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Biography of Steven Seagal 

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Steven Frederic Seagal (/sɪˈɡɑːl/; born April 10, 1952) is an American actor, film producer, screenwriter, director, martial artist and musician.
Steven Seagal

Steven Seagal November 2016.jpg
Seagal in November 2016
Born
April 10, 1952 (age 66)
Lansing, Michigan, U.S.
Style
Aikido
Years active
1982–present
Occupation
Actor, producer, screenwriter, director, martial artist, musician
Spouse
Miyako Fujitani
(m. 1975; div. 1986)
Adrienne La Russa
(m. 1984; annulled 1984)
Kelly Le Brock
(m. 1987; div. 1996)
Erdenetuya Batsukh
(m. 2009)
Children
7, including Ayako Fujitani
Website
stevenseagal.com

Seagal was born in Lansing, Michigan. A 7th-dan black belt in aikido, he began his adult life as a martial arts instructor in Japan;[1] becoming the first foreigner to operate an aikido dojo in the country.[2] He later moved to Los Angeles, California, where he had the same profession. In 1988, Seagal made his acting debut in Above the Law. By 1991, he had starred in four successful films. In 1992, he played Navy SEALs counter-terrorist expert Casey Ryback in Under Siege. During the latter half of the 1990s, Seagal starred in three more theatrical films and the direct-to-video film The Patriot. Subsequently, his career shifted to mostly direct-to-video productions. He has since appeared in films and reality shows, including Steven Seagal: Lawman, which depicted Seagal performing his duties as a reserve deputy sheriff.

Seagal is a guitarist and has released two studio albums (Songs from the Crystal Cave and Mojo Priest), and performed on a number of film scores. He has worked with Stevie Wonder and Tony Rebel, who both performed on his debut album. He has also been involved in a line of “therapeutic oil” products and energy drinks.

In addition, Seagal is known as an environmentalist,[3] an animal rights activist and as a supporter of the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso.[4][5] He is also known for his outspoken political views and support of Vladimir Putin. Seagal once referred to Putin as “one of the great living world leaders”.[6] He holds American, Russian and Serbian citizenship.

Early life

Steven Frederic Seagal was born in Lansing, Michigan on April 10, 1952,[7][8] the son of medical technician Patricia (1930–2003) and high school math teacher Samuel Seagal (1928–1991).[9] His mother was of Dutch, English, and German ancestry, while his paternal grandparents were Russian Jews who immigrated to the U.S.[10] He also has Irish and Mongolian heritage.[11] When Seagal was five years old, his parents relocated to Fullerton, California. Patricia told People magazine that prior to the move, Seagal was frail and suffered from asthma, saying, “He was a puny kid back then. But he really thrived after the move [from Michigan].” Seagal attended Buena Park High School in Buena Park, California, and Fullerton College between 1970 and 1971. The teeanged Seagal spent much time in his garage listening to loud rock music, while working with a friendly old Japanese man at a dojo in Garden Grove who encouraged him to go to Japan.[12]
Martial arts

Seagal moved to Japan at some point between 1971 and 1973. The date of his journey has become a point of contention due to Seagal’s statement that he studied with Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of aikido, who died in 1969. Terry Dobson, a fifth-degree black belt who studied with the master from 1961 to 1969, dismissed this claim, saying, “That story is bull. [Back then] I never heard of Steven Seagal.” By 1974 Seagal had returned California. That year he met Miyako Fujitani, a second-degree black belt and daughter of an Osaka aikido master who had come to Los Angeles to teach aikido. When Miyako returned to Osaka, Seagal went with her. The following year they married and had a son, Kentaro, and a daughter, Ayako. He taught at the school owned by Miyako’s family (though he is often stated to have been the first non-Asian to open a dojo in Japan). As of 1990, Miyako and her brother still taught there, and her mother was the chairwoman.[12]

Seagal initially returned to Taos, New Mexico, with his student (and later film stuntman) Craig Dunn, where they opened a dojo, although Seagal spent much of his time pursuing other ventures. After another period in Japan, Seagal returned to the U.S. in 1983 with senior student Haruo Matsuoka. They opened an aikido dojo, initially in North Hollywood, California, but later moved it to the city of West Hollywood. Seagal left Matsuoka in charge of the dojo, which he ran until the two parted ways in 1997.[13][14][15]

Seagal helped train Brazilian Mixed Martial Artist Lyoto Machida, who credited Seagal for helping him perfect the front kick that he used to knock out Randy Couture at UFC 129 in May 2011.[16][17]
Hollywood career
1980s–1990s

In 1987, Seagal began work on his first film, Above the Law (titled Nico in Europe), with director Andrew Davis and reportedly[weasel words] as a favor to a former aikido student, the agent Michael Ovitz.[18] Ovitz took Seagal to Warner Brothers to put on an aikido demonstration and the executives were impressed by him and offered him several scripts; Seagal turned them down but agreed to write what would become Above the Law. Following its success, Seagal’s subsequent movies were Hard to Kill, Marked for Death, and Out for Justice, all box office hits, making him an action hero. Later, he achieved wider, mainstream success in 1992 with the release of Under Siege (1992). That film reunited Seagal with director Andrew Davis, and was a blockbuster in the U.S. and abroad, grossing $156.4 million worldwide.

Seagal hosted the April 20, 1991 episode of the late night variety show Saturday Night Live, which aired as the 18th episode of the 16th season. Cast member David Spade regarded Seagal as the show’s worst host during Spade’s time there. Spade and co-star Tim Meadows cite Seagal’s humorlessness, his ill treatment of the show’s cast and writers, and his refusal to do a “Hans and Franz” sketch because that skit’s title characters stated that they could beat up Seagal. Seagal was never invited back to the show following that episode.[19][20] Meadows commented, “He didn’t realize that you can’t tell somebody they’re stupid on Wednesday and expect them to continue writing for you on Saturday.”[20] The cast and crew’s difficulties with Seagal were later echoed on-air by producer Lorne Michaels during guest host Nicolas Cage’s monologue in the September 26, 1992 Season 18 premiere. When Cage worried that he would do so poorly that the audience would regard him as “the biggest jerk who’s ever been on the show”, Michaels replied, “No, no. That would be Steven Seagal.”[21]

Seagal directed and starred in On Deadly Ground (1994), featuring Michael Caine, R. Lee Ermey and Billy Bob Thornton in minor supporting roles. The film emphasized environmental and spiritual themes, signaling a break with his previous persona as a genre-ready inner-city cop. On Deadly Ground was poorly received by critics,[22] especially denouncing Seagal’s long environmental speech in the film. Regardless, Seagal considers it one of the most important and relevant moments in his career. Seagal filmed a sequel to one of his most successful films, Under Siege, titled Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995), and cop drama The Glimmer Man (1996). In 1996, he had a role in the Kurt Russell film Executive Decision, portraying a special ops soldier who only appears in the film’s first 45 minutes. In another environmentally conscious and commercially unsuccessful film, Fire Down Below (1997), he was an EPA agent fighting industrialists dumping toxic waste in the Kentucky hills. This film ended his original multi-picture contract with Warner Bros.[citation needed]
Direct-to-video work

The next year, Seagal made The Patriot, another environmental thriller which was his first direct-to-video release in the United States (though it was released theatrically in most of the world). Seagal produced this film with his own money, and the film was shot on-location on and near his farm in Montana.

