Chuck Norris is widely known as one of the best martial artists there are. He has successfully incorporated his martial-arts knowledge into a number of films which brought him recognition as a renowned actor.
However, it seems like that of all of the roles he has played over the years, he’s proudest of the role of a father.
When he was just 18 years old, Norris married his high-school sweetheart Dianne Kay Holechek, who was 17 at the time they tied the knot. Norris and Holechek were married for 30 years and welcomed two sons together. However, while still married to Holechek, and around a year after their first son was born, Norris had an affair with a woman named Johanna while he was stationed in California in the U.S. Air Force. He never told Johanna that he was married and had no idea she was pregnant with his child until his daughter, Dina DiCiolli, contacted him some 26 years later.
As it turned out, she knew Norris was her father ever since she was 16 as she overheard her mother telling that to someone, but it took her years to gather the courage to send him a letter.
Norris said he didn’t need a DNA test to know that Dina was indeed his daughter and said he was thankful to Johanna for keeping the child. “There might be illegitimate parents in the world,” the Good Guys Wear Black star wrote in a 2007 Daily Herald article. “I know because I was one, but there are not illegitimate children. God has a plan and purpose for each of our lives.”
When he first saw his daughter after so many years, Norris wrote that he wrapped his arms around her as tears of joy rolled down his face.
Dina is a mother of three, and recently, her daughter Gabi, Norris’ granddaughter, got married and the entire family attended the special event.
Since 1998, Norris has been married to former model Gena O’Kelley with who she has twins Danielle Kelley and Dakota Alan, born in 2001.
On Father’s Day 2017, the actor wrote on Facebook: “Being a father is one of God’s greatest blessings a man can experience.”
The way Norris accepted the daughter he didn’t even know exist for 26 years speaks of his greatness as a father and as a human being.