Although Susan Sarandon is popularly known for her films, she has always kept her personal life private, including her previous marriage to Chris Sarandon and her long-term relationship with Tim Robbins, alongside a romantic relationship with one of the most famous rockstars worldwide. She prefers to keep her private life to herself, but she recently opened up about her significant challenge and the miraculous outcome. Additionally, despite nearly half a century in the industry, she still shares her story on her own terms and discloses intimate details in her own way.
Hiding Secrets Amidst Celebrity
Undoubtedly one of the most popular actresses in the last 50 years, Susan Sarandon has been a prominent figure on both the small and big screens since 1970. She has appeared in some of the largest films of the 20th century.
Although Sarandon has been prominent in the public eye for a while, she has maintained a level of privacy. However, she has now decided to open up about her most significant challenge.
Before We Knew Her
On October 4th, 1946, in the Jackson Heights neighborhood of Queens, New York, Susan came into the world. Despite having a bright future ahead of her, her childhood was a challenging one.
Surprisingly, she was the eldest among her nine siblings, and although she mostly cherished this position, it came with its own set of challenges and several moments of hardship in the family.
Playing The Responsible Sibling
As the eldest among several siblings, Susan Sarandon learned to be responsible at an early age. Despite going against her instincts, she had to take action.
Sarandon clarified in a Time Out magazine interview in 2014, that her high position had an impact on her. She saw it as an advantage because she had a lot of responsibility, which was necessary as she tended to have a wandering mind. It was later that she discovered that her siblings saw her as a parental figure.
How Family Life Prepared Her For Hollywood
In the Time Out interview, Sarandon discussed how her family influenced her life, elaborating that her parents were quite overwhelmed.
They both lacked families and consequently came together to form a large tribe without much guidance on how to raise children. This proved to be beneficial training for me, as the absence of privacy and abundance of disorder effectively prepared me for a career in showbiz.
A Good Catholic
Susan’s mother’s Italian heritage heavily influenced her early life and Catholicism played a significant role in it. She was enrolled in Catholic schools until high school.
According to what she told the Los Angeles Times, Susan was very absent-minded, lost in thought, and preoccupied with her faith and moral values. She started studying at The Catholic University of America in 1964, but the whole experience made her doubt her faith even more than she did during her teenage years.
A College Coincidence
When Sarandon went to Catholic University, she no longer followed the Catholic faith as she did before in her earlier years.
It could be that Susan Sarandon’s experience with a nun who criticized her for having too much original sin when she asked about the Catholic Church’s stance on marriage led her to question things. As for attending Catholic University, it was only because her parents had missed the deadline for her other college applications.
Taking His Name
Susan encountered Chris Sarandon, a friendly guy, when she was studying at Catholic University. Their bond matured eventually, and they tied the knot on September 16, 1967.
At the time of their wedding, she was just a 20-year-old senior. However, the couple’s marriage ended in divorce in 1979. Susan, who was beginning her career, decided that changing her name would not be beneficial, so she kept her ex-husband’s name as her stage name.
Starting Off Right
Upon completion of her drama studies at Catholic University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, Susan made the decision to utilize the skills she developed under the guidance of master teacher Gilbert V Hartke, in order to seek employment opportunities.
In 1969, both Susan and her husband Chris Sarandon tried out for a role in the film “Joe”. While Chris was unsuccessful, Susan was chosen for the part of Melissa. This role marked a significant milestone in Susan’s career, as it was her first major role and the movie went on to be hugely successful, earning 13 times its budget at the box office.
Recognized For Her Work
Sarandon’s involvement in the movie “Joe” played a significant role in advancing her career. As a result, she had more opportunities and worked as an actress, taking on roles in various productions such as soap operas and smaller films. One notable success was her part in the acclaimed movie “Rocky Horror Picture Show”, which gained a massive following among fans.
The movie “Atlantic City” was the starting point for Susan’s fame. She starred alongside Burt Lancaster and her role earned her a nomination for Best Actress at the Academy Awards. Susan went on to be nominated for this award four more times.