After producing Prince of Central Park, Seagal returned to cinema screens with the release of Exit Wounds in March 2001. The film had fewer martial arts scenes than Seagal’s previous films, but it was a commercial success, taking almost $80 million worldwide. However, he was unable to capitalize on this success and his next two projects were both critical and commercial failures. The movie Ticker, co-starring Tom Sizemore and Dennis Hopper, was filmed in San Francisco before Exit Wounds, and went straight to DVD. Half Past Dead, starring rap star Ja Rule, made less than $20 million worldwide.

Other than his role as a villain in Robert Rodriguez’s Machete, all of the films Seagal has made since the latter half of 2001 have been released direct-to-video (DTV) in North America, with some theatrical releases to other countries around the world. Seagal is credited as a producer and sometimes a writer on many of these DTV movies, which include Black Dawn, Belly of the Beast, Out of Reach, Submerged, Kill Switch, Urban Justice, Pistol Whipped, Against the Dark, Driven to Kill, A Dangerous Man, Born to Raise Hell and The Keeper, a movie released in Japan fifteen weeks earlier than the United States.[23] In 2016, Seagal starred in 7 direct-to-video movies.
Television and commercial work

In 2009, A&E Network premiered the reality television series; Steven Seagal: Lawman, focusing on Seagal as a deputy in Louisiana. In 2011, he produced and starred in a 13-episode television series entitled True Justice. It was renewed for a second season on ReelzChannel in 2012.[24] In the UK, True Justice has been repackaged as a series of DVD “movies,” with each disc editing together two episodes.
Themes and motifs

Many of Seagal’s films share unique elements which have become characteristic of his body of work. His characters often have an elite past affiliation with the CIA, Special Forces or Black Ops (for example, Casey Ryback in Under Siege, a former Navy SEAL, Jack Cole in The Glimmer Man, an ex-CIA police detective, or Jonathan Cold in The Foreigner and Black Dawn, an ex-CIA Black Ops freelancer.) His characters differ from those of other action movie icons by virtue of their near-invulnerability; they almost never face any significant physical threat, easily overpowering any opposition and never facing bodily harm or even temporary defeat.[25] A notable exception is 2010’s Machete, which features Seagal in a rare villainous role.[26]

Seagal’s music appears in some of his films (for example, Into The Sun and Ticker, where he appears as part of a bar band), as does his fluency in other languages (he speaks Japanese in Into the Sun) and religion (Buddhism features prominently in The Glimmer Man and Belly of the Beast). His past as an aikido teacher is also incorporated into several films, for example Above the Law (which opens with a montage of real-life photos from Seagal’s own past) or Shadow Man, where he is seen giving an aikido demonstration. Several of his films also feature prominent political messages, most notably the environmentalism evident in On Deadly Ground, which ends with a lengthy speech in which Seagal (playing ex-CIA firefighter Forrest Taft) accuses big business of rampant environmental degradation:

Big Business is primarily responsible for destroying the water we drink, the air we breathe and the food we eat. They have no care for the world they destroy, only for the money they make in the process… They basically control the legislation, and, in fact, they control the Law… They influence the media so that they can control our minds. They have made it a crime to speak out for ourselves, and if we do so we’re called “conspiracy nuts” and we’re laughed at… We have to force these companies to operate safely and responsibly, and with all our best interests in mind.[citation needed]

In 2008, author and critic Vern (no last name) published Seagalogy, a work which examines Seagal’s filmography using the framework of auteur theory. The book divides Seagal’s filmography into different chronological “eras” with distinct thematic elements. The book was updated in 2012 to include more recent films and Seagal’s work on the reality TV show Steven Seagal: Lawman.[27]
Other ventures
Music
Seagal live in 2007

In addition to acting and aikido, Seagal also plays the guitar. His songs have been featured in several of his movies, including Fire Down Below and Ticker. Among his “extensive” collection include guitars previously owned by “the Kings”; Albert, BB and Freddie, Bo Diddley, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, and Jimi Hendrix.[28]

In 2005, he released his first album, Songs from the Crystal Cave, which has a mix of pop, world, country and blues music. It features duets with Tony Rebel, Lt. Stichie, Lady Saw, and Stevie Wonder. The soundtrack to Seagal’s 2005 film Into the Sun features several songs from the album. One of his album tracks, “Girl It’s Alright”, was also released as a single in parts of the world alongside an accompanying music video created for it. Seagal’s second album, titled Mojo Priest, was released in April 2006. Subsequently, he spent summer 2006 touring the United States and Europe with his band, Thunderbox, in support of the album.
Law enforcement work

Seagal has been a Reserve Deputy Chief in the Jefferson Parish, Louisiana Sheriff’s Office. In the late 1980s after teaching the deputies martial arts, unarmed combat and marksmanship, longtime sheriff Harry Lee was so impressed he asked Seagal to join the force. Seagal owns a second home in Louisiana and spends several months there every year.[29] According to the show, Seagal graduated from a police academy in Los Angeles over twenty years ago and has a certificate from Peace Officer Standards & Training (POST), an organization that accredits California police officers. However, POST officials in California and Louisiana have no record of Seagal being certified, and Seagal’s rank in Louisiana is ceremonial.[30]

In November 2008, A&E announced that they had begun taping Steven Seagal: Lawman, which follows his work in the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. The series premiered on A&E on December 2, 2009. Seagal stated that “I’ve decided to work with A&E on this series now because I believe it’s important to show the nation all the positive work being accomplished here in Louisiana—to see the passion and commitment that comes from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office in this post-Katrina environment.” The series premiere drew 3.6 million viewers, ranking as best season opener for any original A&E series ever.[31]

On April 14, 2010, the series was suspended by Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand due to a sexual trafficking lawsuit filed against Seagal. The suit was later dropped.[32] A&E resumed the show for the second season which began on October 6, 2010.

In February 2011, A&E announced that the series would begin production on Season 3 episodes, with a change of location from Louisiana to Maricopa County, Arizona.[33] Two episodes were scheduled to be aired beginning on January 4, 2012.[34] The episodes were announced by A&E, who created Facebook page for the series and listed in the TV guide. Shortly before the episodes were to be aired, the web and Facebook pages about the series were removed. A&E made no announcements about the sudden suspension of Season 3 or whether there would be a third season.

It was announced on May 16, 2013, that the third season would air on Reelz starting in January 2014. Episodes from the first two seasons began airing on June 6, 2013.[35] Season 3 premiered on January 2, 2014.
Business ventures

In 2005, Seagal Enterprises began to market an energy drink known as Steven Seagal’s Lightning Bolt, but it has since been discontinued.

