Carlos Ray "Chuck" Norris (born March 10, 1940) is an American martial artist, actor, film producer, and screenwriter. He is a black belt in Tang Soo Do, Brazilian jiu jitsu and judo. After serving in the United States Air Force, Norris won many martial arts championships and later founded his own discipline Chun Kuk Do. Shortly after, in Hollywood, Norris trained celebrities in martial arts. Norris went on to appear in a minor role in the spy film The Wrecking Crew (1969). Friend and fellow actor Bruce Lee invited him to play one of the main villains in Way of the Dragon (1972). While Norris continued acting, friend and student Steve McQueen suggested to him that he take it seriously. Norris took the starring role in the action film Breaker! Breaker! (1977), which turned a profit. His second lead Good Guys Wear Black (1978) became a hit, and Norris became a popular action film star.
Norris would go on to star in a streak of bankable independently-made action and martial arts films, with A Force of One (1979), The Octagon (1980), and An Eye for an Eye (1981). This made Norris an international celebrity. He went on to make studio films like Silent Rage (1982) with Columbia, Forced Vengeance (1982) with MGM, and Lone Wolf McQuade (1983) with Orion. This led Cannon films to sign Norris into a multiple film deal, starting with Missing in Action (1984), which proved to be very successful and launched a trilogy. Norris started to work almost exclusively on high-profile action films with Cannon, becoming their leading star during the 1980s. Films with Cannon included Invasion U.S.A (1985), The Delta Force (1986), Firewalker (1986), etc. Apart from the Cannon films, Norris made Code of Silence (1985), which was received as one of his best films. In the 1990s, he played the title role in the long running television series Walker, Texas Ranger from 1993 until 2001. Until 2006, Norris continued taking lead roles in action movies, including Delta Force 2 (1990), The Hitman (1991), Sidekicks (1992), Forest Warrior (1996), The President's Man and its sequel (2002). Norris made his last film appearance to date in Sylvester Stallone's The Expendables 2 (2012).
Throughout his film and TV career Norris diversified from his regular endeavors. He is a noted writer, having penned books on martial arts, exercise, philosophy, politics, Christianity, western novels, and biography. He was twice a New York Times bestselling author, first 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. Norris also appeared in several commercials endorsing several products most notably being one of the main spokespersons for the Total Gym infomercials. In 2005, Norris found a new fame on the Internet when Chuck Norris facts became an Internet meme documenting humorous, fictional and often absurd feats of strength and endurance. Although Norris himself did not produce the "facts", he was hired to endorse many products that incorporated Chuck Norris facts in advertising, the phenomenon resulted in six books (two of them New York Times best sellers), two video games, and several appearances on talk shows, such as Late Night with Conan O'Brien where he read the facts or participated in sketches.