A Period Of Uncertainty
Despite being nominated for an Oscar, Sarandon experienced a dissatisfactory period in her career while in her thirties. According to The Guardian, Sarandon claimed that she wasn’t receiving roles in films that would challenge her abilities.
I had a financially stable job and was enjoying myself, as I always do. However, I reached a point where I needed to make a decision and move forward. Luckily, an excellent opportunity presented itself, altering the course of my profession.
Taking To The Stage
Susan diverged from her pursuit of film into the world of theater until she discovered her most significant role. Due to the unavailability of satisfying roles, Susan collaborated with some acquaintances to establish an improvisational theater group.
She was involved in the production of A Coupla White Chicks Sitting Around Talking, an off-Broadway show in 1981 that received excellent feedback. Her experience with theater was that it creates an immersive environment where the audience is fully engaged, laughing and crying together. When the show ends and the audience applauds, one cannot help but feel a sense of contribution.
Showing Them The Heat, Meat
After appearing in several films in the 80s, Sarandon’s professional trajectory changed significantly when she agreed to work with Ron Shelton on the movie Bull Durham.
According to the statement, Sarandon was considered too mature to play the character of Annie by the studio. Nevertheless, she took matters into her own hands and went to audition for Shelton wearing a dress similar to the one in the movie. Despite the studio’s misconception, Sarandon’s audition was successful and she was subsequently cast as the center of the movie’s love triangle.
Long List Of Famous Lovers
Sarandon did not interact with other prominent personalities until later in her life, partly because she got married at a young age. However, as her fame grew, Susan, who was newly single, slowly began exploring the world of celebrities.
At one point she was romantically involved with her Atlantic City director, Academy Award winner Louis Malle. In 2014, she revealed a relationship with rock legend David Bowie who she called “extraordinary.” The two starred together in the 1983 vampire film The Hunger.
Unexpected and Earth Shattering News
As her relationship with Bowie started growing and filming continued on The Hunger, Susan began suffering from sporadic bleeding and fainting.
After seeing the doctor, Sarandon found out that she was suffering from a condition called Endometriosis. The condition makes it difficult to have children. Doctors told Susan that if she hoped to give birth in the future, she would require surgery first. In the end, they gave her some birth control and let her live her life.
Not So Mixed Feelings
Sarandon was not phased by being told she would never be a mother. In a 2011 speech at the Blossom Ball hosted by the Endometriosis Foundation of America, she referred to it as a “half-assed diagnosis.”
A few years later in an interview with Time Out magazine, she revealed, “It didn’t break my heart; I had plenty of nieces and nephews by that time. I wasn’t dipping into gene pools that I felt the need to replicate. I was fine with it.”
Not The Only One
If you have not heard of Endometriosis, you are not alone. Many are unaware of the condition. That being said, about ten percent of women of reproductive age suffer from it.
To help raise awareness for it, many celebrities have begun openly speaking on their experiences with it. Oscar winner Whoopi Goldberg, Girls star Lena Dunham, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens heroine Daisy Ridley have all taken to the press to create more awareness based on their struggles with Endometriosis.
Meeting A New Man
Not long after her diagnosis, Sarandon began welcomed a new man into her life. She started seeing Franco Amurri, an Italian filmmaker best known for the Italian film which inspired Big starring Tom Hanks.
The two had met on the set of Tempest a few years earlier. Neither Susan nor Franco intended the relationship to last long as both expected it to be a quick fling. Instead, they would be forever linked in a major and surprising way.
The Surprise Of All Surprises
Due to her condition, Susan treated her relationship with Franco similar to her past flings. She had not used birth control for years believing that she could not get pregnant.
This time around, Susan received shocking news – she was pregnant with a baby girl. Susan and her close friends and family could not believe the news. Her career had started to trend upward, and she did not know how this would affect her. Susan decided to keep the miracle baby.
