Like most netizens, we love Chuck Norris jokes. But Chuck Norris is more than just an aging action hero. As this classic interview with Sara Fogan shows, the former karate champion is also a deeply spiritual man who has devoted his life to helping children. Here are the real Chuck Norris facts.
“In Missing in Action 3, the kids we worked with were all Amerasian,” Chuck Norris said while discussing his most memorable movie and TV roles. “It was in the Philippines, so they were half-Filipino, half-American. We tried to help a lot of them financially. We were on the set one day, and this kid came in. He had a big growth on his cheek. When he walked around, he’d keep his hand over it. One day we took him to a surgeon, and he removed the growth. The change in him [was incredible].”
Several days later, three more children with deformities found their way onto the set. “We had them taken care of, as well,” Chuck Norris said. “And the next day, we had a line of 100 or so kids. And we were saying, ‘Oh, my, what can we do?’ We helped as many of them as we could because surgery over there was not that expensive. But it was sad to see so many of those kids with deformities.”
Get the facts on Chuck Norris’ epic battle with Bruce Lee in our FREE guide—Our Bruce Lee Movies List: Little-Known Trivia From Bruce Lee’s Pictures.
Chuck Norris added that his favorite episode of Walker, Texas Ranger was also about a sick child. The two-hour episode, titled “Lucas,” tells the tale of a boy, played by Haley Joel Osment, who was born with AIDS.
“It was the most emotional script,” Chuck Norris said. “Of all my films and TV shows, that one affected me more than any other. When we sat down and read the script—I read every script with my writers to get a feel for it—after a while I had to stop because I was crying. The tears started coming down my face, and I looked at my writers, who were all crying, too. And I said, ‘I’ve got to rest; I’ve got to walk around for a while and recompose myself.’ That one was one of the most incredible scripts we ever had.”
At the end of the episode, Chuck Norris’ character had to perform the eulogy. “I said to myself, ‘Look, you’ll get one shot at this. You’d better be ready with the camera because this is too hard.’ And it was a very difficult scene to do. That was a special two hours for me.”
The Black Belt Hall of Fame member and karate champion said the spiritual episodes of Walker, Texas Ranger were every bit as moving. “Especially the one about the gang leader who becomes a born-again Christian,” he said. “He finally finds his faith and breaks his gang ties, and now he’s an associate pastor. And the gang he used to run around with robs the church and injures the pastor, who goes into a coma. Now this boy’s at a crossroads. He has to decide, Does he resort to his gang ways, or does he try to forgive?”
The plot unfolds as Chuck Norris’ character counters the violence of the gang members and talks to the youth about his faith. “I won the Epiphany Award for the best Christian show of the year for that episode,” he said. “In the last scene—you know, you can say ‘God’ on TV but you just don’t say ‘Jesus’—the network didn’t want me to use Jesus’ name. But I thought, I have to. My character was talking about Jesus dying on the cross, not God. So I wound up doing it anyway. The show did so well that they forgave me for doing it against their wishes.”