Carlos Ray “Chuck” Norris (born March 10, 1940) is an American martial artist, actor, film producer and screenwriter. After serving in the United States Air Force, Norris won many martial arts championships and later founded his own discipline Chun Kuk Do. Norris is a black belt in Tang Soo Do, Brazilian jiu jitsu and Judo. Shortly after, in Hollywood, Norris trained celebrities in martial arts. Norris went on to appear in a minor role in the spy film The Wrecking Crew (1969). Friend and fellow actor Bruce Lee invited him to play one of the main villains in Way of the Dragon (1972). While Norris continued acting, friend and student Steve McQueen who suggested him to take it seriously. Norris took the starring role in the action film Breaker! Breaker! (1977) which turned a profit. By his second lead Good Guys Wear Black (1978), Norris was known to be a popular action film star.
Norris would go on to star in a streak of bankable independently made action and martial arts films, with A Force of One (1979), The Octagon (1980), and An Eye for an Eye (1981). This made Norris an international celebrity, who would go on to make studio films like Silent Rage (1982) with Columbia, Forced Vengeance (1982) with MGM, and Lone Wolf McQuade (1983) with Orion. This led Cannon films, to sign Norris unto a multiple film deal, starting with Missing in Action (1984) who proved to be very successful and launched a trilogy. Norris started to work almost exclusively on high-profile action film with Cannon, for whom he became their leading star during the 1980s. This included Invasion U.S.A (1985), The Delta Force (1986), Firewalker (1986), etc. During this time outside of the Cannon films, Norris made Code of Silence (1985) who was received as one of his best films. In the 1990s, he played the title role in the long running television series Walker, Texas Ranger from 1993 until 2001. In 1997, another long running project started, Norris and model Christie Brinkley have been the main spokespersons for the Total Gym infomercials. Until 2006, Norris continued taking lead roles in action motion pictures some of these included Delta Force 2 (1990),The Hitman (1991), Sidekicks (1992), Forest Warrior (1996), The President’s Man and its sequel (2001-2002). Norris made his last film appearance to date in Sylvester Stallone’s The Expendables 2 (2012).
Norris has written several books on martial arts, exercise, philosophy, politics, Christian
religion, western novels, and biography. He was twice a New York Times bestselling author, first with his book on his personal philosophy of positive force and the psychology of self-improvement based on personal anecdotes called The Secret of Inner Strength: My Story (1988). His second New York Times Best Seller, Black Belt Patriotism: How to Reawaken America (2008), was about his critique on current issues in the USA.
Originally starting in early 2005 on an internet forum and later on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Chuck Norris facts became an internet meme documenting fictional and often absurd feats of strength and endurance. Although Norris himself did not produce the “facts”, he was hired to endorse many products that incorporated Chuck Norris facts in advertising, and the phenomenon resulted in six books (two of them New York Times Best Sellers) and two video games.