Keeping Her Miracle
Sarandon told Oprah in 2013 about how she broke the news to Franco. She explained, “I said to Franco, you know, ‘I’ve decided that I’m going to have this baby.
And if you want to be part of it, that’s great. If you don’t, that’s great too. Because I thought, you know what, if this was an impossibility and it’s happened, clearly it’s meant to happen.” The impossible had happened, and Susan was ready for the challenges.
Welcoming A Baby Girl
On March 15, 1985, Sarandon’s miracle was finally realized, and she gave birth to baby girl Eva Amurri. Susan had not married Franco nor were they still dating, but they decided that Eva should take her father’s name.
Young Eva would live with Susan and would go visit her father in Italy as she grew older. Eva has deep Italian roots, as her father is Italian and her maternal grandmother is Italian as well.
Annie and Nuke Sitting In A Tree
While filming Bull Durham, Susan, now with a three-year-old daughter, began getting close to one of her costars.
In the film, Sarandon’s character, a minor league baseball groupie, becomes involved with both the up and coming young pitcher (Tim Robbins) and the cranky veteran catcher (Kevin Costner). Costner’s Crash Davis might have got the girl, but off-set, Robbins and Sarandon started a relationship which would last decades.
A Wave Of Success
Susan’s relationship with Tim came at the most prosperous time of her life. Bull Durham became one of the highest grossing films of 1988.
Not only were her films successful, but she became a powerhouse actress, picking up numerous nominations and awards along the way. Between 1991 and 1995, Susan was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress four times including Thelma & Louise, Lorenzo’s Oil, and The Client. Finally, in 1995, she broke through and captured her first Oscar for Dead Man Walking.
A Missed Opportunity
Sarandon was overjoyed to have finally won an Oscar for Dead Man Walking. In addition to thanking the cast and crew, Sarandon had planned on making a statement about war and violence.
She had always been a very politically and socially conscious person and wanted the chance to share her thoughts on one of the world’s biggest stages. Instead, she got wrapped up in the moment and forgot to make her full statement. She focused on thanking Robbins.
Another Chance To Address Issues
Although Sarandon missed her chance to make a statement in 1995, audience would not have been surprised if she did.
Two years earlier, Sarandon and Robbins used the state at the Oscars to not only announce a category’s nominees, but to urge the United States government to release some prisoners. They disapproved of the United States’ detention of HIV-positive Haitian refugees at Guantanamo Bay. The Academy was not pleased with the stunt, but they could not ignore her talent.
When On-Screen Life Becomes Reality
In Dead Man Walking, Sarandon played Sister Helen Prejean, a nun that befriends a death row inmate and attempts to save his life. The role earned her an Oscar, but also hit home for Sarandon.
She has since become a major supporter of current death row inmate Richard Glossip. Along with the real Sister Helen Prejean, Sarandon and other celebrities (including Mark Ruffalo, Sir Richard Branson, and Pope Francis) have advocated for his innocence and release.
Putting A Spin On Nightlife
In 2009, Sarandon became involved in an exciting new project. She founded, along with other investors, SPiN, a table tennis club and bar. Since its inception, Sarandon has helped SPiN open locations across the world, including locations in New York, San Francisco, Dubai, and Toronto.
SPiN allows guests to reserve tables and play ping pong in a social setting which occasionally features celebrity appearances and professional ping pong players. The adult playhouse has become quite successful for Sarandon.
More Mouths To Feed
Robbins and Sarandon became a Hollywood “It” couple. Although they never married, the couple made a major announcement in 1989: they were expecting a baby. John “Jack” Henry was born on May 15, 1989.
Almost exactly three years later, Sarandon would yet again give birth to a boy, Miles Guthrie. A decade had passed since Sarandon received her Endometriosis diagnosis, but here she was with not only one child, but three beautiful children and a full family.
The Levee Breaks
In 2009, Robbins and Sarandon made a shocking revelation: they announced the end of the relationship. After 21 years together and two children, the power couple decided to call it quits.
