Fans of action films from the 80s and 90s will most definitely know Chuck Norris. He was one of the stars of the genre during the height of its popularity, starring in several iconic films like The Octagon, The Delta Force and the Missing in Action trilogy. The former American Air Force officer and notable martial artist has been married for over 20 years to Gena O’Kelley, a former model.
The recent celebration of his long-lasting marriage, which is a rarity for celebrities in Hollywood, has brought renewed interest in his wife and her background. Here is a quick look at the wife of the action star.
Who is Gena O’Kelley? – Chuck Norris’s Wife
Gena O’Kelley was born in 1963; details about her place of birth are presently unknown with the only established fact being that she was born in the United States. She was born to parents, Annette O’Kelley and Alan Gordon O’Kelley. Growing up, Gena was raised with two sisters and a brother; they are named Elizabeth, Maureen, and Eric respectively.
Details about her education are a part of a slew of background information that is currently unknown about the former model.
Prior to meeting and falling in love with Chuck Norris, Gena O’Kelley was an unknown and unpopular personality despite her modest success in her chosen career as a model and a deputy sheriff, two careers one doesn’t often read in the same sentence. Her modeling career saw her pose for a couple of magazines, gracing multiple cover pages. Although it wasn’t the spectacular success that has come to be associated with the profession, it paid the bills for Gena.
Her life got transformed in 1997 when a chance meeting with Chuck Norris in a restaurant led to a small appearance on one of his most popular shows, Walker, Texas Ranger and ended with a romantic relationship that has existed till date.
Ever since, Gena O’Kelley has retired from professional modeling, choosing instead to raise their family. Regardless, she has made a few appearances alongside her husband in some of his infomercials, particularly for Total Gym, for which he is a spokesperson.
While the former model typically leaves the public attention to her husband, she was the centre of attention in 2013 when she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. The treatment process took months with Gena spending at least five of them bedridden in a hyperbaric chamber. Thankfully, she has been doing a lot better in recent years.
Perhaps Gena O’Kelley and Chuck Norris’ marital longevity happen to benefit from building a life together before they had to deal with the pressure brought by a world increasingly thirsty for controversy. Whatever might be the winning formula for their relationship, it has certainly been effective thus far.
Gena O’Kelley was able a build sustainable career and personal wealth before she met Chuck Norris. However, there is no denying that her husband’s global success as a film star has yielded higher financial revenue than her career. She and her husband are considered to be worth a combined net worth of $70 million.
Family – Husband and Kids
Her husband, Chuck Norris, is a man that needs no introduction. Having made a solid career across two distinct professions – in the United States Air Force, and as a Hollywood actor – he has cemented his name in the book of American folklore. His career features an extensive filmography and even a Hollywood Star to his name for his contributions to the industry.
As mentioned earlier, Gena O’Kelley met her husband in a restaurant in Dallas in 1997. Shortly after, the American beauty had to return to her primary place of residence outside of Dallas, but upon request by Chuck Norris, she returned to Dallas and they two built a friendship that grew into a romantic relationship. They got married on the 28th of November, 1998.
It was a second marriage for both Chuck and Gena; Chuck had been initially married to Dianne Kay Holechek for 30 years. The marriage produced three children, two sons, and a daughter. For Gena, her previous marriage produced two children.
Gena O’Kelley and Chuck Norris’ marriage has borne two children, a set of twins who were born on the 30th of August, 2001. The couple are currently grandparents to thirteen children.