Chuck Norris

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.

Biography

A native of Ryan, Oklahoma, Norris has two younger brothers, of which Hollywood producer Aaron Norris is one. Norris is part Cherokee (from his father) and part British and Irish (from his mother).

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, Norris joined the United States Air Force and was sent to South Korea. It was in South Korea that Norris acquired the nickname Chuck. He later joined the United States Marine Corps. He has portrayed an Army Major in Delta Force, Army Colonel in Missing in Action, and a Marine Captain during flashback scenes in his T.V. hit series Walker, Texas Ranger.

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, Shito-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 fellow Marine 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 Bruce Lee. Impressed with Norris' ability, Lee began to persuade Norris to try an acting career.

In 1968, Norris was Karate's world Middleweight champion, 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. 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. He 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, An Eye for an Eye, 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.

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.

Filmography

  • The Wrecking Crew (1968)
  • Room 222 (1970)
  • The Way of The Dragon (1972)
  • The Student Teachers (1973)
  • Slaughter In San Francisco (1973)
  • Enter The Dragon (1973)
  • Bruce Lee's The Man And The Legend (1973)
  • The Warrior Within (1977)
  • Breaker! Breaker! (1977)
  • Game of Death (1978)
  • Good Guys Wear Black (1979)
  • A Force of One (1979)
  • The Octagon (1980)
  • An Eye for an Eye (1981)
  • Silent Rage (1982)
  • Forced Vengeance (1982)
  • The Making of 'Lone Wolf McQuade' (1983)
  • Lone Wolf McQuade (1983)
  • Missing in Action (1984)
  • Missing in Action 2: The Beginning (1985)
  • The Making of The Terminator & Missing in Action 2 (1985)
  • Code of Silence (1985)
  • Invasion U.S.A. (1985)
  • The Delta Force (1986)
  • Firewalker (1986)
  • Steve McQueen: Man On The Edge (TV, 1986)
  • Chuck Norris Karate Kommandos (TV, 1986)
  • Karate Daily Dozen (1988)
  • Braddock: Missing In Action 3 (1988)
  • Hero And The Terror (1988)
  • One for the Road (TV, 1989)
  • The Presidential Inaugural Gala (TV, 1989)
  • Ultimate Stuntman: A tribute to Dar Robinson (TV, 1990)
  • The World's Greatest Stunts (TV, 1990)
  • Happy Birthday, Bugs: 50 Looney Years (TV, 1990)
  • Delta Force 2: Operation Stranglehold (1990)
  • Deadliest Art: The Best of The Martial Arts (1990)
  • The Hitman (1991)
  • Dying For a Smoke (TV, 1992)
  • Sidekicks (alongside Jonathan Brandis and Danica McKellar, 1992).
  • Combat Karate 1992
  • Hellbound (1993)
  • Walker, Texas Ranger (1993 to 2001)
  • The Course of The Dragon (1993)
  • Wind in The Wire (TV, 1993)
  • Kids in The Crossfire (TV, 1993)
  • WWF Survivor Series (TV, 1994)
  • Top Dog (1995)
  • Heroes of The Street (TV, 1995)
  • The Immortal Masters (1996)
  • Bruce Lee: The Immortal Dragon (1996)
  • Forest Warriors (1996)
  • Chuck Norris: Private Lesson (video, 1997)
  • Logan's War: Bound by Honor (TV, 1998)
  • The Path of The Dragon (video, 1998)
  • Informal, El (TV, 1999)
  • Sons of Thunder (TV, 1999)
  • Martial Law: Honor Among Strangers (2000)
  • The President's Man (TV, 2000)
  • The President's Man: A Line in The Sand (TV, 2002)
  • The Bells of Innocence (2002)
  • Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004)

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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. Notable film roles also include:. In 1993, he began shooting the series Walker, Texas Ranger, which lasted eight years on CBS and continued in heavy syndication on other channels. His oldest son, Jonathan, had killed himself in 1975. Norris went on to make several more largely ignored films before making a transition to television. He was survived by Veronique, their two children and two of his children from his earlier marriage. He reprised his Delta Force role for MGM, who had acquired the Cannon library after the latter's Chapter 11 bankruptcy. He died in his sleep at the age of 87 in his Los Angeles home, with his second wife, Veronique, at his side.