Susan told The Telegraph, “I thought that if you didn’t get married, you wouldn’t take each other for granted as easily. I don’t know if after twentysomething years that was still true.” With their children grown, they seemed to handle the split well and carrying on with their young lives.
Single And Ready To Mingle
The 71-year-old recently opened up about her love life. Sarandon revealed that her sexual orientation is not as straight forward as you might have thought.
She said that her sexual orientation is “open” and “up for grabs.” Sarandon admitted that she would be open to relationships with either men or women. However, she does not seem to be getting as many offers as she would like. Hopefully, she will find someone right for her.
Saving The Best For Last
Susan always had a man by her side in her younger days. During the 80s, she once had an affair with her The Hunger co-star, Philip Sayer. Sayer, a British actor, died in 1989 but was known to be gay.
Sarandon said, “I did at one point have a very successful and very loving and wonderful affair with a man who then wasn’t with another woman after me, and that worked out fine!’
In The Interest Of Everyone
Susan is famously liberal in most of her political opinions. While one might think that would also include being a staunch feminist, you would be surprised to hear the contrary.
She said, “I think of myself as a humanist because I think it’s less alienating to people who think of feminism as being a load of strident b**ches.” She tries to fight for the rights of everyone, not only those of her gender.
Butting Heads With Mom
Of all her political causes, Susan Sarandon has always been an anti-war activist. When the 2003 war with Iraq broke out, she made sure to make her objection known appearing in political ads.
Sarandon has spoken out against many wars, but interestingly, her mother falls on the other side of the political spectrum. Her mom, Leonora Tomalin, is a staunch Republican was very supportive of George W. Bush and the 2003 war with which her daughter disagreed.
Problem With The Pope
Due to her strong views and willingness to voice them, Sarandon got in some hot water due to some comments about Pope Benedict XVI.
When Sarandon was a speaker at the Hamptons film festival, she spoke about how she sent the Pope a copy of Dead Man Walking because of his stance on the death penalty. She clarified that she was speaking about Pope John Paul II by saying, “The last (pope), not this Nazi one we have now.”
Following In Mom’s Footsteps
Susan Sarandon might be a world-renowned actress, but there is another in her family tree that has been turning heads recently. Her daughter Eva Amurri has developed quite a nice career for herself as an actress.
Her credits include an episode of Friends in which she appeared with her mother. Susan got revenge for years of mothering by slapping her daughter – for the role of course. Eva starred in the film Middle of Nowhere and had a season-long arc in Californication.
The Family Grows Again
In 2011 Eva married former soccer player Kyle Martino, opening the door for Susan’s family to expand with grandchildren. She received that blessing three years later when Eva gave birth to daughter Marlowe Mae and son Major James two years after that. ”
Sarandon said about the prospect of being a grandmother, “There’s some part of your brain that can’t wrap itself around this idea that your child, that your daughter, is going to have a daughter. I mean, it’s just so beautiful and huge.
Loving The Grandma Life
With her family seemingly growing every few years, Susan is loving life as a grandma. She told Metro, “Being a grandmother is so much easier than being a mother.
You don’t have that constant worry that’s in your mind all the time.” Susan will appear in two films slated for late 2017 releases, including a sequel to Bad Moms. For now, she is content spending time and taking Instagram photos with the family she never thought she could have.
He Grew Up In Poverty
Chuck Norris is a name that many of us have known – and feared – over the years, but surprisingly, it turns out Chuck came from humble roots. It turns out that Chuck’s father left the house when he was a youngster, and life was left to his mom to deal with. However, young Chuck Norris was determined to step up and become a father figure and role model to his two younger brothers.
He Used To Be Very Different
Chuck Norris wasn’t always the lean, mean, fighting machine that we know and love today. In fact, the star was once a shy introvert who would apparently try his best to stay away from everyone. As if that wasn’t enough, it’s said that Chuck always struggled at school. It looks as though being the man of the house, as well as coping with his step-father’s addiction, all took their toll on young Chuck.
