Who is William Norris?
Norris has written books on martial arts, exercise, philosophy, Christianity and Western fiction. Additionally he served in the US Air Force and won various martial arts championships.
Norris became Cannon Films’ star of choice during the 80s. This led to films like Code of Silence, The Delta Force, Lone Wolf McQuade, and Silent Rage with his performances as lead character.
Early Life and Education
Norris was born and raised by his parents Wilma and Ray Dee Norris of Ryan, Oklahoma. As a child he was shy and nonathletic; financial struggles plagued their family as his father was an alcoholic prone to lengthy drinking binges.
In 1984, Norris made several films for Cannon Films including Missing in Action which he dedicated to his late brother Wieland who died serving his country during Vietnam.
Norris became well-known from his stint on Walker, Texas Ranger for eight years – playing Sergeant Cordell Walker as a tough crime fighter – and later featured in numerous action movies during this period. Additionally, Norris created both United Fighting Arts Federation and Kickstart Kids programs designed to teach martial arts as an effective means of building self-esteem and focus in children.
Norris has become well-known as a prolific writer throughout his career. He is widely respected for writing books on martial arts, exercise, philosophy, politics, Christianity, and Western fiction. Two times New York Times bestseller he is particularly recognized for writing on the psychology of self-improvement through personal experience based on positive force philosophy and psychology of self-improvement; which was published first as his personal philosophy book entitled Positive Force and Psychology of Self Improvement Based on My Own Experiences.
In 1974, Norris met actor Steve McQueen who recognized his potential and encouraged him to enroll in acting classes.
In 1979, Norris made a box office hit out of his performance as world karate champion who assists police with tracking down drug kingpin. Cannon Films offered him multiple film deals after this success and his first project for them, Missing in Action was met with much praise from viewers and critics alike.
Achievement and Honors
Norris is an esteemed Christian author who has published books on religion and promoted Bible study through TV commercials. Additionally, as a veteran he has done charitable work for fund-raising groups such as United Way and Make-A-Wish Foundation; additionally his charitable organization “Kickstart” offers children martial arts lessons.
Norris began his professional martial art career in 1968 and won six consecutive World Professional Middle Weight Karate Championships without being defeated.
In 1984, Norris made headlines when he appeared in Missing in Action which told of the death of his younger brother Wieland during Vietnam. Both films were dedicated to Wieland. Additionally, Norris played the title role in Code of Silence which chronicles how a streetwise plainclothes officer takes down an anti-crime leader.
His father, Ray Dee Norris, was an alcoholic who would go on long drinking binges that left his family very poor; only thanks to the kindness of his mother was Ray Dee able to have an adequate childhood.
Norris’ success with the film propelled him on his path towards becoming an action star.
Norris has studied a wide range of martial arts disciplines, such as Shotokan Karate, Goju-ryu Karate, American Kenpo Shito-ryu Karate Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu; incorporating these into his Chun Kuk Do style of fighting. A dedicated family man, Rebecca is his wife; their three children can often be seen together at baseball games around town.
Norris is an avid supporter of the Second Amendment and has campaigned for numerous Republican candidates. Additionally, he donates generously to numerous charitable causes like Make-A-Wish Foundation and United Way; Kickstart is his program dedicated to teaching children self-defense through martial arts.
He has appeared in various television shows and movies, with a notable role as Sergeant Cordell Walker on the popular CBS show Walker, Texas Ranger lasting eight seasons. Additionally, his career spans film and television as an accomplished stunt man.
He runs a successful water-bottling company and has endorsement deals with companies like Hoegaarden Brewery, Fiat, Hesburger, Toyota and World of Warcraft video game developer BZ WBK among many others. Furthermore, Norris owns a ranch in Texas as well as making investments in real estate properties.