Life and work of chuck norris - Movie Essay Example

Life and work of Chuck Norris

            On March 10, 1940 in Ryan, Oklahoma, Chuck Norris was born to an alcoholic Cherokee Indian father and an Irish mother - Life and work of chuck norris introduction - the secret power within chuck norris. When he was only ten, his parents got divorced. His mother then moved to Torrance, California with Norris and his brothers. Norris does not have good memories of his childhood. He was teased a lot in the school. He was timid, shy and very unsocial. Remembering his childhood, Norris writes in his autobiography “Apart from my mother, my only role models were the cow boy heroes…. In school, I was shy and inhibited.”[1] Soon after finishing high school, he married his girlfriend, Diane Holechek. Chuck Norris had two brothers Wieland and Aaron Norris. Aaron Norris later became a Hollywood producer. When Chuck was just 18, he joined the United States Air Force as a Military Policeman and was sent to South Korea[2]. It was in South Korea that Norris where he started acquired the training in Tang Soo Do and Taekwondo (both Korean martial arts). He was nicknamed Chuck by his roommate in South Korea. He also got training in Shinto-Ryu Karate, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu[3]. When he returned home, he continued to act as an MP at March Air Force Base California. In 1962, Norris was discharged from the Air Force[4]. Later, he has also been working as a reserve cop for the Terrell PD[5].

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            Stardom of Chuck Norris started with his achievements in the field of Karate. When we take a look at his Karate career, the story is never ending. Chuck has won many martial arts championships including being a six-time undefeated World Professional Middle Weight Karate Champion[6]. He has remained a renowned teacher in this field as well. Some of his students included Steve McQueen, Bob Barker, Priscilla Presley and Donnie & Marie Osmond. From 1964 to 1968, Chuck won many State, National, and International amateur karate titles[7]. In 1968, Chuck fought and won the World Professional Middle Weight Karate championships by defeating the World’s Top Fighters. He held that title until 1974 when he retired undefeated. In 1968, Chuck entered into the Black Belt Hall of Fame and was declared Fighter of the Year. In coming years, he won many more decorations. In 1975, he was declared as Instructor of the Year, and two years later, Chuck received the honor of Man of the Year. Besides all these honors and awards, Chuck is also founder and President of United Fighting Arts Federation with over 2,300 black belts all over the world[8]. In 1997, Chuck achieved another milestone in his life by being the first man ever in the Western Hemisphere to be awarded an 8th degree Black Belt Grand Master recognition in the Tae Kwon Do. This was the first ever distinction in 4,500 years of the history of this form of Karate[9]. Besides Karate, Chuck also exerted in the field of powerboat racing. He soon became an offshore powerboat racer with speeds of 140 miles per hour. In 1991, Chuck with his team won the World Off Shore Powerboat championships[10].

            When we take stock of his film career, we find it filled with action, and drama. It was in 1969 that Norris made his acting debut, in the Dean Martin movie The Wrecking Crew. At a martial arts demonstration in Long Beach, Norris met the world famous Bruce Lee[11]. In 1972, he acted as Bruce Lee’s opponent in the movie ‘Way of the Dragon’, and later in the movie ‘Game of Death.’ In 1974, McQueen (whose son had attended one of Norris’s school) encouraged him to begin acting classes at the MGM Studio. Norris’ first starring role was 1977’s Breaker, Breaker!, and subsequent films such as The Octagon (1980), An Eye for an Eye (1981), and Lone Wolf McQuade proved box office hits. Over the next few years, Norris became a prominent Hollywood star, appearing in eight top hit films, including Code of Silence, The Delta Force, and Firewalker[12].

            The end of the decade of 80s witnessed Norris’ movie career declining due to a tough competition offered by other action heroes like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Jean Claude Van Damme, and Steven Seagal. He still keeps appearing in odd films but his work of seventies and early eighties is much more to be appreciated. With fading fame on silver screen, Chuck Norris turned to television. In 1986, Chuck Norris lent his name and his voice to a brief TV cartoon series, Chuck Norris’ Karate Kommandos. He also used to appear at the end of each cartoon episode to caution his young audience that “violence is my last option”[13].  We will also remember Chuck Norris for his long-running CBS television series, “Walker, Texas Ranger.” In 1988, Chuck wrote his autobiography, “The Secret of Inner Strength”, which became a New York Times Best Seller. He followed up a few years later with a second book, “The Secret Power Within: Zen Solutions to Real Problems”[14].

            Chuck Norris had a successful and a glorious film career. His film career started as actor in 1960s. Since then he has never looked back. He has starred in around 40 movies. His renowned movies include The Way of Dragon (1972), Breaker! Breaker! (1977), Game of Death (1978), Good Guys Wear Black (1978), An Eye for an Eye (1981), Silent Rage (1982), Lone Wolf McQuade (1983), Missing in Action (1984), The Delta Force (1986), The Hitman (1991), Sidekicks (1992), Walker Texas Ranger 3: Deadly Reunion (1994), Hellbound (1994), Forest Warrior (1996), and The Cutter (2005)[15]. His famous work on TV include Wind in Fire (1993), Walker, Texas Ranger (1993-2001, 2005), Logan’s War: Bound by Honor (1998), Sons of Thunder (1999), Martial Law (2000), and The President’s Man (2000, 2002)[16]. He has a number of films/television programs to his credit as a producer including Sidekicks (1992), Walker: Texas Ranger (1993-2001), Sons of Thunder (1999), The President’s Man (2001), Birdie and Bogey (2004), and Walker, Texas Ranger: Trial by Fire (2005)[17]. He has also remained associated with silver screen and television as writer, and fight choreographer.