Seagal has also marketed an aftershave called “Scent of Action,” and a range of knives and weapons.[36][37]

In 2013, Seagal joined newly formed Russian firearms manufacturer ORSIS, representing the company in both a promotional capacity[38] as well as lobbying for the easement of US import restrictions on Russian sporting firearms.[39] It was also announced he would work with the company to develop a signature long range rifle known provisionally as “ORSIS by Steven Seagal”.
Personal life

Seagal owns a dude ranch in Colorado and a home in the Mandeville Canyon section of Brentwood, a wealthy neighborhood in Los Angeles.[40][41]
Religion

Seagal is a Buddhist. In February 1997, Lama Penor Rinpoche from Palyul monastery announced that Seagal was a tulku, and specifically the reincarnation of Chungdrag Dorje, a 17th-century terton (treasure revealer) of the Nyingma, the oldest sect of Tibetan Buddhism.[42] Seagal’s recognition aroused controversy in the American Buddhist community, with Helen Tworkov commenting in Tricycle to doubt the extent of Seagal’s “spiritual wisdom” and to suggest that Seagal bought his Buddhahood by donations to Penor’s Kunzang Palyul Choling center. Penor Rinpoche responded to the controversy by saying that Seagal, although acting in violent movies, had not actually killed people, and that Seagal was merely recognized, whereas enthronement as a tulku would require first a “lengthy process of study and practice”.[43]
Citizenships

Seagal was granted Serbian citizenship on 11 January 2016, following several visits to the country, and has been asked to teach aikido to the Serbian Special Forces.[44]

Seagal was granted Russian citizenship on 3 November 2016; according to government spokesman Dmitry Peskov, “He was asking quite insistently and over a lengthy period to be granted citizenship.”[45][46]
Relationships and family

Seagal introduces his wife, Elle, to Matthieu Ricard (January 2, 2008).

While in Japan, Seagal married his first wife, Miyako Fujitani, the daughter of an aikido instructor. With Fujitani, he had a son, actor and model Kentaro Seagal, and a daughter, writer and actress Ayako Fujitani. Seagal left Miyako to move back to the United States.[47][48]

During this time he met actress and model Kelly LeBrock, with whom he began an affair that led to Fujitani granting him a divorce.[12] Seagal was briefly married to actress Adrienne La Russa in 1984, but that marriage was annulled the same year over concerns that his divorce had not yet been finalized.[49] LeBrock gave birth to her and Seagal’s daughter Annaliza in early 1987. Seagal and LeBrock married in September 1987 and their son Dominic was born in June 1990.[12] Their daughter Arissa was born in 1993.[50] The following year, LeBrock filed for divorce citing “irreconcilable differences”.[49][50]

Seagal is married to Mongolian Erdenetuya Batsukh (Mongolian: Батсүхийн Эрдэнэтуяа), better known as “Elle”.[51] They have one son together, Kunzang.[citation needed] From an early age, Elle trained as a dancer at the Children’s Palace in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. After her graduation from high school and the Children’s Palace, she pursued a career as a professional dancer. She won a number of dancing contests and was considered the top female dancer in Mongolia, excelling at ballroom dancing in particular. Elle first met Seagal in 2001, where she worked as his interpreter during his visit to Mongolia.

Seagal has seven children from four relationships, and two grandchildren by his eldest son, Kentaro.[52] In addition to his biological offspring, Seagal is the guardian of Yabshi Pan Rinzinwangmo,[53] the only child of the 10th Panchen Lama of Tibet. When she studied in the United States, Seagal was her minder and bodyguard.[54]
Allegations and lawsuits
Sexual harassment and domestic violence
Early 1990s

In May 1991 (during the filming of Out for Justice), Warner Bros. employees Raenne Malone, Nicole Selinger, and Christine Keeve accused Seagal of sexual harassment.[55] In return for remaining silent, Malone and another woman received around $50,000 each in an out of court settlement.[55][56] Around the same time, at least four actresses claimed that Seagal had made sexual advances, typically during late-night “casting sessions.”[57]

In another incident, Jenny McCarthy claimed that Seagal asked her to undress during an audition for Under Siege 2.[58]
1995 lawsuit

In 1995, Seagal was charged with employment discrimination, sexual harassment and breach of contract.[59] Cheryl Shuman filed a case against Seagal, accusing him of threatening and beating her during the filming of On Deadly Ground.[59] In August, 1995, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Hiroshi Fujisaki dismissed the case, calling the claims “repetitive and unintelligible”.[59]
2010 lawsuit

On April 12, 2010, 23-year-old Kayden Nguyen filed a lawsuit against Seagal in a Los Angeles County Superior Court, specifying damages in excess of one million dollars.[60][61][62] In her suit, Nguyen made a number of allegations against Seagal, including sexual harassment, the illegal trafficking of females for sex, failure to prevent sexual harassment, and wrongful termination.[60][61] Seagal personally denied the allegations, yet he was forced to suspend his show, Steven Seagal: Lawman, while his attorneys attempted to resolve the case privately.[61] On July 14, 2010, three months after Nguyen made her claims against Seagal, the case was voluntarily dismissed by the plaintiff without any public explanation.[63][64]
2011 lawsuit

On August 30, 2011, Jesus Sanchez Llovera filed a lawsuit against Seagal over his part in a Maricopa county police raid with heavy weapons (notably including an Army surplus tank) of Llovera’s residence for suspicion of cockfighting. The incident was taped for Segal’s A&E reality show, Steven Seagal: Lawman. Llovera was seeking $100,000 for damages made during the raid and a letter of apology from Seagal to Llovera’s children for the death of their family pet. Llovera claimed that his 11-month-old puppy was shot and killed during the raid.[65] Llovera failed to file court-ordered paperwork after his attorney withdrew from the case and the lawsuit was dismissed in January 2013.[66]
2017 allegation

In 2017, actress Portia de Rossi accused Seagal of sexually harassing her during a movie audition. De Rossi alleged that during an audition in Seagal’s office, he told her “how important it was to have chemistry off-screen” before unzipping his pants.[67][68]
2018 allegation

On January 15, 2018, actress Rachel Grant publicly made a sexual assault allegation against Seagal, claiming an incident took place in 2002, during pre-production on his direct-to-video film, Out for a Kill (2003), and that she lost her job on the film after the incident.[69][70]
Political views and activism

Seagal lent his voice as a narrator for an activist film project, Medicine Lake Video. The project seeks to protect sacred tribal ground near Seagal’s ranch in Siskiyou County.[71] He also wrote an open letter to the leadership of Thailand in 2003, urging them to enact a law to prevent the torture of baby elephants.[72]

In 1999, Seagal was awarded a PETA Humanitarian Award.[73][74][75]
Seagal signing his Russian passport, November 2016

