Facts That Shaped Chuck Norris’ Life and What He’s Doing Now

Chuck Norris is a prominent actor, martial artist, and author. He has collaborated with several notable figures, including Bruce Lee and Dean Martin. In 1983, he became well-known for his lead roles in Walker, Texas Ranger, and Lone McQuade. Have you ever heard a Chuck Norris joke?

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These jokes are guaranteed to make anyone laugh until their stomach hurts! But there’s so much more about the man than meets the eye. He’s had quite the life! Here, we go behind the scenes in his life, from when he was a child to what he’s doing these days.

It Wasn’t Always Green

We all want to have the lives many celebrities have. But you’ll be surprised to learn it wasn’t always this good for some of them. They didn’t have a comfortable life, you see. Chuck Norris is a name many of us have heard – and feared – through the years.

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Yet it turns out that he had humble beginnings. Chuck’s father abandoned him when he was a child, and his mother became a single parent out of the blue. Chuck was determined to become a father figure and role model for his two younger brothers.

Forced to Grow up Too Early

They say pain changes people. And we think it changed the young Chuck Norris. Having fatherly responsibilities at such a young age would change anyone. Chuck wasn’t always the lean, vicious fighter we know and love. The star was once a bashful introvert.

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He tried his hardest to avoid interacting with others. Chuck is said to have struggled in school as if that wasn’t enough. Being the man of the house and dealing with his stepfather’s addiction seemed to have taken its toll on young Chuck.

He Used to be in the Air Force

Many people born during the early- to mid-1900s joined the army. We’re sure it had to be due to the wars fought in the era. Chuck was no different; he had wanted to join the police force since he was a child.

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And he finally had the chance to live his dream when he joined the U.S. Air Force as an Air Police Officer. Chuck was then dispatched to South Korea to serve out his military contract. Moving across the world allowed Chuck to learn martial arts.

Chuck Wasn’t Always Chuck

Chuck Norris’ time in the Air Force shaped him into the man he is today. But that wasn’t all he got from being a soldier. It was during his service in the military that he got his name! Chuck used to go by the name Carlos Ray Norris.

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That was before enlisting in the Air Force. He used his birth name throughout his school years. He didn’t get the nickname Chuck until he was in his early twenties. And it is a name people will remember for the rest of their lives.

One of the Toughest Moments of His Life

If there is someone who never had it easy growing up, it was Chuck. He had to take care of his little brothers from a young age. Chuck’s military service helped him mold his life, but it also changed it forever. It put a hole in his heart.

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He inspired his younger brother, Wieland, to join the military years later. Wieland was sent to Vietnam, where he served for four months before tragically dying on the battlefield. Chuck admits that losing his brother was one of the most difficult experiences.

A New Life as a Teacher

Chuck Norris was discharged from the United States Air Force in August 1962. And it was the beginning of something new for him. After leaving the military, Chuck was left with a fresh question: What was he meant to do now? First, Chuck got a job in an aircraft plant.

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But it wasn’t enough to sustain his new lifestyle outside the Air Force. He had no choice but to teach karate in his mother’s backyard. Everyone, thankfully, was eager to master the new skill. Chuck also discovered his passion for teaching for the first time.

Creating His Martial Arts

Chuck spent so much time practicing martial arts that it wasn’t long before he picked up a few tricks. Quite frankly, he might not have been the best student in school, but that is an impressive thing to do!

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So, what better way to write your name into the history books of tough guys than by creating your martial arts? Chuck Norris is the proud founder of Chun Kuk Do. It’s a cross between karate and Korean martial arts, focusing on fitness, grappling, competitiveness, weaponry, and self-defense.

Just a Few Defeats Down the Line

If you compete in martial arts and other combat sports, you’ll understand the saying, “You win some, you lose some.” Chuck not only teaches martial arts but has also competed in it for many years. Over his entire career, the sports star was only beaten by a few people.

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Here’s one impressive stat: Chuck hasn’t lost a single fight since 1968. He retired in 1974 after defeating most of the opposing line-up. Chuck won the professional full-contact karate middleweight championship before he was done.

