. Yet, the two managed to set aside any differences in pursuit of their mutual film aspirations and developed a friendly public persona toward one another.
In 1968, Norris became Middleweight Karate champion (non-contact), and 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 1968 that Norris made his acting debut, in the Dean Martin movie The Wrecking Crew. The greatest tragedy of Norris's life took place in 1970. His younger brother Weiland was killed in Vietnam. Norris later dedicated his Missing In Action films to his brother's memory. In 1972, he acted alongside Lee in the movie Way of the Dragon, and in 1974, McQueen encouraged him to begin acting classes at the MGM Studio.
While at acting classes his voice and drama coach was Jonathan Harris, of Lost In Space fame. Harris taught Norris how to speak by putting his fingers in Norris's mouth, and stretching his mouth wide open. Norris describes Harris as the only man in the world who could get away with doing that to him.
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. 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.
During the 1970's he taught The Price is Right host Bob Barker karate.
Norris turned down the part of Sensei Kreese in the first Karate Kid film stating that he did not want his name and/or image associated with a villainious or evil character.
In 1988, after 30 years of marriage, Norris and Holechek divorced.
In 1990, Norris founded the non-profit organization Kick Drugs Out of America. It has since been renamed KICKSTART.
By 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.
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 also owns a house and property on the caribeen island of Anguilla.
Norris has portrayed an Army Major in The Delta Force, Army Colonel in Missing in Action, and a Marine Captain during flashback scenes in his T.V. hit series Walker, Texas Ranger
United States President George W. Bush has stated that Norris is his favorite actor.
- The Wrecking Crew (1969)
- Way of the Dragon (1972)
- Life and Legend of Bruce Lee (1973) (documentary)
- 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)
- Missing in Action 2: The Beginning (1985)
- Code of Silence (1985)
- Invasion U.S.A. (1985)
- The Delta Force (1986)
- Firewalker (1986)
- Braddock: Missing in Action III (1988)
- Hero and the Terror (1988)
- Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection (1990)
- The Hitman (1991)
- Sidekicks (1992) (Cameo) (also executive producer)
- Curse of the Dragon (1993) (documentary)
- Hellbound (1994)
- Top Dog (1995)
- Forest Warrior (1996)
- Bells of Innocence (2003)
- Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004) (Cameo)
- The Cutter (2005)
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