Carlos Ray Norris (born March 10, 1940 in Ryan, Oklahoma), better known as Chuck Norris, is an American actor, writer, film producer, and martial artist best known for his roundhouse kicks and beard. Depending on your mileage, he's most remembered for:
- His fight with Bruce Lee in 1972's Way of the Dragon.
- His series of '80s action films made by The Cannon Group (including The Delta Force and the Missing in Action series), and the non-Cannon films The Octagon (from American Cinema) and Lone Wolf McQuade (released by Orion Pictures).
- His role as Cordell Walker in the long-running 90s series Walker, Texas Ranger.
- For martial arts connoisseurs, being an incredibly successful Karate competitor, becoming the Middleweight World Karate Champion.
- Training numerous celebrities in karate, including Priscilla Presley, Steve McQueen, and Bob Barker.
- The popular internet jokes and memes about his supposed godlike invincibility, which have introduced him to an entirely new generation.
He is the third Westerner in the documented history of Tae Kwon Do to be given the rank of 8th Degree Black Belt Grand Master, though he is often erroneously credited as the first. Also erroneously, Taekwondo is typically cited as his martial art. Chuck first studied Tang Soo Do, making it very popular in the west. He studied several other martial arts, including Taekwondo, Judo, Hapkido, multiple forms of Karate including Shotokan, Kenpo and Kyokushin and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, later on.
Since around the Turn of the Millennium he has experienced a burst of renewed popularity, which can be linked to two pop-cultural phenomena: First, the debut of the "Chuck Norris lever" on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, which produced a humorously random, out-of-context clip from Walker, Texas Ranger. Second, the formulation of the "Chuck Norris Fact Generator" (a spin-off of a similar generator for Vin Diesel), a Memetic Mutation wherein facts were given that depicted Norris as an unstoppable force of badassery, that quickly gained wide popularity. The concept reached Ascended Meme status in a campaign ad for Republican Mike Huckabee. He also appears in a commercial for World of Warcraft as part of a series of celebrity endorsements of the game. To a montage of him delivering a Curb-Stomp Battle to enemies, a narrator proudly proclaims "there are ten million people in the world of Warcraft because Chuck Norris allows them to live!"
One of his most recent roles was as Booker, a legendary lone-wolf mercenary in The Expendables 2, a role that's memorable for not only having him appear alongside other 80's action stars, but for Chuck himself cracking a Chuck Norris joke, officially turning them into an Ascended Meme.
According to Urban Legend, Norris was the man who taught Bruce Lee how to kick properly. Considering Norris' background in Tang Soo Do, a notoriously kick-heavy style, and Lee's early training in boxing and Wing Chun, both heavily punch-based, it's not impossible.
The real Chuck is as plainspoken, quiet, and honest as the characters he plays, but more likely to wrestle with his grandchildren than collect spinal columns. He currently lives in Grimes County, Texas, about an hour from Greater Houston. Chuck Norris sightings aren't uncommon and are a bit of a letdown for anyone who honestly expects the legends to be true. He's known for being very gracious with fans and involved with several philanthropic endeavors, including his charity Kickstart. He is one of Hollywood's most prominent Republicans, as well as an outspoken conservative Christian, creating his martial art form Chun Kuk Do, around a mixture of Christian and Martial Arts principles.
Films with pages on this wiki:
- Way of the Dragon (1972)
- Breaker! Breaker! (1977)
- The Octagon (1980)
- An Eye for an Eye (1981)
- Silent Rage (1982)
- Forced Vengeance (1982)
- Lone Wolf McQuade (1983)
- Missing in Action (1984)
- Code of Silence (1985)
- Invasion USA (1985)
- Missing in Action 2: The Beginning (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)
- Hellbound (1994)
- Top Dog (1995)
- Forest Warrior (1996)
- DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story (2004)
- The Expendables 2 (2012)
- Crime Boss: Rockay City (2023)