In a March 2014 interview with Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Seagal described Vladimir Putin as “one of the great living world leaders”. He stated that he “would like to consider [Putin] as a brother”, and expressed support for the annexation of Crimea by Russia.[6] In July, 2014, following calls for a boycott, Seagal was dropped from the lineup of the August Blues Festival in Haapsalu, Estonia.[76][77] Estonian musician Tõnis Mägi, the minister of Foreign Affairs, Urmas Paet, and Parliament’s Foreign Affairs chairman, Marko Mihkelson, had all condemned inviting Seagal into the country,[77] with Paet stating, “Steven Seagal has tried to actively participate in politics during the past few months and has done it in a way which is unacceptable to the majority of the world that respects democracy and the rule of law.”[78] In August, 2014, Seagal appeared at a Night Wolves-organized show in Sevastopol, Crimea, supporting the Crimean annexation and depicting Ukraine as a country controlled by fascists.[79][80] On November 3, Seagal was granted Russian citizenship by president Putin.[81] His views on Ukraine and Russian citizenship caused Ukraine to ban him because he “committed socially dangerous actions”.[82]

Seagal spoke out against the protests during the United States national anthem by professional athletes, stating, “I believe in free speech, I believe that everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, but I don’t agree that they should hold the United States of America or the world hostage by taking a venue where people are tuning in to watch a football game and imposing their political views.” He also expressed skepticism of alleged Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections.[83]
Stunts
Year Film Functioned as Notes
Martial arts instructor Choreographer Stunt coordinator
1982 The Challenge Yes Credited as “Steve Seagal”.
1983 Never Say Never Again Yes Uncredited
Seagal accidentally broke Sean Connery’s wrist during production.[84]
1985 A View to a Kill Yes
1988 Above the Law Yes
1990 Hard to Kill Yes Yes
1990 Marked for Death Yes
2013 Force of Execution Yes
Filmography
Films
Year Film Functioned as Notes
Director Producer Writer Music Actor Role
1988 Above the Law Yes Yes Yes Nico Toscani
1990 Hard to Kill Yes Mason Storm
1990 Marked for Death Yes Yes Yes John Hatcher
1991 Out for Justice Yes Yes Yes Det. Gino Felino Gene LeBell, the film’s stunt coordinator, claimed to have choked Seagal unconscious on the production set.[85]
1992 Under Siege Yes Yes Casey Ryback
1994 On Deadly Ground Yes Yes Yes Forrest Taft
1995 Under Siege 2: Dark Territory Yes Yes Yes Casey Ryback Sequel to Under Siege.
1996 Executive Decision Yes Lt. Colonel Austin Travis Supporting role
1996 The Glimmer Man Yes Yes Yes Lt. Jack Cole
1997 Fire Down Below Yes Yes Yes Jack Taggart
1998 My Giant Yes Himself Cameo
1998 The Patriot Yes Yes Dr. Wesley McClaren Direct-to-video
1998 Not Even The Trees Yes Direct-to-video
2000 Prince of Central Park Yes Direct-to-video
2001 The Path Beyond Thought Yes Yes Himself/Narrator Documentary
Executive producer
2001 Exit Wounds Yes Orin Boyd
2001 Ticker Yes Yes Frank Glass Limited release
2002 Half Past Dead Yes Yes Sasha Petrosevitch
2003 The Foreigner Yes Yes Jonathan Cold Direct-to-video
2003 Out for a Kill Yes Yes Prof. Robert Burns Direct-to-video
2003 Belly of the Beast Yes Yes Jake Hopper Direct-to-video
2004 Out of Reach Yes William Lansing Direct-to-video
2004 Clementine Yes Jack Miller Limited release
2005 Into the Sun Yes Yes Yes Travis Hunter Direct-to-video
Also received “story by” credit.
2005 Submerged Yes Chris Cody Direct-to-video
2005 Today You Die Yes Yes Harlan Banks Direct-to-video
2005 Dragon Squad Yes Limited release
2005 Black Dawn Yes Yes Jonathan Cold Direct-to-video
Sequel to The Foreigner.
2006 Mercenary for Justice Yes John Seeger Direct-to-video
2006 Shadow Man Yes Yes Yes Jack Foster Direct-to-video
2006 Attack Force Yes Yes Yes Cmdr. Marshall Lawson Direct-to-video
2007 Flight of Fury Yes Yes John Sands Direct-to-video
2007 Urban Justice Yes Yes Simon Ballister Direct-to-video
2008 Pistol Whipped Yes Yes Matt Conlin Direct-to-video
2008 The Onion Movie Yes Cock Puncher Direct-to-video
Supporting role
2008 Kill Switch Yes Yes Yes Jacob King Direct-to-video
In 2009, it was given a theatrical release exclusively in the UAE.[86]
2009 Against the Dark Yes Tao Direct-to-video
2009 Driven to Kill Yes Ruslan Drachev Direct-to-video
2009 The Keeper Yes Yes Yes Roland Sallinger Limited release
2009 A Dangerous Man Yes Shane Daniels Direct-to-video
2010 Machete Yes Rogelio Torrez Seagal’s first wide release since 2002.
2010 Sheep Impact Yes Paul Weland Short film
2010 Born to Raise Hell Yes Yes Yes Robert “Bobby” Samuels Direct-to-video
2012 Maximum Conviction Yes Cross Direct-to-video
2013 Force of Execution Yes Yes John Alexander Direct-to-video
2014 A Good Man Yes Yes John Alexander Direct-to-video
Prequel to Force of Execution.
2014 Gutshot Straight Yes Paulie Trunks Direct-to-video
Supporting role
2015 Absolution Yes John Alexander Direct-to-video
Sequel to A Good Man.
2016 Code of Honor Yes Robert Sikes
2016 Sniper: Special Ops Yes Jake
2016 The Asian Connection Yes Gan Sirankiri
2016 Cartels Yes Harrison
2016 End of a Gun Yes Decker
2016 Contract to Kill Yes John Harmon
2016 The Perfect Weapon Yes The Director
Television
Year Film Functioned as Notes
Writer Executive producer Actor Role
1991 Saturday Night Live Yes Host Seagal hosted the episode “Steven Seagal/Michael Bolton”.
The cast and crew found him difficult to work with, and the creator of Saturday Night Live, Lorne Michaels, referred to him as the “worst host” ever.[87]
2009–2014 Steven Seagal: Lawman Yes Yes Himself Also the creator.
2011–2012 True Justice Yes Yes Yes Elijah Kane Also the creator.
Awards and nominations
Year Nominated work Award Category Results
1995 On Deadly Ground Golden Raspberry Award Worst Actor Nominated
1995 On Deadly Ground Golden Raspberry Award Worst Picture (shared with Julius R. Nasso and A. Kitman Ho) Nominated
1995 On Deadly Ground Golden Raspberry Award Worst Director Won
1997 Executive Decision Golden Raspberry Award Worst Supporting Actor Nominated
1998 Fire Down Below Golden Raspberry Award Worst Actor Nominated
1998 Fire Down Below Golden Raspberry Award Worst Picture (shared with Julius R. Nasso) Nominated
1998 Fire Down Below Golden Raspberry Award Worst Screen Couple (shared with “his guitar”) Nominated
1998 Fire Down Below Golden Raspberry Award Worst Original Song (shared with Mark Collie for the song “Fire Down Below”) Nominated
2003 Half Past Dead Golden Raspberry Award Worst Actor Nominated
Discography