He Was In The Air Force
From a young age, Chuck decided that he wanted to sign up to the police force. He eventually landed his chance to carve his dream career when the youngster enrolled in the U.S. Air Force as one of the air police officers. From there, Chuck was deployed to South Korea where he would work out his time in the military. However, it was moving across the world that gave Chuck the chance to discover martial arts.
He Wasn’t Always Chuck
That’s not all the Air Force gave Chuck. In fact, his time in the military also gave him his name! That’s right – before he signed up to the Air Force, Chuck was known as Carlos Ray Norris. Throughout his time at school, the star was always known by his birth name. It wasn’t until he was a young adult that he earned the nickname Chuck. This was a name that was about to stick for the rest of time.
He Suffered A Major Loss
Although Chuck’s time in the military helped to shape his life, it also changed it forever. The star inspired his younger brother, Weiland, to sign up to the forces all those years later. Weiland was deployed to Vietnam where he served for four months until tragedy struck; he lost his life on the battlefield. Chuck admits that losing his brother is probably one of the toughest moments he has encountered in his life so far.
He Became A Teacher
Resigning from the military left Chuck with a new question: what was he supposed to do? Although he landed a job in an aircraft factory, Chuck wasn’t making enough money to support his new lifestyle away from the Air Force. He was left with no choice but to teach karate in his mom’s yard. Thankfully, everyone was desperate to learn the new skill. To top it off, Chuck also fell in love with teaching for the first time.
He Created His Own Martial Arts
All of his time practicing martial arts meant it wasn’t long before Chuck picked up a trick or two of his own. So what better way to cement your name into the tough guy history books than by creating your very own martial arts? Yup, Chuck Norris is the proud creator of Chun Kuk Do. It’s said it’s a mixture of karate and Korean martial arts that aims to emphasize fitness, grappling, competition, weapons, and self-defense.
He Is Almost Undefeated
As well as teaching martial arts, Chuck also competed in the sport for many years. In fact, the sports star was only defeated by a handful of people his entire career. As if that wasn’t enough, Chuck hasn’t lost a single fight since 1968. He later went on to retire in 1974 after defeating most of the lineup standing in his way. By the time he was done, Chuck had been crowned the professional full-contact karate middleweight champion.
He Taught Steve McQueen
Steve McQueen rose to fame as one of the most prominent anti-heroes of the ‘60s. So where did this action star learn his skills? From none other than Chuck Norris, of course. It’s reported the actor signed up to Chuck’s martial arts studio, and the pair soon struck up a friendship. That’s not all. It was apparently Steve that gave Chuck the push that he needed to break into the world of acting – a decision that would change his life forever.
He Was Friends With Bruce Lee
Being a movie star gave Chuck the opportunity to meet fellow martial arts legend, Bruce Lee. The pair had trained together throughout the ‘60s and were now about to start work on a new movie together. Lee had already signed up to The Wrecking Crew and knew he wanted Chuck to be his fighting partner. Chuck agreed, and the two created one of the most memorable fighting scenes of all time. The best bit? It was all ad-libbed.
He Started His Own Charity
Chuck’s love of karate has gone much further than anyone ever imagined, as the movie star has since created his own charity, Kickstart Kids. The organization aims to teach character values to teens, but Chuck needed some help. It was during a conversation with a former President that Chuck explained his dreams of taking the sport across the nation. The former President was so impressed that he immediately invested in the plan.
They Became Good Friends
It looks as though this was the beginning of an epic friendship. As if starting a charity wasn’t enough already, Chuck and the former President were about to take their relationship to the next level. He explained to Chuck how he had always wanted to skydive, and chose his 80th birthday as the perfect time to jump from a plane. Although Chuck was hesitant to join the dive at first, he soon got geared up with a parachute and joined the team.
