The mother of Chuck Norris, who worked night shifts to lift her three sons out of poverty, celebrates her 102nd birthday.


Chuck Norris congratulates his mother heartily on her 102nd birthday!
Wilma had to work nights to raise her three children after being left with no money because of her former husband.
Chuck was always his mother’s defender from a young age.

On March 2, 2023, Chuck Norris shared a Facebook article he’d written celebrating his mother, Wilma Norris Knight’s birthday. The post included a throwback picture of the actor sitting next to his mother as she lovingly embraced him.

The star said he couldn’t believe his mother was getting older that week on May 4, 2023, having been born in 1921. He said what was most striking was how she was so full of life that she could live for another hundred years!

Chuck noted how his mother’s birthday happened the week before Mother’s Day. The celebrity confessed to being “overwhelmed with gratitude to God” for the influence he’d gotten for three women in his life and wouldn’t be the man he was today without them, and in the article, he said this about Wilma:

“Happy birthday to my 102-year-young mom!”

In his May 1, 2023, article, the celebrity revealed that he didn’t know which of the two – having a 102-year-old mother or that she had a child who was 83 – was the hardest to believe! The actor said he was and would always be “so grateful” that Wilma was his “mom.”

He noted how they’d “been through thick and thin” together and were still progressing. Chuck also declared his love for his mother, who’d sacrificed a lot for her children and asked her to save him a slice of birthday cake.

How Wilma Took Care of Three Children Alone and Why Chuck Defends Her?

In May 2012, Wilma appeared on “The Mike Huckabee Show,” where she spoke candidly about her life. Chuck’s mother described him as her “defender,” his brother, Aaron, as her “sunshine,” and the last Norris boy who died in Vietnam, Wieland, as her “hero.”

The actor’s mother revealed that he would always be Carlos, his birth name, to her instead of Chuck. Wilma explained why she called him her defender, saying when they were poor, the star took the role of the man of the house because his and his brothers’ father had abandoned them.

When Chuck’s mother worked night shifts, he babysat his younger brothers. The star, around 14 then, even sat down with his mother and discussed what needed to be paid when the bills came.

Talking about Aaron, Wilma confessed that the family was so poor when he came along that she didn’t know what she would feed him. Despite the challenges, when the boy was born, his family was so happy that he’d brought “sunshine” into their lives.

Wieland was described as “happy-go-lucky,” someone who loved everyone, and was called “mama’s boy.” Explaining why her first husband checked out of the family, Wilma believed taking part in World War II changed something in her children’s father.

Things were so bad for the family that when Chuck was 14, and Wieland was 12, they asked their mother not to stay with their father for them. The boys confessed they couldn’t take it anymore because he was abusive and an alcoholic.


Despite coming from a broken background, the Norris siblings still turned out to be good men. Wilma credited taking them to church and Sunday school, which she taught, and praying every day why they turned out well.

In 1940, Chuck was born before growing up in Ryan, Oklahoma, with a Cherokee and Irish heritage and a father who was two-faced at any given time because of his alcoholism. Watching people like John Wayne, Roy Rogers, and Hopalong Cassidy in movies shaped Chuck’s idea of what a man or father should be.

His parents eventually divorced, leaving the family dirt poor, and by the time he was 15, he and his family had moved 16 times to low-rent houses. Wilma was on welfare and worked hard to maintain her children.

The mother of three moved her children to California, where her oldest took the name his now known by. The religion Chuck was raised in and the role his mother played positively affected his life.

What Was Wilma’s Influence on Chuck’s Life?

The mother of three also advised young mothers on raising children well, saying they should give their children love and take them to church and Sunday school because God didn’t give parents their children but loaned them “for a while.”

Chuck once confessed that his mother still loved “Jesus with her heart and soul” and always believed in him. Wilma would tell her son that God had plans for him, and the actor was curious to find out what that meant.

The star accepted Jesus as his savior as a child who constantly attended church. However, the Billy Graham Crusade inspired him when he was younger, and his religious wake-up call only happened when his wife, Gena, went into pre-term labor.

Chuck [Norris] said his mother [Wilma Norris Knight] was the one who influenced him spiritually and gave him responsibility in his life which he took into adulthood.

She was carrying their twin daughters, Dakota and Danilee, and went through severe and life-threatening medical complications at the time. In March 2023, Chuck admitted how his mother had always been his example of faith and perseverance.

He credited her for raising him and his siblings alone during the Great Depression. Wilma also miraculously survived losing two husbands, a stepson, Wieland, and grandchildren, and went through several surgeries, with him adding:

“[She] has prayed for me all my life, through thick and thin.”

The celebrity gave an example of her faith, saying when he almost lost his “soul to Hollywood,” his mother kept praying for his salvation and success. Aaron’s brother thanked his mother for assisting God in turning him into all he was and could be.

He said Wilma’s prayers helped him find a godly wife and salvation. Chuck faced challenges when he and his first wife, Dianne Holechek – married for 30 years – divorced, and his relationship with their sons became strained.

A young woman, Deena, had sent a letter to the actor alleging that she was his daughter, revealing how he’d cheated on Holechek while in the army in another country. Today, Deena and her family have become an integral part of the celebrity’s life.

Chuck said his mother was the one who influenced him spiritually and gave him responsibility in his life which he took into adulthood. He now knew God’s plans for him, and he and Gena have since become promoters of conservative Christian values in public schools and politics.

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