2005: Songs from the Crystal Cave
2006: Mojo Priest

See also
References
External links
Last edited 8 hours ago by Nightscream
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Biography of Chuck Norris 

Chuck Norris 

Carlos Ray Norris (born March 10, 1940) is an American martial artist, actor, film producer and screenwriter. After serving in the United States Air Force, he competed as a martial artist who won many championships, and has since founded his own school of fighting, Chun Kuk Do. Norris is also a black belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu and Judo.[3]

Chuck Norris

Norris in 2015
Born
Carlos Ray Norris
March 10, 1940 (age 78)
Ryan, Oklahoma, U.S.
Residence
Navasota, Texas, U.S.
Occupation
Actor, martial artist, film producer, screenwriter, air policeman (U.S. Air Force)
Years active
1968–present
Height
5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
Political party
Republican[1]
Spouse(s)
Dianne Holechek
(m. 1958; div. 1989)
Gena O’Kelley
(m. 1998)
Children
5, including Mike and Eric Norris
Military career
Allegiance
United States
Service/branch
United States Air Force
Years of service
1958–1962[2]
Rank
Airman First Class
Unit
15th Air Force
22d Bombardment Group
452d Troop Carrier Wing
Awards
National Defense Service Medal
Korea Defense Service Medal
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
Air Force Longevity Service Award
Small Arms Expert Marksmanship
Website
chucknorris.com
Norris appeared in a number of action films, such as Way of the Dragon, in which he starred alongside Bruce Lee, Good Guys Wear Black, The Octagon, Lone Wolf McQuade, Code of Silence, the Missing in Action trilogy, and The Delta Force. He was The Cannon Group’s leading star in the 1980s.[4][5]

He played the title role in the television series Walker, Texas Ranger from 1993 until 2001.

Since 1997, he and model Christie Brinkley have been the main spokespersons for the Total Gym infomercials.

Norris has written several books, with subject matter varying from martial arts, exercise, philosophy, politics, Christian religion, western novels, to biography. He was twice a New York Times best-selling author, firstly was 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. He also writes a column for the conservative website WorldNetDaily.[6]

In 2005, Norris became an internet star with the comical Chuck Norris facts, which documents fictional and often absurd feats associated with him. With this new found popularity he was hired to endorse many products that incorporated Chuck Norris facts in their commercials. This phenomenon also spanned six books, two of them New York Times Best Sellers, and two video games.

Early life

Career

Military service and introduction to martial arts

Air Police Badge
He joined the United States Air Force as an Air Policeman (AP) in 1958 and was sent to Osan Air Base, South Korea. It was there that Norris acquired the nickname Chuck and began his training in Tang Soo Do (tangsudo), an interest that led to black belts in that art and the founding of the Chun Kuk Do (“Universal Way”) form.[14] When he returned to the United States, he continued to serve as an AP at March Air Force Base in California. Norris was discharged from the U.S. Air Force in August 1962.

Martial arts
Following his military service, Norris started to participate in Martial Arts competitions. He was defeated in his first two tournaments, dropping decisions to Joe Lewis and Allen Steen and three matches at the International Karate Championships to Tony Tulleners. By 1967 Norris had improved enough that he scored victories over the likes of Lewis, Skipper Mullins, Arnold Urquidez, Victor Moore, Ron Marchini, and Steve Sanders. Norris would be a two-time winner at S. Henry Cho’s All American Championship.[15] In early 1968, Norris suffered the tenth and last loss of his career, losing an upset decision to Louis Delgado. On November 24, 1968, he avenged his defeat to Delgado and by doing so won the Professional Middleweight Karate champion title, which he held for six consecutive years.[11] 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.

Norris also worked for the Northrop Corporation and opened a chain of Karate schools including a storefront school in his then-hometown of Torrance on Hawthorne Boulevard. Norris’ official website lists celebrity clients at the schools; among them Steve McQueen, Chad McQueen, Bob Barker, Priscilla Presley, Donny Osmond and Marie Osmond.[16]

Norris in 1976
Meeting Bruce Lee
In 1968, when Norris competed for the World Title, Bruce Lee, who at the time was known for the TV series The Green Hornet, noticed him. They developed a friendship and trained together for the next two years, until Lee returned to Hong Kong to pursue his movie career.[17]

Early roles: Way of the Dragon and first book: Winning Tournament Karate
In 1969, Norris made his acting debut in the Dean Martin film The Wrecking Crew.

In 1972, he acted as Bruce Lee’s nemesis in the widely acclaimed martial arts movie Way of the Dragon (titled Return of the Dragon in its U.S. distribution). The film is credited with launching him toward stardom.

In 1973, he had a small role in the comedy The Student Teachers, and played the main antagonist in the Lo Wei film Yellow Faced Tiger.[18][19]

In 1974, actor Steve McQueen, who was his martial art student at the time, saw his potential and encouraged him to begin acting classes at MGM.

In 1975, he wrote his first book Winning Tournament Karate on the practical study of competition training for any rank. It covers all phases of executing speedy attacks, conditioning, fighting form drills, and one-step sparring techniques.[20]

First Starring role: Breaker! Breaker! and Breakthrough: Good Guys Wear Black
Norris’ first starring role was 1977’s Breaker! Breaker!, an action trucking film. After turning down offers to do many martial art films, Norris decided that he wanted to do films that had story and where the action would take place when it is emotionally right. The low budget film turned out to be very successful.[21]

In 1978, Norris starred in thriller Good Guys Wear Black, which he considered his first real film. No studio wanted to release it so Norris and his producers four-walled it, renting the theaters and taking whatever money came in.[22] The film did very well: shot on a $1 million budget, it made over $18 million at the box office.[23]

Subsequent Success
In 1979, Norris starred in A Force of One, where he plays Matt Logan, a world Karate champion who assists the police in their investigation.[24] The film was developed while touring for Good Guys Wear Black. Again no studio wanted to pick it up; however it out-grossed the previous film by making $20 million at the box office.[22][25]

In 1980, he released The Octagon, where his character must stop a group of terrorists trained in the ninja style.[26] Unlike his previous films this time the studios were interested. American Cinema Releasing distributed it and it made almost $19 million at the box office.[22][27]

Norris’ subsequent films were both distributed by major studios: An Eye for an Eye (1981) by Embassy Pictures, and Silent Rage (1982) by Columbia Pictures.

Shortly afterwards MGM gave him a three-movie deal, and in 1981 they released Forced Vengeance. Norris was unhappy with the direction they wanted to take with him, hence the contract was cancelled.[22]

Becoming a household name: Lone Wolf McQuade, Missing in Action Trilogy, Code of Silence, The Delta Force, etc.