By the close of the 1980s, Cannon Films had faded from prominence, and Norris' star appeal seemed to go with it. Like Cary Grant did before him, Peck spent the last few years of his life touring the world doing speaking engagements in which he would show clips from his movies, reminisce, and answer questions from the audience. It has since been renamed KICKSTART. He was a founding patron of the University College Dublin School of Film, where he persuaded Martin Scorsese to become an honorary patron. In 1990, Norris founded the non-profit organization Kick Drugs Out of America. In 2000 he was made a Doctor of Letters by the National University of Ireland. In 1988, after 30 years of marriage, Norris and Holechek divorced. Dornan, first by a slim margin and later by a wider gap.

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. Cary Peck was defeated on both accounts in Southern California, in 1978 and in 1980, by conservative Congressman Robert K. 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. Peck encouraged his son, Cary, to run for national political office. Norris' first starring role was 1977's Breaker, Breaker!, and subsequent films such as The Octagon, An Eye for an Eye, and Lone Wolf McQuade proved his increasing box office bankability. In an interview with the Irish media, Peck revealed that former President Lyndon Johnson had told him that, had he sought re-election, he intended to offer Peck the post of US ambassador to Ireland - a post Peck, on account of his Irish ancestry, said he might well have taken, saying "it would have been a great adventure". He describes Harris as the only man in the world who could get away with doing that to him. A lifelong supporter of the Democratic Party, he was suggested once as a possible Democratic candidate to run against Ronald Reagan for the office of Governor of California.

Harris taught Norris how to speak by putting his fingers in Norris's mouth, and stretching his mouth wide open. Peck retired from active film-making in the early 1990s, having received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute in 1989. While at acting classes his voice and drama coach was Jonathan Harris, of Lost In Space fame. He also starred in the TV film The Scarlet and The Black, about a real-life Catholic priest in the Vatican who smuggled Jews and other refugees away from the Nazis during World War II. 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. In the 1980s he moved to television, where he starred in the mini-series The Blue and the Gray, playing Abraham Lincoln. It was also in 1968 that Norris made his acting debut, in the Dean Martin movie The Wrecking Crew. He was outspoken against the Vietnam War, while remaining supportive of his son, Stephen, who was fighting there. In 1972 Peck produced the film version of Philip Berrigan's play The Trial of the Catonsville Nine about the prosecution of a group of Vietnam protesters for civil disobedience.

In 1968, Norris was Karate's world Middleweight champion, 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. In 1947, while many Hollywood figures were being blacklisted for similar activities, he signed a letter deploring a House Un-American Activities Committee investigation of alleged communists in the film industry. Impressed with Norris' ability, Lee began to persuade Norris to try an acting career. His other popular films include Roman Holiday, in which he appeared as a reporter alongside Audrey Hepburn in her Oscar-winning debut. But another important moment happened in 1964: at a demonstration in Long Beach, Norris met Bruce Lee. In 2003, Atticus Finch was named the top film hero of the past 100 years by the American Film Institute. A daughter, Dina followed in 1964, and a second son, Eric, in 1965. Released in 1962 during the height of the US civil rights movement in the South; this movie is said to have been Peck's favorite.

Norris returned to the United States in 1962, working for the Northrop corporation and opening a karate school, which many celebrities, including fellow Marine Steve McQueen attended. In 1963, his son Mike was born. Peck won the award for his fifth nomination, playing the role of Atticus Finch, a Depression-era lawyer and widowed father, in the film adaptation of the Harper Lee novel To Kill a Mockingbird. He is also founder of The United Fighting Arts Federation (UFAF). He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor five times, four of which came in his first five years of film acting: for The Keys of the Kingdom (1944), The Yearling (1946), Gentleman's Agreement (1947), and Twelve O'Clock High (1949). Norris has also practiced Judo, Shito-Ryu Karate, and Brazilian jujutsu. Peck's first film was Days of Glory, released in 1944. Mr. I've been trying to straighten out that story for years.".

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"). In Peck's words, "In Hollywood, they didn't think a dance class was macho enough, I guess. hit series Walker, Texas Ranger. Twentieth Century Fox claimed he had injured his back while rowing a boat at university. He has portrayed an Army Major in Delta Force, Army Colonel in Missing in Action, and a Marine Captain during flashback scenes in his T.V. Peck's acting abilities were in high demand during World War II, since he was exempt from military service due to a back injury suffered while receiving dance and movement lessons from Martha Graham as part of his acting training. He later joined the United States Marine Corps. His second Broadway performance that year was in 'The Willow and I' with Edward Pawley.