Steve McQueen Calls Him ‘Sensei’

Chuck wasn’t just any martial arts trainer; he taught many brilliant people. And you know some, like Steve McQueen. McQueen rose to prominence as one of the most renowned anti-heroes of the 1960s. So, where did this action hero get his training? Chuck Norris, of course.

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According to reports, the actor joined Chuck’s martial arts studio, and the two quickly became friends. That’s not all, though. According to Chuck, Steve gave him the push he needed to break into the acting profession — a decision that changed his life forever.

Friends With Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee is convicted by a large section of the martial arts fanbase as the greatest martial artist ever to live. Imagine being his friend. Being a movie star helped Chuck meet Lee, a fellow martial arts legend. They had trained together since the 1960s.

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And they were about to begin work on a new film together. Lee had already joined The Wrecking Crew and chose Chuck as his combat partner. Chuck agreed, and the two collaborated to produce one of the most famous combat sequences in cinema history. And it was ad-libbed!

And Then They Became Good Friends

As if being friends with Bruce Lee wasn’t enough, Chuck struck a great friendship with former President George Bush, who invested in his dreams. The former President and Chuck were set to take their friendship to the next level. He told Chuck about how he had always wanted to skydive.

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And to make his dreams come true, he chose his 80th birthday as the ideal moment. Chuck was initially apprehensive about participating but quickly got a parachute and joined the team. It was the start of a great friendship.

He Stopped Taking Some Types of Pictures

Fans frequently ask Chuck Norris to place them in a simulated chokehold during picture ops due to his classic battle scenes. Norris usually complied until a picture shoot went awry and put him in a tight spot. A Marine begged Norris to put him in a chokehold while touring a base.

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The chokehold lasted a little too long, and the Marine passed out. Luckily, the Marine was unhurt, and because of the incident, he became well-known around the base. But it was the end of those kinds of pictures for Chuck Norris. Honestly, we can’t blame him.

The Illegal Fight with Bruce Lee

The fight scene in The Way of the Dragon between Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris is perhaps one of the most iconic martial arts sequences in film history. Many people are unaware that the scene was shot illegally. Lee wanted to film the scene in the iconic Colosseum in Rome.

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Because filming in the Colosseum was banned, the performers had to bribe Roman officials and smuggle cameras into their backpacks. Under visitors’ cover, the actors entered and quickly filmed the famous fight scene. We’re going to pretend like we didn’t see this one!

He Found Love Early

Some try for years; others aren’t so lucky in searching for love. Chuck was. He was still a youngster when he met and fell in love with Dianne Holechek. He was 18 when he found himself walking down the aisle with a new wife.

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The pair were married for 30 years and spent most of their adult lives together until they divorced in 1989. Unfortunately, Chuck says that the day Dianne walked out the door, she left a huge hole in his heart. It must have been really painful!

The Extra-Marital Affair That Birthed a Child

On the red carpet, Chuck appears to be a family man, but maybe this hasn’t always been the case. The actor had an affair during his first marriage and fathered another child. But the story comes with a twist fit for Netflix.

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Chuck was completely unaware of his daughter’s existence. Dina was born in 1964 and claimed to have known about her biological father for ten years but didn’t want to disturb his family with her shocking revelation. It must have been a difficult decade for her!

They Finally Met After Many Years

Dina didn’t tell her father the truth until she was 26. In 1990, Chuck Norris got the news that he had a daughter from years ago. Was this another person trying to gain notoriety by pretending to have celebrity parents?

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It did not appear to be the case. Chuck claimed that he knew Dina was his daughter from the moment they met. We’re happy they were reunited at last, but we cannot help but imagine how it must have felt for Dina to grow up and summon her courage.

Didn’t Expect to Walk Down the Aisle Again

Finding love at a young age is a big deal. Spending three decades with the love of your life is a big deal, too. So, it’s understandable that you might not expect to find love again after a divorce. Chuck thought he’d never find another love that made him want to marry.