Norris on the set of the film The Delta Force (1986)
In 1983, Norris made Lone Wolf McQuade with Orion Pictures. He plays J.J. McQuade, a reckless Texas Ranger who’d rather work alone, but who gets a new partner because his captain would like to have him supervised. The partners investigate an arms dealer played by David Carradine. The film was a worldwide hit and had a positive reception from movie critics, often being compared to Sergio Leone’s stylish spaghetti westerns. The film became the inspiration for Norris’s future hit TV show Walker, Texas Ranger. Film critic Roger Ebert gave the film a 3.5 star rating, calling the character of J.J. McQuade worthy of a film series and predicting the character would be a future classic.[28][29][30]

The same year, he also published his second book about general exercising called Toughen Up! the Chuck Norris Fitness System.[31]

Also in 1983, Xonox produced the video game Chuck Norris Superkicks for the Commodore 64, Commodore VIC-20, Atari 2600, and Colecovision. The game combines two types of gameplay: moving through a map, and fighting against enemies. The player takes control of Chuck Norris who has to liberate a hostage. It was later sold as Kung Fu Superkicks when the license for the use of the name Chuck Norris expired.

In 1984, Norris starred in Missing in Action, the first of a series of POW rescue fantasies themed around the Vietnam War POW/MIA issue that were produced by Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus and released under their Cannon Films banner, with which he had signed a multiple movie deal.[32] He plays Colonel James Braddock, a US military officer who spent seven years in a North Vietnamese POW camp, which he escaped 10 years ago. After the war, Braddock accompanies a government investigation team that travels to Ho Chi Minh City to investigate reports of US soldiers still held prisoner. Norris later dedicated these films to his younger brother Wieland, who was a private in the 101st Airborne Division, and had been killed in June 1970 in Vietnam while on patrol in the defense of Firebase Ripcord.[33] The film was a huge success and Norris became Cannon’s most prominent star of the 1980s.

In 1985, Cannon Films released Missing in Action 2: The Beginning and Invasion U.S.A. which were extremely successful. Missing in Action 2: The Beginning is a prequel to the first instalment, where Colonel James Braddock is held in a North Vietnamese POW camp run by sadistic Colonel, who forces the POWs to grow opium for a French drug runner, and tries to get Braddock to admit to and sign a long list of war crimes. During his team’s time in captivity, they are relentlessly subjected to various forms of torture. This leads them to attempt escape, and Braddock plots to free his fellow prisoners and destroy the prison camp.

Invasion U.S.A. takes place during the Cold War area. Rostov, a Soviet operative leads a band of Latin American communist guerillas to invade Florida. The invasion force spreads out into the South and causes havoc by shooting bazookas into suburban homes, inciting race riots by impersonating the police and attacking ethnic events, and planting bombs in churches and on school buses. With terror spreading everywhere, martial law is declared. Norris plays a former CIA agent who has had previous encounters with Rostov, and can take him on.

That same year Orion Pictures released Code of Silence which received positive reviews and was also a box office success.[34][35][36][37] Code of Silence is a crime drama, and features Norris as a streetwise plainclothes officer who takes down a crime czar responsible for officers being wounded in a botched drug raid. It’s considered by fans and critics as Chuck Norris’s best film to date.

In 1986, he made two films co-starring with Academy Award winners: The Delta Force with Lee Marvin, and Firewalker with Louis Gossett, Jr.. The Delta Force was a box office success. In the film Norris and Marvin are leaders of an elite squad of Special Forces troops based on the real life U.S. Army Delta Force unit, who face a group of Lebanese terrorists who have hijacked a Boeing 707.

That same year he was involved in the production of the Ruby-Spears cartoon Karate Kommandos, which was published as a comic by Marvel Comics.

In 1987, he published the book The Secret of Inner Strength: My Story It is an explanation of his personal philosophy of positive force and the psychology of self-improvement and is interspersed with anecdotes about international karate competitions, training with Bruce Lee, and Norris’s acting career. It became a New York Times Best Seller.[38]

In 1988, he made his last two films of the eighties, Hero and the Terror, and Braddock: Missing in Action III which marks his brother Aaron Norris’s directorial debut. Aaron Norris had previously been stunt and/or fight coordinator in the vast majority of his filmography up until that year. Aaron would direct most of his films from that point on.

1990s and turning to television: Walker, Texas Ranger
By 1990, MGM acquired the Cannon Films library, and Norris made the sequel Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection where his character leads his Delta team into the fictional South American country of San Carlos to rescue hostages and stop the flow of cocaine into the United States.

In 1991, he starred in The Hitman, where he plays a cop who’s been brutally shot by his crooked partner. He’s in a coma for several years and when he wakes up he assumes a new identity and infiltrates a drug-smuggling operation run by the local Mafia.

In 1992, he did Sidekicks, his most successful film of that area. It is about a loner boy, who lives with his widowed father. He has vivid daydreams about being Chuck Norris’ sidekick, battling against Norris’s movie enemies, who are often personified by his everyday bullies.

In 1993, he began shooting the action series Walker, Texas Ranger. The show is centered on Sergeant Cordell Walker (Norris), a Dallas–Fort Worth–based member of the Texas Rangers, a state-level bureau of investigation and is about his adventures fighting criminals with his partner James Trivette. It lasted eight seasons on CBS and continued in syndication on other channels, notably the Hallmark Channel.[39] The show was very successful in the ratings throughout its run, ranking among the Top 30 programs from 1995 until 1999, and ranking in the Top 20 in both the 1995–1996 and 1998–1999 seasons. His character Walker had cameos in the spin-off Sons of Thunder, and the TV show Martial Law.

During the prime of Walker, Texas Ranger, he made the movies Hellbound (1994), Top Dog (1995), Forest Warrior (1996), and Logan’s War: Bound by Honor (1998).

At the 1994 edition of the World Wrestling Federation (WWF)’s Survivor Series event, Norris was the special outside enforcer for the casket match between The Undertaker and Yokozuna.[40] During the match, Norris delivered a roundhouse kick to an interfering Jeff Jarrett.[41]

In 1996, he published the book The Secret Power Within: Zen Solutions to Real Problems where he explains how the ancient system of Zen, the core philosophy behind the martial arts, can help achieve spiritual tranquility and self-confidence. [42]

Since 1997, Norris has appeared with Christie Brinkley in a long-running series of cable TV infomercials promoting Total Gym home fitness equipment.[43]

2000s and Internet phenomenon: Chuck Norris facts

Norris during a meeting with Commanding Officer Captain J.R Haley, in June 2005
In the early 2000s, Norris starred in the television film The President’s Man (2000), its sequel The President’s Man: A Line in the Sand (2002).

In 2003, he co-starred in the film Bells of Innocence, and that same year he was a guest on the TV Show Yes, Dear.

In 2004, he made a cameo in the Ben Stiller film DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story. That same year he published his autobiography Against All Odds: My Story.