His Silence Is Worrying
They say a man of few words is one who is thoughtful in speech. While it seems as though being one of the toughest guys on the planet might mean you no longer have to explain yourself through words, there might be a reason for Chuck’s silence. The actor has admitted he will say nothing if there is nothing nice to say about someone. So that silence means Chuck is probably judging you inside his own head. You have been warned.
He Married Young
Chuck was still just a youngster when he met and fell for Dianne Holechek. To top it off, he was 18 years old when he found himself walking down the aisle with a new wife on his arm. The couple were married for 30 years and spent the majority of their adult lives together until they eventually split and divorced in 1989. Unfortunately, Chuck admits that Dianne left a massive hole in his heart the day that she walked out the door.
He Has A Secret Child
Although Chuck seems to be a family man on the red carpet, it looks as though things haven’t always been that way. That’s right; the actor once had an affair with another woman during his first marriage and fathered another child. However, Chuck had no idea about his missing daughter. Dina was born in 1964, and she reports that she knew about her biological father for ten years, but didn’t want to interrupt his family’s life with her groundbreaking news.
They Met After Several Years
It wasn’t until Dina was 26 years old that she was brave enough to tell her father the truth. It was 1990 when Chuck Norris received the news that he had a daughter from all those years ago. Could this be another person hoping for their shot at fame by claiming they have celebrity parents? It seemed not. In fact, Chuck stated that he knew Dina was his daughter from the first moment they met.
He Never Expected to Marry Again
Chuck believed he would never find a love that made him want to marry again. That was, until he met and fell for Gena O’Kelley. The couple dated for some time until Chuck decided it was time to make it official. The actor only had four days of vacation at Thanksgiving and asked Gena if she could plan a wedding in six weeks. The model replied that she hadn’t said “Yes” yet, and Chuck remembered to pop the question officially.
The Twins Ended Walker, Texas Ranger
The couple tied the knot in 1998 and welcomed twins in 2001. However, their arrival was about to throw a wrench in the works. Chuck decided that he no longer had the time in his schedule to continue filming, as well as raise a family. Therefore, the newborns were all the excuse Chuck needed to put an end to the show Walker, Texas Ranger. His fans were devastated, and it was the beginning of Chuck’s disappearance from the limelight.
It Was A Family Affair
Many were devastated to see Walker, Texas Ranger come to an end – let alone the crew who had all worked on the show for many years. However, they might have been closer than we imagined. In fact, Chuck’s brother, Aaron, was one of the many who got the chance to direct four episodes of the show. To top it off, his son Mike directed five episodes, while his other son, Eric, was the director of a whopping 17 episodes!
He’s a Best-Selling Author
In addition to being one of the most celebrated martial artists in the world, Chuck Norris is also an accomplished author. Norris has published almost ten books throughout his career including two New York Times Best Sellers! Norris’ first book was a guide to marital arts called Winning Tournament Karate. He later released various health and self-improvement-themed books including the New York Times Best Seller, The Secret of Inner Strength: My Story. In 2008, he released his second best-seller, a politically-themed book entitled Black Belt Patriotism: How to Reawaken America.
The Rise of Chuck Norris Jokes
Though he was already an accomplished movie star and martial artist, Chuck Norris gained popularity as the subject of Chuck Norris “facts” — hilariously absurd exaggerations of Norris’ strength and masculinity. Jokes about Chuck Norris making onions cry or being able to dribble a bowling ball have been a part of the internet humor since around 2005. Norris has mentioned that his favorite fact is that Norris was going to be added to Mount Rushmore, “But the granite was not tough enough for his beard.”
How a Late Night Show Sketch Boosted His Popularity
Many people attribute the popularity of Chuck Norris “facts” to a popular sketch from late-night host and comedian Conan O’Brien’s show, Late Night With Conan O’Brien. In 2004, O’Brien’s network (NBC) purchased Universal, allowing him free access to every episode of Walker, Texas Ranger. O’Brien began incorporating clips of the show in his “Walker, Texas Ranger Lever” segment — a sketch involving showing the most outlandish and nonsensical scenes from the show. Many believe that this segment introduced Norris to a new generation of fans.