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That is until he met Gena O’Kelley. Chuck thought it was time to make it official after dating for a while. At Thanksgiving, the actor asked Gena if she could arrange a six-week wedding. She didn’t know it was hers until Chuck popped the question.

The Twins Threw a Wrench in the Works

Since she could plan a wedding in six weeks, the couple tied the knot in 1998. They welcomed a set of twins about three years later. Their arrival, however, was about to put a wrench in the works.

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Chuck realized he didn’t have enough time in his schedule to continue filming while also raising a family. So, Chuck only needed the newborns as a reason to put a stop to Walker, Texas Ranger. Chuck’s fans were saddened, and it marked the start of his disappearance from the spotlight.

Walker, Texas Ranger Was a Family Thing

Many people were saddened by the end of Walker, Texas Ranger, especially the cast and crew who had worked on the show for many years. They were, however, possibly closer than we thought. Aaron, Chuck’s brother, was one of the many people who directed four episodes of the show.

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But apparently, he wasn’t the only one from the Chuck Norris household to do that. Chuck’s son Mike directed five episodes, and his other son, Eric, directed 17! Talk about putting your family on. We can only imagine how lively the set was.

A Man of Many Talents

One reason Chuck has stood out is that he’s incredibly talented. Besides being a well-known martial artist, Chuck Norris is also an accomplished author. He has authored nearly ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. Norris’ first book, Winning Tournament Karate, was a guide to martial arts.

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He wrote several health and self-improvement books, including The Secret of Inner Strength: My Story, a New York Times bestseller. In 2008, he published his second bestseller, Black Belt Patriotism: How to Reawaken America, a political book.

How the Chuck Norris Jokes Began

Chuck Norris became famous as the topic of Chuck Norris “facts,” which were comically ludicrous exaggerations of Norris’ strength and masculinity, even though he was already a successful movie star and martial artist. Since 2005, we’ve heard jokes about Chuck Norris making onions cry.

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It was either that or being able to dribble a bowling ball. These jokes have been a staple of online humor. Norris has said that his favorite fact is that he was supposed to be carved into Mount Rushmore, “but the granite was not tough enough for his beard.”

The Infamous Late-Night Sketch

Many people credit late-night host and comedian Conan O’Brien’s show, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, for the popularity of Chuck Norris’ “facts.” When O’Brien’s network (NBC) acquired Universal in 2004, he had access to all of the Walker, Texas Ranger episodes. But Chuck may not have initially liked this.

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That’s because O’Brien began using footage from the show in his “Walker, Texas Ranger Lever” segment, a sketch in which he highlights the show’s most bizarre and ridiculous scenes. This piece is widely credited with introducing Norris to a new generation of fans.

Links to the Karate Kid Films

The Karate Kid is considered one of the best martial films ever. And Chuck was a part. Although Chuck Norris didn’t appear in any of the Karate Kid flicks, he does have a fascinating link to the franchise. It was through Pat E. Johnson, the actor and martial arts coordinator.

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Johnson, like Steve McQueen, trained under Chuck Norris. He rose to become the chief instructor at Norris’ martial arts school in California and the captain of Norris’ undefeated black-belt competition team. Unfortunately, after years of professional training, the two parted ways in 1986.

Featured in Multiple Video Games

Most people would agree that appearing in a video game requires certain recognition. You may think, “Oh, many people have done that.” But it’s usually as a character and not as themselves. Chuck Norris Superkicks was launched in 1983.

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It was created by the now-defunct video game firm Xononx. Due to the popularity of Chuck Norris facts, Gameloft created Chuck Norris: Bring on the Pain, a mobile game, in 2008. Another gaming company released a mobile game named Nonstop Chuck Norris almost a decade later. What a legend!

His Fame Is Worldwide

Some people are popular only in their country—others in their continent. Chuck Norris’ fame, however, transcends continents. Chuck Norris is a national treasure in the United States but also incredibly famous in Europe. Norris was featured in a T-Mobile Christmas ad in the Czech Republic in 2010.

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Two years later, he took over as the face of the Polish bank, Bank Zachodni WBK, from actor Antonio Banderas. Norris then appeared in an ad campaign for Hesburger, a Finnish hamburger restaurant, in 2018. The renowned actor is well-known worldwide because of his classic action blockbusters.

