The martial arts master has led a storied career over the years. While he got his start as the villain opposite of Bruce Lee in Way of the Dragon, Norris made his way through Hollywood as one of the most successful action heroes on the silver screen.
"I have done 21 movies over 17 years," said Chuck Norris when reflecting back on his movie career in the 90s.
While Norris was taking movie roles left and right from Code of Silence to Delta Force, he was also receiving numerous television roles at the time. Open to potentially expanding his talents to the smaller screen, none of the television offers sent his way interested Norris.
"If I could find the right series in the right location, maybe I would be interested."
By the early 90s, Norris's acting career had taken him all across the world in just the two decades he had been acting. Growing tired of the constant travel, the action star wanted to continue his work only if he was close to home.
As luck would have it, an offer for a new series called Walker, Texas Ranger would come his way with everything he had been looking for in a series.
Norris's interest grew when he saw the series was planned to be filmed on location in Dallas, Texas. With many series at the time being filmed in either New York or Los Angeles, this role offered something new that had rarely been seen before. The set location being just a 2-hour drive for Norris also helped spark his interest.
“That was the key for me, to do something that has never been done before,”
Norris was also intrigued by how much the role of Cordell Walker on Walker, Texas Ranger reflected his own personal life. Both Walker and Norris had Cherokee and Irish ancestry and learned mixed martial during their time serving the military.
Offering something both new and familiar, Norris defied his own expectation of only sticking to movies and was more than thrilled to sign on to his first and most famous television lead role.
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