It was in South Korea that Norris acquired the nickname Chuck. He made his Broadway debut as the lead in Emlyn Williams' "Morning Star" in 1942. After marriage, Norris joined the United States Air Force and was sent to South Korea. He worked at the 1939 World's Fair and as a tour guide for NBC television. There, he finished high school and soon married his girlfriend, Diane Holechek. He was often broke and sometimes slept in Central Park. When Norris was 12, his parents divorced and he relocated to California with his mother and brothers. After graduation, Peck dropped the name "Eldred" and headed to New York City in 1939 to study at the Neighborhood Playhouse.

Norris is part Cherokee (from his father) and part British and Irish (from his mother). He was recruited by the school's Little Theater and appeared in five plays his senior year. A native of Ryan, Oklahoma, Norris has two younger brothers, of which Hollywood producer Aaron Norris is one. He majored in English and rowed on the university crew. 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. In 1936, he enrolled as a pre-med student at the University of California, Berkeley. Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004). For a short time, he took a job driving a truck for an oil company.

The Bells of Innocence (2002). When he graduated, he went to San Diego State University, but dropped out a year later. The President's Man: A Line in The Sand (TV, 2002). Peck was sent to a Roman Catholic military school in Los Angeles at the age of 10. The President's Man (TV, 2000). Peck's parents divorced when he was five and he was reared by his grandmother. Martial Law: Honor Among Strangers (2000). Catherine Ashe was related to the Irish patriot Thomas Ashe, who took part in the Irish Easter Rising in the year of Peck's birth and died on hunger strike in 1917.

Sons of Thunder (TV, 1999). Born Eldred Gregory Peck in La Jolla, California, he was the son of a Missouri mother and a chemist called Gregory Peck, whose mother Catherine Ashe was an Irish immigrant from County Kerry. Informal, El (TV, 1999). Gregory Peck (April 5, 1916 - June 12, 2003) was an American film actor. The Path of The Dragon (video, 1998). Mackenna's Gold. Logan's War: Bound by Honor (TV, 1998). The Boys from Brazil.

Chuck Norris: Private Lesson (video, 1997). MacArthur. Forest Warriors (1996). The Omen. Bruce Lee: The Immortal Dragon (1996). Mirage. The Immortal Masters (1996). Cape Fear.

Heroes of The Street (TV, 1995). The Guns of Navarone. Top Dog (1995). On the Beach. WWF Survivor Series (TV, 1994). The Big Country. Kids in The Crossfire (TV, 1993). Designing Woman.

Wind in The Wire (TV, 1993). Moby Dick. The Course of The Dragon (1993). Captain Horatio Hornblower R.N.. Walker, Texas Ranger (1993 to 2001). The Gunfighter. Hellbound (1993). The Paradine Case.

Combat Karate 1992. Duel in the Sun. Sidekicks (alongside Jonathan Brandis and Danica McKellar, 1992). Spellbound. Dying For a Smoke (TV, 1992). The Hitman (1991).

Deadliest Art: The Best of The Martial Arts (1990). Delta Force 2: Operation Stranglehold (1990). Happy Birthday, Bugs: 50 Looney Years (TV, 1990). The World's Greatest Stunts (TV, 1990).

Ultimate Stuntman: A tribute to Dar Robinson (TV, 1990). The Presidential Inaugural Gala (TV, 1989). One for the Road (TV, 1989). Hero And The Terror (1988).

Braddock: Missing In Action 3 (1988). Karate Daily Dozen (1988). Chuck Norris Karate Kommandos (TV, 1986). Steve McQueen: Man On The Edge (TV, 1986).

Firewalker (1986). The Delta Force (1986). Invasion U.S.A. (1985). Code of Silence (1985).

The Making of The Terminator & Missing in Action 2 (1985). Missing in Action 2: The Beginning (1985). Missing in Action (1984). Lone Wolf McQuade (1983).

The Making of 'Lone Wolf McQuade' (1983). Forced Vengeance (1982). Silent Rage (1982). An Eye for an Eye (1981).

The Octagon (1980). A Force of One (1979). Good Guys Wear Black (1979). Game of Death (1978).

Breaker! Breaker! (1977). The Warrior Within (1977). Bruce Lee's The Man And The Legend (1973). Enter The Dragon (1973).

Slaughter In San Francisco (1973). The Student Teachers (1973). The Way of The Dragon (1972). Room 222 (1970).

The Wrecking Crew (1968).

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