His Own Water Brand

Though it may appear like Chuck Norris discovering an old aquifer right outside his ranch is just another Chuck Norris “fact,” it happened, and he made money from it. During a particularly severe drought, Norris ranch hands discovered the aquifer while digging a new well in 2011.

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The natural aquifer, which generates purified drinking water, is over 23,000 years old. Norris founded the CForce Bottling Company in 2015 to market this artesian water. Now his company produces water and employs people.

Never Forgot His Roots

Chuck Norris may be a household name now, but he hasn’t forgotten how it all started. Though many people have watched Chuck Norris’ famous film Missing in Action, few know that he starred in it and other POW rescue films for a personal cause.

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These movies were dedicated to Norris’ brother, PFC Wieland Norris, who died in Vietnam in 1970. Norris, who served in the Air Force, has maintained ties with members of the armed forces and veterans. He has visited U.S. troops in Iraq and served as the Veterans Administration’s spokesperson.

A Hero for Kids and Comic Fans

Every age group knows Chuck in one way or another due to his involvement in several projects that cut across different ages. Although we mostly know him for brutal action flicks, Norris was previously the star of an animated television show and a comic book series.

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In 1986, Norris starred in the television series Karate Kommandos, which he created. Norris starred in the show as a federal operative battling a villain known as the Claw and his evil organization, VULTURE. Marvel’s Star Comics turned the plot into a four-issue comic book.

The Chuck Norris-Themed 5K

Running a marathon is challenging enough; running one while costumed as Chuck Norris is even more difficult. In 2019, 5,000 participants competed in the Chuck Norris 5K in College Station, Texas, even though it was a difficult course. Runners were required to dress up as the action icon.

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This included false beards. They were also given the opportunity to high-five Norris at the finish line. The race also attempted to set a new world record for the largest gathering of Chuck Norris lookalikes in one location. They got their record.

He’d Rather Stay Silent

One thing many don’t know about Chuck is that he’s a quiet man. A man of few words is said to be deliberate in his speaking. You may think that being one of the toughest men on the globe exempts you from having to explain yourself in words.

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But Chuck’s silence may have a cause. The actor has confessed that if he has nothing pleasant to say about someone, he will say nothing. As a result, Chuck’s silence indicates that he is probably judging you. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!

A NASCAR-Champion Son

We’re impressed: The Norris family sounds like a family of winners! Chuck Norris is famous for his purported superhuman strength, but his son is right behind him. Eric Norris is a NASCAR racing champion in addition to being a great actor, director, and stuntman.

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In the early 1980s, Eric began racing cars and motorcycles in the early 1980s. He won the NASCAR Winston West Series Championship in 2002. Eric returned to the entertainment world after a successful car racing career. Like his father, he’s a man of many talents.

An Almost Disastrous Film Debut

It’s not easy getting into the film industry, especially Hollywood. And it’s also difficult to stay at the top. But Chuck Norris almost blew his chance with his first film. When Bruce Lee approached Chuck Norris about appearing in his latest film, The Wrecking Crew, Norris said yes.

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Norris practiced his one line for weeks since he was nervous about public speaking. Things went from bad to worse when actor Dean Martin failed to duck during a fight scene and was kicked across the room by Norris’ kick. Fortunately, Martin kept filming.

Giving Back to Humanity

It’s difficult to have had such a start to life and still find it in your heart to be a good human. It doesn’t happen all that often. Chuck’s passion for karate has grown beyond anyone’s expectations, as the actor founded his charity, Kickstart Kids. The organization has a unique aim.

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Chuck’s charity organization seeks to teach kids character qualities, but Chuck needs help. He revealed his ambitions to take the sport across the country during a chat with a past President. The former President was so taken aback by the concept that he decided to invest immediately.

He Had a Shocking Snakebite

“A cobra bit Chuck Norris, and after five days of excruciating pain, the cobra died.” This is according to a popular Chuck Norris “fact.” The specifics may have been altered slightly. A rattlesnake bit Norris on the set of his T.V. show, Walker, Texas Ranger.