In 2005, Norris founded the World Combat League (WCL), a full-contact, team-based martial arts competition, of which part of the proceeds are given to his Kickstart Kids program.[44]

On October 17, 2005, CBS premiered the Sunday Night Movie of the Week, Walker, Texas Ranger: Trial by Fire. The production was a continuation of the series, and not scripted to be a reunion movie. Norris reprised his role as Cordell Walker for the movie. He has stated that future Walker, Texas Ranger Movie of the Week projects are expected; however, this was severely impaired by CBS’s 2006–2007 season decision to no longer regularly schedule Movies of the Week on Sunday night.

Norris during a promotion ceremony at Camp Taqaddum in the Al Anbar province of Iraq on November 2, 2006
Chuck Norris facts originally started appearing on the Internet in early 2005. Created by Ian Spector, they are satirical factoids about Norris. Since then, they have become widespread in popular culture. The ‘facts’ are normally absurd hyperbolic claims about Norris’ toughness, attitude, virility, sophistication, and masculinity. Norris has written his own response to the parody on his website, stating that he does not feel offended by them and finds some of them funny,[45] claiming that his personal favorite is that they wanted to add his face to Mount Rushmore, but the granite is not hard enough for his beard.[46] At first it was mostly college students exchanging them, but they later became extremely widespread.[47] Books, video games, and TV ads would be based on the trend.

From that point on, Norris started to tour with the Chuck Norris facts appearing on major talk shows, and even visiting the troops in Iraq, for morale boosting appearances.[48][49][50][51][52]

In 2006, he starred in the film The Cutter.

During that time he published his first novel The Justice Riders (2006) and its sequel A Threat to Justice (2007) both were co-written with Ken Abraham, Aaron Norris, and Tim Grayem.[53][54]

Also in 2006, Norris began penning a column for the news website WorldNetDaily, sharing his views on politics, American social issues, sports, and health.

In 2007, he did a commercial for soft drink Mountain Dew, it is the first commercial that uses his viral internet fame in its content.[55]

On November 29, 2007, Gotham Books, the adult division of Penguin USA, released a book penned by Ian Spector entitled The Truth About Chuck Norris: 400 facts about the World’s Greatest Human.[56] Norris subsequently filed suit in December against Penguin USA claiming “trademark infringement, unjust enrichment and privacy rights”.[57] Norris dropped the lawsuit in 2008.[58] The book is a New York Times Best Seller. Since then, Spector has published four more books based on Chuck Norris facts, these are Chuck Norris Cannot Be Stopped: 400 All-New Facts About the Man Who Knows Neither Fear Nor Mercy, Chuck Norris: Longer and Harder: The Complete Chronicle of the World’s Deadliest, Sexiest, and Beardiest Man, The Last Stand of Chuck Norris: 400 All New Facts About the Most Terrifying Man in the Universe, and Chuck Norris Vs. Mr. T: 400 Facts About the Baddest Dudes in the History of Ever (also a New York Times Best Seller).[59]

In 2008, he published the political non-fiction book Black Belt Patriotism: How to Reawaken America, which reached number 14 on the New York Times best seller list in September 2008.[60]

In 2008, Gameloft produced the video gameChuck Norris: Bring On the Pain for mobile devices, based on the popularity Norris had developed on the internet with the Chuck Norris facts.[61] The player takes control of Chuck Norris himself in a side-scrolling beat ’em up. The game was well reviewed.[62][63][64][65] [66]

On October 7, 2009, Tyndale House Publishers issued The Official Chuck Norris Fact Book: 101 of Chuck’s Favorite Facts and Stories, which was co-written and officially endorsed by Norris.[67]

2010s
In 2010, Norris appeared in advertisements for communications company T-Mobile in the Czech Republic.[68]

In 2011, Norris appeared in advertisements for the World of Warcraft video game.[69]

In 2012, Norris appeared in a series of commercials for the Polish bank BZ WBK.[70]

He co-starred in the 2012 sequel to The Expendables, alongside Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and many other action movie staples.

In October 2014, he revealed that he would be shooting a new film, The Finisher, in March 2015.[71]

In 2015, he appeared in two commercials for the French TV show Pieds dans le plat.[72]

That same year, Norris and his wife Gena founded CForce Bottling Co. after an aquifer was discovered on his ranch.[73]

In 2016, he starred in the commercial for the beer Hoegaarden.[74]

In 2017, he appeared in the advertisement for United Healthcare.[75]

In 2017, Flaregames produced Non Stop Chuck Norris, an isometric action-RPG game for mobile device and is the second game to be based on his popularity developed by the Chuck Norris facts. The game was well reviewed.[76][77][78][79]

In 2017, Chuck Norris became Fiat’s ambassador, a “tough face” for its commercial vehicles. Fiat says Norris embodies four pillars of its business: determination, reliability, dynamism, and competence.[80]

In 2018, Norris appeared in an ad for Hesburger, a Finnish hamburger chain.[81] That year he also did a commercial for Cerveza Poker.[82]

Chuck Norris

Style
Chun Kuk Do, Tang Soo Do, Taekwondo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Judo
Rank
10th degree black belt Chun Kuk Do
9th degree black belt Tang Soo Do
8th degree black belt Taekwondo
5th degree black belt in Karate
3rd degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
black belt in Judo
Chun Kuk Do

Distinctions, Awards, and Honors

Norris receiving the Veteran of the Year award by the U.S. Air Force in 2001
While in the military, Norris’s rank units were Airman First Class, 15th Air Force, 22d Bombardment Group, and 452d Troop Carrier Wing.

Norris has received many black belts. These include a 10th degree black belt in Chun Kuk Do, a 9th degree black belt in Tang Soo Do, an 8th degree black belt in Taekwondo, a 5th degree black belt in Karate, a 3rd degree black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu from the Machado family, and a black belt in Judo.[84]

In 1967, he won the Sparring Grand Champions at the S. Henry Cho’s All American Championship, and won it again the following year.[85]

In 1968, he won the Professional Middleweight Karate champion title, which he held for six consecutive years.[11]

In 1969, he won Karate’s triple crown for the most tournament wins of the year.

In 1969, he won the Fighter of the Year award by Black Belt magazine.

In 1982, he won Action Star of the Year at the ShoWest Convention.

In 1989, he received his Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Norris made history in 1990 when he was the first Westerner in the documented history of Taekwondo to be given the rank of 8th Degree Black Belt Grandmaster.[86]

In 1992, he won International Box Office Star of the Year at the ShoWest Convention.

In 1997, he won the Special Award of being a Texas legend at the Lone Star Film & Television Awards.

From 1997 to 1998, he won for three consecutive years the BMI TV Music Award at the BMI Awards.

In 1999, Norris was inducted into the Martial Arts History Museum’s Hall of Fame.

In 1999, he was nominated for Favorite Actor in a Drama by the TV Guide Award.