Connection to the Karate Kid Films
While Chuck Norris didn’t actually star in the Karate Kid films, he does have an interesting connection to the franchise. It turns out that Pat E. Johnson, actor and martial arts coordinator for three of the franchise’s films, actually trained under the guidance of Chuck Norris. Johnson became the head instructor at Norris’ California-based martial arts school and became the captain of Norris’ undefeated black belt competition team. Unfortunately, after years of training together, the two parted ways professionally in 1986.
He Has Been Featured in Multiple Video Games
Most people would agree that it takes a special level of fame to be featured in a video game, not as a character, but as yourself. In 1983, now-defunct video game company Xononx released a video game called Chuck Norris Superkicks. In 2008, thanks to the popularity of Chuck Norris facts, Gameloft released a mobile game called Chuck Norris: Bring on the Pain. Almost a decade later, another gaming company released another mobile game called Nonstop Chuck Norris.
He’s Big in Europe
Though he’s considered by many Americans to be a national treasure, Chuck Norris is also extremely popular in Europe. In 2010, Norris starred in a Christmas-themed commercial for T-Mobile in the Czech Republic. Two years later, he replaced actor Antonio Banderas as the face of the Polish bank, Bank Zachodni WBK. In 2018, Norris starred in an advertising campaign for a Finnish hamburger chain called Hesburger. Thanks to his classic action films, the iconic actor is popular across the world.
He Has His Own Brand of Water
Though the idea of Chuck Norris finding an ancient aquifer right outside of his ranch seems like it would be just another Chuck Norris “fact,” it actually happened. In 2011, during a particularly severe drought, one of Norris’ ranchhands discovered the aquifer while he was digging a new well. The natural aquifer is said to be more than 23,000 years old and produces naturally purified drinking water. In 2015, Norris created the CForce Bottling Company to bring this artesian water to the market.
He’s Very Involved in Veteran Affairs
Though many people may have seen Chuck Norris’ classic film Missing in Action, few know that Norris starred in this film and other POW rescue-themed films for a very sentimental reason. Norris dedicated these films to his brother, PFC Wieland Norris, who lost his life in Vietnam in 1970. Norris, who served in the Air Force, has remained connected to members of the armed forces and veterans. He has visited U.S. troops in Iraq and was the spokesperson for the U.S. Veterans Administration.
He Was a Comic Book and Cartoon Character
Although Norris is known for his often-violent action films, he was once the star of an animated television show and comic book series. Karate Kommandos, a series created by and starring Norris, aired in 1986. The show featured Norris as a government operative fighting against a villain called the Claw and his evil organization called VULTURE. The storyline was also adapted into a four-issue comic book by Marvel’s Star Comics.
He Hosted a Chuck Norris-Themed 5K Marathon
Running a marathon is difficult enough, but running a marathon dressed as Chuck Norris is even harder. Despite being difficult, 5,000 runners took part in the 2019 Chuck Norris 5K marathon in College Station, Texas. Runners had to wear costumes including fake beards and got to high-five Norris at the finish line. The race was also an attempt to create a new world record for most Chuck Norris look-a-likes in one place.
Chuck Norris’ Fight With Bruce Lee Was Actually Illegal
The fight scene between Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris in The Way of the Dragon is arguably one of the most famous martial arts scenes in film history. What many people don’t know is that the iconic scene was actually illegally shot. Lee wanted to shoot the scene in Rome’s famous Colosseum. Unfortunately, filming in the Colosseum is prohibited, resulting in the actors bribing Roman officials and having to smuggle cameras in their backpacks. The actors entered, under the guise of being tourists, and quickly filmed the famous fight scene.
