Carlos Ray “Chuck” Norris (born March 10, 1940) is an American martial artist, action star and television and film actor who is known for action roles such as Cordell Walker on WALKER, TEXAS RANGER and for his iconically tough image and roundhouse kick, reports Dan Wooding, founder of ASSIST Ministries.
But, in an interview for ANS and Safe World’s IPTV News on Wednesday, February 11, 2009) at the 17th Annual Movieguide® Faith and Values Awards Gala and Report to the Entertainment Industry at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, he revealed that he is now also a “Kung Fu” Christian.
With his second wife, Gena, at his side, Norris, who in 1968, was inducted into the Black Belt Hall of Fame as Fighter of the Year, talked about how God came into his life and changed everything for him.
“You know,” he said, “when you try to do it without God in your life — which I tried for a lot of years in my film business and in the film world — and even though I was successful, I was very unhappy. I had a huge hole in my heart and once I met my wife and reestablished my faith in God and things turned around for me and made ‘WALKER’ more successful and made my life a lot happier.”
Norris then spoke about the difference knowing God can make in a person’s life.
“I’ve been on both sides of the road,” he said. “I’ve been there without God and I’ve been there with God and believe me it’s much more rewarding and fulfilling when God is on your side.”
Chuck Norris also spoke about how encouraged he is that so many family-friendly films are now on the market and were being honored by Movieguide® at their annual gala.
“I knew that if you got some good films up there that were faith-based, they would do well at the box office,” he said. “People are really hungry for that on television and in film. When FACING THE GIANTS came out, which was a low budget film that was made for a hundred-thousand dollars, it touched the hearts of a lot of people and it touched my heart. In fact, it’s one of my all time favorites.
“Then, when FIREPROOF came out, which was another low budget film and it did humongous numbers, it showed that if you have the right film and you touch the right spirit of the people, it’s going to do very well.”
I then asked Chuck Norris about what type of movies he would like to see come out of Hollywood that can lift the spirits of a world in such a mess.
“We need films of hope,” he said. “We need films that show we can accomplish anything if we have God on our side.”
He smiled when I asked him how he met Gena, “We met in Dallas twelve years ago and we have celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary last November,” he said as they held hands.
Gena cut in and said, “It’s been good,” and Chuck added, “It’s been really, really good.”
Chuck Norris then spoke about the role that Bruce Lee, who first met Chuck at a karate demonstration in 1964 in Long Beach, California, played in his life.
“Bruce actually was the one that started my career with THE GREEN HORNET back in the sixties and then when he passed away in 1972, I kind of took the mantle and started back in 1976 doing my films, but Bruce he was the force behind it all.”
In WAY OF THE DRAGON, Bruce Lee had Chuck Norris as his opponent in
the final death fight at the Coliseum in Rome, which is today considered one of Lee’s most legendary fight scenes.
Chuck Norris went on to say that one of the highlights of his long career took place at the Movieguide® Gala back in 1998 when he won the Epiphany award for the best Christian program of the previous year for the CBS series, WALKER, TEXAS RANGER.
“I think it was a shock to everybody in the room because we were competing against a film about Mother Theresa and also TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL,” he said. “Of course WALKER had the reputation as a violent show but the thing is we did some incredible Christian programming on it and it really touched a lot of people.
“In fact, our faith-based episodes were our highest rated shows. In fact, our first faith based episode was the first time WALKER broke the top ten show on the Saturday night network. So that was pretty incredible.”
So now, although Chuck Norris has achieved so much in his life, with numerous action feature films, and as a martial arts star, winning many championships including being a six-time undefeated World Professional Middle Weight Karate Champion, and teaching the martial arts to people like Steve McQueen, Bob Barker, Priscilla Presley and Donnie & Marie Osmond, he considers his greatest achievement is being a “Kung Fu” Christian; a true follower of Jesus Christ.
Report from the Christian Telegraph