            Pursuing his Karate passion, in 1990, Chuck Norris with the help of President George Bush, Chuck implemented a program of teaching the martial arts to 150 high-risk children at M C Williams Middle School in Houston, Texas, as part of the school curriculum. The program received enormous success in helping these kids raise their self-esteem. The program got so widely publicized primarily due to its success that it is now being implemented in 30 schools with over 4,200 young boys and girls actively participating[18]. In the beginning the program was named ‘Kick Drugs Out of America Foundation’[19]. In 2003, the program was renamed to KICK-START. Specific goals of this program include encouraging students to resolve conflicts productively, avoiding participation in gangs, choosing drug-free lifestyles, and remaining in high school until they graduate[20].

            Chuck Norris will forever be remembered as the man who fought against the legend Bruce Lee in two movies. He also spent a lot of his time training with Bruce Lee. He is a six-time World Karate Champion, hero of more than two dozen feature films, star and producer of his own long-running, award-winning prime-time TV show[21]. He also has a best seller autobiography to his name. A friend of several Presidents, a big fan and endorser of Fitness Quest’s Total Gym, and a loving father to twins Danilee and Dakota, he has lot of social works to his credit including the KICK-START[22]. Now past the age of 60, Norris has begun to slow down, but he still keeps appearing on television and silver screen. He did not have much of role models in his childhood for himself, but definitely he is a role model to many kids. His resilience, determination, hard work, fortitude, and talent provides us a guiding light to leading a successful and productive life.

References:

AMG – All Media Guide. (2006). Chuck Norris. Actors Biographies. Retrieved March 31, 2006, from Answers.com Web site: http://www.answers.com/topic/chuck-norris

Bagby, Laura J. (2005). Chuck Norris Gets a Kick Out of Life. CBN News. Retrieved March 31, 2006, from http://www.700club.com/entertainment/screen/bagby_chucknorris_0904.asp

Biography. (2006). Chuck Norris. Chuck Norris Official Website. Retrieved March 30, 2006, from http://www.chucknorris.com/html/biog.html

Daniel, Frankel. (1997). Chuck Norris, Real life Texas Ranger. Eonline News. Retrieved April 1, 2006 from http://www.november.org/thewall/cases/jones-sh/jones-sh.html

IMDB. (2006). Chuck Norris. Movies Database. Retrieved March 30, 2006, from http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001569/

Kick Start. (2006). Mission and Background. Retrieved March 31, 2006, from http://www.kick-start.org/index.html

Norris, Chuck. (1996). The Secret Power Within. New York: Little, Brown and Company.

Pretorius, Rudolph. (2003). Chuck Norris. Kung Fu Cinema. Retrieved March 31, 2006, from http://www.kungfucinema.com/people/chuck_norris.htm

UFAF. (2006). Chuck Norris – About our Founder. United Fighting Arts Federation. Retrieved April 1, 2006 from http://www.ufaf.org/founder_page.htm

Wikipedia. (2006). Chuck Norris. Wikipedia. Retrieved March 31, 2006, from Answers.com Web site: http://www.answers.com/topic/chuck-norris

[1] Chuck Norris. (1996). The Secret Power Within. New York: Little, Brown and Company.
[2] Wikipedia. (2006). Chuck Norris. Wikipedia. Retrieved March 31, 2006, from Answers.com Web site: http://www.answers.com/topic/chuck-norris

[3] Wikipedia, 2006.
[4] AMG – All Media Guide. (2006). Chuck Norris. Actors Biographies. Retrieved March 31, 2006, from Answers.com Web site: http://www.answers.com/topic/chuck-norris

[5] Frankel, Daniel. (1997). Chuck Norris, Real life Texas Ranger. Eonline News. Retrieved April 1, 2006 from http://www.november.org/thewall/cases/jones-sh/jones-sh.html

[6] Biography. (2006). Chuck Norris. Chuck Norris Official Website. Retrieved March 30, 2006, from http://www.chucknorris.com/html/biog.html

[7] UFAF. (2006). Chuck Norris – About our Founder. United Fighting Arts Federation. Retrieved April 1, 2006 from http://www.ufaf.org/founder_page.htm

[8] Biography, 2006.
[9] Biography, 2006.
[10] Biography, 2006.
[11] Wikipedia, 2006.
[12] Wikipedia, 2006.
[13] AMG – All Media Guide, 2006.
[14] Biography, 2006.
[15] IMDB. (2006). Chuck Norris. Movies Database. Retrieved March 30, 2006, from http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001569/

[16] IMDB, 2006.
[17] IMDB, 2006
[18] Kick Start. (2006). Mission and Background. Retrieved March 31, 2006, from http://www.kick-start.org/index.html

[19] Kick Start, 2006.
[20] Kick Start, 2006.
[21] Bagby, Laura J. (2005). Chuck Norris Gets a Kick Out of Life. CBN News. Retrieved March 31, 2006, from http://www.700club.com/entertainment/screen/bagby_chucknorris_0904.asp

[22] Pretorius, Rudolph. (2003). Chuck Norris. Kung Fu Cinema. Retrieved March 31, 2006, from http://www.kungfucinema.com/people/chuck_norris.htm

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