Gena O’Kelley is an American businesswoman, actress, and former model best known as the wife of renowned martial artist and actor Chuck Norris.
Gena O’Kelley might have been popular in her early days as a model, however, her rise to fame is closely linked with her marriage to the veteran actor, director, and mixed martial art specialist, Carlos Ray Norris, popularly known as Chuck Norris.
Apart from the fact that their marriage has lasted for so long despite the 23 years age difference between them, Gena O’Kelley and Chuck Norris have weathered many storms of life, including a health crisis that almost ended Gena’s life. In fact, Chuck had to retire from entertainment in order to cater for his wife. Who is this woman that has captured the invincible Chuck Norris’ heart?
Gena O’Kelley was Born 59 Years Ago in California
Gena O’Kelley was born on 10th August 1963 in California, USA to Alan Gordon O’Kelley and Anette O’Kelley. Her father Alan was a security personnel at Hewlett-Packard and Kunde Estate Winery. Gena had three siblings; a brother named Eric and two sisters named Maureen and Elizabeth. Alan, unfortunately, passed away in 2008. Details of her childhood, educational background, and other related information are currently unavailable as Gena has chosen to keep mute about them. What is known however is that she had an early start in life.
Looking at the beautiful 59 years old Gena O’Kelley of today, it is not hard to imagine how stunning she must have been at her young age. She was recruited straight into the modeling industry just after graduating from a local high school, and although there isn’t a lot of info on her modeling days, she had a modest modeling career. She however had to leave the modeling profession to focus on her marriage and family. Her first marriage was to Gordon Hinschberger, a union that produced two children; Kelley Gene Tagudin and Timothy Robert Hinschberger before they got divorced.
Chuck Norris Met Gena O’Kelley While on a Date with Another Woman
Gena O’Kelley and Chuck Norris met in 1997. In fact, Chuck was on a date with another woman when he picked interest in Gena, who was performing at the date venue. Wanting to know her more, Chuck set up a date via his PA, and eventually, he invited Gena to Dallas, and like they say, the rest is history. The two developed a friendship that later blossomed into a loving relationship and eventually after dating for a year, they tied the knot on the 28th of November 1998.
Being married to Chuck Norris not only brought fame to Gena but also opened a door for her to explore her acting potential. Gena has featured in some TV series like “Yes Dear” in 2006, “Praise the Lord” in 2009, and “Hannity” in 2012 among others.
Gena Has Four Children
Gena O’Kelley has four biological children in total. Her first two children; Kelley Gene Tagudin and Timothy Robert Hinschberger, are from her first marriage to Gordon Hinschberger.
Kelley Gene Tagudin was born on September 11, 1985, when Gena was just 22 years old. The young lady, who works as a 3rd-grade teacher, is now married with children of her own and lives in Navasota, Texas. Gena’s other child from her first marriage, son Timothy Robert, was born on May 3rd, 1987. Like his sister, he is also married and focused on his family. He is a dog lover and a sports enthusiast.
From her second marriage to Chuck Norris, Gena welcomed twins; Dakota Alan Norris and Danilee Kelly Norris who were born on August 30, 2000. The two both hold degrees in MMA; Dakota is a 3rd-degree black belt holder while Danilee is a 2nd-degree black belt holder. Dakota also has a YouTube channel that is focused on MMA. She has also starred in some of her father’s movies like “Walker,” “Texas Ranger: Trial By Fire.”
Gena is also a stepmom to Chuck Norris’ three children from his previous relationships. Michael Ray “Mike” Norris and Eric Scott Norris are Chuck’s children with his first wife, Dianne Holechek. Mike Norris became an actor and producer just like his father, while Eric chose the martial arts path, becoming a stuntman and eventually a stunt coordinator. Gena’s third stepchild is Dina DeCioli who is from an extramarital affair Chuck had with a woman named Joanna.
Gena O’Kelley Health Challenge and How It Affected Chuck Norris
In 2013, Gena went for a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan for rheumatoid arthritis, but soon developed severe symptoms from some injection she was given for the scan. The chemical element gadolinium was meant to help with clearer scan results, however, Gena began to experience burning pain that eventually resulted in burning nerve pain and kidney problems.
Four years later in 2017, Chuck Norris announced he was retiring from the film industry in order to take care of his sick wife. With love and persistence, they were able to find a clinic in Nevada that was able to treat Gena. Gena, in an interview, threw more light on the severity of her case and the demonstration of love from her husband when she said: “I just lay in bed on an IV for five months and had to have round-the-clock nursing care. Chuck slept beside me on the couch and never left…” The couple has since sued up to 11 medical companies for over $10 million in damages, for what they termed ‘poisoning’ (gadolinium toxicity).
Gena O’Kelley and Chris Norris Now Own Multiple Businesses
Gena O’Kelley and her husband Chris Norris have pretty much retired from the entertainment scene. They have however made several wise investments, including real estate. The couple has also been running Total Gym for years now. Total Gym is focused on home fitness and has been in operation for more than 30 years. Gena is also the founder and CEO of CForce, a bottled water company in Navasota, Texas. She and her husband also run Kickstart Kids, an organization that provides martial arts instruction to children and adolescents. The couple’s net worth when combined amounts to around $70 million, so it is safe to say that they are financially stable.
One pertinent achievement of Gena O’Kelley is how she has managed to keep her blended family together. Now a grandmother with several grandkids, Gena is reaping the fruit of her hard work, as a wife, mother, and entrepreneur. She is surrounded by family and friends who love her dearly; as can be seen on her Facebook page, where she never fails to share her moments with loved ones.