In 1999, he won the Inspirational Acting in Television Award at the Grace Prize Award.[87]

On July 1, 2000, Norris was presented the Golden Lifetime Achievement Award by the World Karate Union Hall of Fame.

In 2001, he received the Veteran of the Year at the American Veteran Awards.[44]

In 2001, he won the Golden Boot and the Golden Boot Awards.

On March 28, 2007, Commandant Gen. James T. Conway made Norris an honorary United States Marine during a dinner at the commandant’s residence in Washington, D.C.[88]

On December 2, 2010, he (along with brother Aaron) was given the title honorary Texas Ranger by Texas Governor Rick Perry.[89]

In 2010, he won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the ActionFest.[90]

In 2017 he was honored as “Honorary Texan” because for many years he has lived at his Texas ranch near Navasota and he starred as Texas Ranger in his movie Lone Wolf McQuade and starred as ranger Cordell Walker in TV series Walker, Texas Ranger.

Personal life

Family
Norris married Dianne Holechek in 1958. In 1962 their first child, Mike, was born. His daughter Dina was born in 1963 out of an extramarital affair.[91] Later, he had a second son, Eric, with his wife in 1964. After 30 years of marriage, Norris and Holechek divorced in 1989, after separating in 1988, during the filming of The Delta Force 2.

On November 28, 1998, he married former model Gena O’Kelley, 23 years Norris’ junior. O’Kelley had two children from a previous marriage. She delivered twins on August 30, 2001: Dakota Alan Norris, a boy, and Danilee Kelly Norris, a girl.[92]

On September 22, 2004, Norris told Entertainment Tonight’s Mary Hart that he did not meet his daughter Dina from a past relationship until she was 26, although she learned that he was her father when she was 16. He met with her after she sent a letter informing him of their relationship.[93]

Norris has thirteen grandchildren as of 2017.[94]

Christianity
An outspoken Christian,[95] Norris is the author of several Christian-themed books, such as The Justice Riders. He has also been in a few TV commercials promoting Bible study and prayer in public schools, in addition to efforts to reduce drug use. In his WorldNetDaily columns, he has expressed his belief in Biblical creationism,[96] and that those who are troubled should turn to Jesus. He is quoted as saying “true patriots” do not stay clear of discussing religion and politics.[97]

On April 22, 2008, Norris expressed his support for the intelligent design movement when he reviewed Ben Stein’s Expelled for Townhall.com.[98]

Political views

Norris and his wife at a political event in The Woodlands, Texas on February 15, 2016.

Norris with former Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee in Londonderry, New Hampshire
Norris is a Republican, and has donated more than $32,000 to Republican candidates and organizations since 1988.[99] Norris supports gun rights and ownership and is against public schools celebrating the Day of Silence.[100]

On October 22, 2007, Norris announced his endorsement of Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee for President.[101] Norris said, “I believe the only one who has all of the characteristics to lead America forward into the future is ex-Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.”[102]

After the 2008 presidential election, Norris drafted a letter to President-elect Barack Obama, stating that he should “use and cite the Constitution … protect American life … learn from the mistakes of your Democratic predecessors … [and] lead more from the center”.[103]

On November 18, 2008, Norris became one of the first members of show business to express support for the California Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage, and he chided activists for “interfering” with the democratic process and the double standard he perceived in criticizing the LDS Church without criticizing African Americans, who had voted for the measure by a wide margin.[104]

During the 2012 presidential election, Norris first recommended Ron Paul, and then later formally endorsed Newt Gingrich as the Republican presidential candidate.[105] After Gingrich suspended his campaign in May 2012, Norris endorsed Republican presumptive nominee Mitt Romney, despite Norris having previously accused Romney of flip-flopping and of trying to buy the nomination for the Republican Party candidacy for 2012.[106][107] On the eve of the election he and his wife Gena made a video warning that if evangelicals didn’t show up at the polls and vote out President Obama, “…our country as we know it may be lost forever…”.[108][109] Norris also produced the film Answering the Call, which featured his 2007 trip to Iraq to visit the troops.[110][111]

Norris endorsed Huckabee again in the 2016 Republican Primary before he dropped out.[112] In March 2016, it was reported that Norris endorsed Republican Texas Senator Ted Cruz and that he would be attending a Cruz rally,[113][114] but two days later, Norris stated he would only endorse the GOP nominee once that nominee has been nominated by the party.[115] He endorsed GOP nominee Donald Trump in the general election.[116]

Norris has visited Israel and voiced support for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the 2013 and 2015 elections.[117][118][119]

Norris endorsed former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore in the 2017 United States Senate special election in Alabama.[120]

Philanthropy

In 1990, Norris established the United Fighting Arts Federation and Kickstart Kids. As a significant part of his philanthropic contributions, the organization was formed to develop self-esteem and focus in at-risk children as a tactic to keep them away from drug-related pressure by training them in martial arts. Norris hopes that by shifting middle school and high school children’s focus towards this positive and strengthening endeavour, these children will have the opportunity to build a better future for themselves.[44][121] Norris has a ranch in Navasota, TX where they bottle water; a portion of the sales support environmental funds and Kickstart Kids.

He is known for his contributions towards organizations such as Funds for Kids, Veteran’s Administration National Salute to Hospitalized Veterans, the United Way, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation in the form of donations as well as fund-raising activities.[44]

His time with the U.S. Veterans Administration as a spokesperson was inspired by his experience serving the United States Air Force in Korea. His objective has been to popularize the issues that concern hospitalized war veterans such as pensions and health care. Due to his significant contributions, and continued support, he received the Veteran of the Year award in 2001 at the American Veteran Awards.[44]

Additionally, Norris supports the Vijay Amritraj Foundation, which aims at bringing hope, help and healing to the defenceless and innocent victims of disease, tragedy and circumstance in India. Through his donations, he has helped the foundation support Paediatric HIV/AIDS homes in Delhi, a blind school in Karnataka, and a mission that cares for HIV/AIDS infected adults, as well as mentally ill patients in Cochin.[122]

Filmography

Main article: Chuck Norris filmography
Bibliography

Winning Tournament Karate (1975)
Toughen Up! the Chuck Norris Fitness System (1983)
The Secret of Inner Strength: My Story (1987)
The Secret Power Within: Zen Solutions to Real Problems (1996)
Against All Odds: My Story (2004)
The Justice Riders (2006)
A Threat to Justice (2007)
Black Belt Patriotism: How to Reawaken America (2008)
The Official Chuck Norris Fact Book: 101 of Chuck’s Favorite Facts and Stories (2009)
Video Games

Chuck Norris Superkicks (1983)
Missing in Action (1989) – TNT Games were developing a game based on the film Missing in Action for the Atari 7800. Although the game was at or near completion (as confirmed by the programmer), it appears that the 7800 market just wasn’t viable enough for TNT to release it.[123] The prototype resurfaced and has been well received by the game reviewer who tried it.[124]
Chuck Norris: Bring On the Pain (2008)
Non Stop Chuck Norris (2017)

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