Chuck Norris has been named an honourary member of the elite Texas law enforcement force, in tribute to his role in Walker, Texas Ranger.
The Texan governor bestowed the rare honour on the 70-year-old action hero in a room packed with family, friends and real Texas Rangers at a state Department of Public Safety office.
“People may whisper about his super powers, but the greatest power of Chuck Norris is his integrity,” the governor said.
The television show, in which Chuck played karate-kicking lawman Cordell Walker, ran on US channel CBS from 1993 to 2001 and is now showing in the UK on CBS Action.
Off-screen, Chuck established a foundation in 1990 to use martial arts to help children avoid the temptations of gangs and drugs. There are now about 6,500 youths in the program, he said.
The governor thanked Chuck for bringing renewed attention to Texas Rangers with his portrayal of “an iconic Ranger, a character who was observant, meticulous and honourable in every way.”
Chuck’s younger brother, 59-year-old stunt coordinator and producer Aaron Norris, who supported him during his career, also received the honourary Texas Ranger designation.
Asked why they were being honoured nine years after the show went off the air, Aaron joked that reruns still ran three times a day.
Chuck recalled that he and his brother were in Israel when they were asked to do the series. He said they weren’t interested unless they could do it with “traditional values,” adding that Hollywood types initially scoffed.
“It’s been an incredible run, I wouldn’t have it any other way,” he said.