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This Is Why You Never Hear From Chuck Norris Anymore

Find out why the action star took a step back from making movies.

Was it the 1980s action movies? The long-running TV show in the '90s? The viral jokes in the '00s? No matter how you know him best, you know Chuck Norris. The action star and martial artist has had a lengthy career as an actor, going all the way back to the late '60s, but you probably haven't heard much from him recently. Norris stopped taking on lead roles in movies and TV shows years ago, but that doesn't mean he hasn't still been working.

At 82, Norris has not officially retired from acting—and he has made some film and TV appearances in the past couple years—but he did purposely step back due to a family issue. Read on to find out more about the state of Norris' career.

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Norris is famous for his action movies and hit show.

Chuck Norris at the premiere of "The Expendables 2" in 2012
Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock

Norris first came to fame in the '70s for action movies that showed off his expertise in martial arts. He's known for the Delta Force movies, the Missing in Action movies, and appearing alongside Bruce Lee in The Way of the Dragon. From 1993 to 2001, he starred on the police procedural Walker, Texas Ranger. Then, in the '00s, Norris gained massive popularity on the internet when the "Chuck Norris facts" meme started circulating.

He pulled back because of his wife.

Chuck and Gena Norris at the Gut Aiderbichl Christmas Market in 2019
Hannes Magerstaedt/Getty Images

In 2017, Norris and his wife, Gena Norris, sued multiple pharmaceutical companies after they claimed she suffered physical and cognitive issues and nearly died after being injected with contrast dye that was used during three routine MRI scans.

"My whole life is focused on keeping her as well as I possibly can," Norris told CBS News during a joint interview with his wife. "You know, I've had to give up my film career." During the interview, they shared that they had spent nearly $2 million in treatments to tackle her health problems. According to Radiology Business, they dropped at least one lawsuit in 2020.

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He's still taken on a role here and there.

Chuck Norris at the Movieguide Family Awards 2009
carrie-nelson / Shutterstock

Norris stopped acting regularly in 2005 after the TV movie Walker, Texas Ranger: Trial by Fire and the film The Cutter. He later returned to the big screen in 2012 with a part in The Expendables 2. In 2015, he had a voice role playing himself on The Goldbergs. And in 2020, he played a guest role on Hawaii Five-0.

He's also involved in other ventures.

Chuck Norris at German Comic Con Dortmund in 2018
Markus Wissmann / Shutterstock

There's more to Norris' career than just performing. For instance, he is involved in promoting gym equipment for QVC and investing in silver. He founded the organization Kickstart Kids, which teaches children karate in Texas schools. He and Gena also founded a bottled water company.

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Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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