Chuck Norris’ NASCAR Champion Son
Chuck Norris may be known for his alleged superhero strength, but his son is hot on his heels. It turns out that Eric Norris is not only a talented actor, director, stuntman, but he’s also a NASCAR racing champion. Eric began racing cars and motorcycles in the early ‘80s. After competing in various races, in 2002, he was named the winner of the NASCAR Winston West Series Championship. Though he enjoyed a successful career in car racing, Eric has returned to the world of entertainment.
His Film Debut Was Almost a Disaster
When Chuck Norris was approached by Bruce Lee to appear in his latest project, The Wrecking Crew, Norris was instantly onboard. Because he was generally uncomfortable with public speaking, Norris practiced his one line for weeks. Things got worse when actor Dean Martin forgot to duck during a fight scene and ended up getting kicked across the room by Norris’ kick. Thankfully, Martin continued filming and beating Norris up (on-screen at least).
Why He Stopped Taking These Types of Pictures
Known for his iconic fight scenes, it’s no surprise that fans often ask Chuck Norris to put them in a fake chokehold during photo ops. While Norris often complies with their requests, he had a close call after a photo op went wrong. While visiting a base, a Marine asked Norris to put him in a chokehold. The chokehold went on a bit too long and the Marine ended up passing out. Thankfully, the Marine was fine and actually became famous on the base because of the incident.
The Surprising Snakebite
One popular Chuck Norris “fact” is that “Chuck Norris was bitten by a cobra and, after five days of excruciating pain, the cobra died.” In reality, Norris was bitten by a rattlesnake while on the set of his television show, Walker, Texas Ranger. In one scene, Norris picks up the rattlesnake to count its rattles (as Chuck Norris does). On the second take of the scene, the snake bit Norris, sending blood “everywhere.” Thankfully, the actor was fine — no word on the snake, however …
He Stands By His Wife
Gena and Chuck first met in a sushi restaurant after one of Chuck’s close friends introduced the pair. The actor has admitted that he had no idea what to say to Gena at first but knew he already had strong feelings for his future wife. The couple has been together ever since. Unfortunately, their relationship was going to get put to the test in 2013 after it was revealed that the former model needed to undergo several medical tests.
The Scan Changed Everything
Gena was soon booked in for a scan to see if she had developed rheumatoid arthritis. All she needed to do was have an MRI scan with a simple injection to see the results of the scan clearer. Everything seemed simple. That was until the substance was injected into Gena, who later confessed it felt “As if acid had been passed through” her entire body. It looked as though she was having an adverse reaction to the injection.
He Has Been At Her Side
Gena was about to spend the next five months in the hospital as she needed 24-hour nurse care. The former model was also hooked up to an IV at all times in a bid to save her life. It was this moment that changed Chuck’s life forever as he abandoned his acting career to focus on his family. The star then spent every night sleeping on a couch at the hospital as he didn’t want to leave Gena alone.
He Wants Justice
Things got worse and worse for the couple as Gena’s health continued to deteriorate. Thankfully, the former model has been able to claim a portion of her previous life back and has since been discharged from the hospital. It was in 2017 that both Gena and Chuck decided they wanted to get justice for the actions of the hospital. Chuck is now putting all of his effort towards getting Gena the compensation she deserves for her troubles.
A Major Lawsuit
The pair believes that it was a metal known as gadolinium that was in the injection that was the cause behind all of Gena’s issues. Gena and Chuck feel as though they weren’t properly warned or educated about the substance the hospital would be using, and they could have prevented the entire reaction. So far, the couple confesses they have spent more than $2 million on Gena’s health bills, and want $10 million in compensation for the event.
He Wants To Change The Nation
Gena has since been left with several medical issues that have changed her life forever. Chuck is determined to change the medical laws surrounding his wife’s treatment. However, that’s not all. Chuck also hopes to improve everyone’s entire outlook across the nation. The star hopes that all the hate in the U.S. will one day come to an end as he regularly gets bothered by the conflict happening in the world. Perhaps he’s more about peace than war, after all?