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In one scene, Norris picks up the rattlesnake to count its rattles (as Chuck Norris does). The snake bit Norris on the second take of the sequence, spilling blood “everywhere.” Thankfully, the actor was unharmed; however, no word on the snake… we’ll get back to you on that!

He Stands By His Wife

After being connected by one of Chuck’s close friends, Gena and Chuck first met in a sushi restaurant. The actor admitted that he initially didn’t know what to say to Gena but already had deep feelings for his future wife. The couple has been together since then.

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Unfortunately, in 2013, their relationship was tested when it was revealed that the former model needed many medical tests. Chuck was with her throughout the entire ordeal. We’re glad he stayed through it all. Most events are private, but we’ve learned a little.

The Scan That Changed Everything

Gena was scheduled for a scan to see if she had rheumatoid arthritis. To examine the results more clearly, she needed to have an MRI scan with a simple injection. Everything appeared to be straightforward. That is until Gena was injected with the substance.

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She subsequently admitted she felt “as if acid had been passed through” her entire body. She appeared to be having an allergic response. This must have been a difficult time for her and her family.

He Remained at Her Side

Gena was hospitalized for the next five months because she required round-the-clock nursing care. To save her life, the former model was always hooked up to an IV. Chuck’s life changed drastically after this occurrence.

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He gave up his acting career to focus on his family. Since he didn’t want to leave Gena alone, the actor slept on a hospital couch every night. Considering how he left his show for his kids and now this, Chuck is indeed a great dad and husband.

In Search of Justice

As Gena’s health deteriorated, things became increasingly difficult for the couple and their family. Fortunately, the former model has been able to reclaim some of her former life and has been released from the hospital. In 2017, Gena and Chuck made a huge decision.

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The pair decided to seek justice for the hospital’s actions and negligence. Chuck is now focusing all his efforts on securing Gena the compensation she is due for her struggles. We completely understand why the family decided to take this step, especially if all the claims are true.

The $10 Million Lawsuit

The pair believes that a metal called gadolinium in the injection caused all of Gena’s ailments. Gena and Chuck believe they were not adequately told or educated about the drug the hospital administered and that they could have avoided the entire reaction if they had been.

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The couple admits to spending more than $2 million on Gena’s medical bills and seeks $10 million in damages. The last we heard was that Chuck and his wife had decided to abandon their Lawsuit against gadolinium maker Bracco Imaging without any settlement.

He Has Plans to Change the World

Since then, Gena has dealt with many medical challenges that have forever altered her life. Chuck is adamant about changing the medical laws that govern his wife’s treatment. That isn’t all, though. Chuck also wishes to improve everyone’s overall view of the United States.

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As he is regularly concerned about global conflict, the actor hopes that all the hatred in the United States will one day end. Chuck might seem brutal and all about violence in the movies, but he’s certainly more interested in peace in real life.

Signing Deals and Cashing Checks

Chuck Norris has kept busy with endorsement deals. He was named Fiat’s ambassador in 2017, a “tough face” for the company’s commercial vehicles. Norris, according to Fiat, embodies four business pillars: determination, reliability, dynamism, and competence. Norris was also featured in a commercial for Hesburger, a Finnish hamburger restaurant, in 2018.

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He performed a commercial for Cerveza Poker that year, too. Toyota was his third commercial that year. Norris was featured in a QuikTrip commercial for its Snackle range of food in early January 2020. Norris appeared in the series finale of Hawaii Five-0 on April 3.

Heavy Criticism From a Risky Deal

Chuck Norris isn’t immune to criticism. He inked an endorsement deal with Glock, a weapons manufacturer, in 2019. Some members of the public and some of his supporters criticized the deal, claiming that it came at an inopportune time given the rise of school shootings in the United States.

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With the increasing “cancel culture” on social media, this was a dangerous deal for his legendary status among fans and other public members who heavily criticized his decision. Thankfully, that is no longer a problem, and Chuck remains an icon in the entertainment industry.