Today, I present one of my favourite action men. Chuck Norris has starred in such action films as Return of the Dragon and Missing in Action. He also starred on the hit TV series Walker, Texas Ranger.
Born on March 10, 1940, Chuck Norris started studying martial arts in Korea in the 1950s. He was serving in the U.S. Air Force at the time. When he returned home, Norris soon opened his karate studio. He switched to movies in the 1970s, appearing with Bruce Lee in Way of the Dragon. Norris became a popular action-film star in the 1980s, and starred in his own television series in the 1990s.
The oldest of three boys, Chuck Norris once described himself as "the shy kid who never excelled at anything in school." His father was an alcoholic who all but disappeared from Norris' life after his parents divorced. At the age of 10, Norris moved with his mother and brothers to California. There, he attended North Torrance High School.
Norris married his high school sweetheart, Dianne Holechek, in 1958 -- the same year he joined the U.S. Air Force. While stationed at the Osan Air Base in South Korea, he began studying martial arts. He left the service in 1962, and started working as a karate instructor.
In the 1960s, Norris opened more than 30 karate studios. He taught several celebrities, including Priscilla Presley and actor Steve McQueen. McQueen encouraged his teacher to try acting. In addition to being an instructor, Norris also was a fierce competitor. He participated in numerous martial arts tournaments, and he won many of the events he competed in.
Norris earned his first World Middleweight Karate Championship title in 1968. Proving to be one of the greatest fighters in martial arts, he defended this title five more times. He decided to retire after his 1974 victory.
Clancy's comment: Yep, another cool actor. Interesting that one of the coolest actors ever, Steve McQueen, convinced Chuck to become an actor.
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