Gena O’Kelley is an ex-model, television show actress, and businesswoman who shelved her modeling career in order to channel all her time and attention into starting and raising a family. Her career did not progress so much to make her famous but that became the case when she married legendary actor, Chuck Norris. Her devotion and dedication to her family would later come back to be a blessing to her as her family equally stuck with her and devoted all their attention to her when she was going through her health challenges.
Gena O’Kelley Began Life In A Large Family
Gena O’Kelley was born in California on August 10, 1963. She was born into a middle-class family of 6. Her father was Alan Gordon O’ Kelley, who worked as a security guard at Hewlett-Packard and Kunde Estate Winery, and her mother is Anette O’ Kelley.
She has 3 siblings – a brother, Eric, and two sisters, Maureen and Elizabeth. Gena’s father, Alan O’ Kelley, sadly died in 2008 and she has never disclosed any information about her early life or what growing up in the O’ Kelleys’ household was like. Details of the high school and college she attended, degrees obtained and other such related information, are not in the public domain.
She Had A Quiet Modeling Career
Gena O’Kelley is a very beautiful woman, with a very incredible physique and it was no surprise that she chose to become a professional model.
However, she is not one to flaunt or reveal her personal and professional life to the public, so, there is little or no information with regards to her work as a model. Many of her critics have stated that she had a very modest modeling life, but that should not be a true measure of her life and what she has achieved as an individual and professional.
By the time she met and settled with Chuck, she had already walked away from her modeling career in order to take care of her family after her first marriage.
How Chuck Norris Met And Married Gena
Gena O’Kelley was once married to her first husband named Gordon Hinschberger. Their relationship then produced two children – a boy named Tim, and a daughter called Kelly. The exact details of their marriage – actual date, duration, and reason for their separation has never been disclosed by Gena.
Sometime in 1997, she had gone to a restaurant in Dallas and was somehow involved in an on-stage appearance, when she was noticed by Chuck Norris – the popular action movie star, who coincidentally was on a date in the same restaurant Gena was in, with another woman. The information available revealed that Chuck immediately took a liking to Gena and he asked his manager to get her number.
Shortly after that chance meeting, Chuck and Gena began seeing each other, which then turned into a relationship and finally culminated in marriage just a year after they met. They got married on November 28, 1998, and have remained inseparable for more than 20 years now. There is a 23-year gap between them but as far as we can tell – two decades later – the age difference has not affected the love they share for each other.
Genna Has Two Kids With Chuck Norris
Her marriage to Chuck Norris is blessed with children (twins) – a son, Dakota Norris, and a daughter named Danilee Norris, who were born on August 30, 2001. The early life of the twins was quite a challenging one as they were born prematurely by two months. They stayed in the intensive care unit for a while before they were fit to be taken home. That said, they have not developed any known health issues in their later lives.
Even though both their parents were involved in the showbiz either fully or partly, neither of the twins has shown any serious interest in towing the same path. However, Danilee Kelly Norris has made an appearance in the 2005 film, Walker, Texas Ranger: Trial by Fire alongside her father who played the lead role.
In all, Gena O’Kelley has 4 biological children of her own, and she is also the stepmother of her husband’s three older children – all of who are actually older than she is.
Gena O’Kelley Was Not The First Woman Married to Chuk Norris
Just as the martial artist and legendary actor is not the first man Gena was married to, she was also not the first in his life. He was previously married to Dianne Holecheck who was born on November 27, 1941, in Los Angeles, California, USA.
They got married in 1958, and they had 3 children – Mike (b, 1962), Eric (b. 1964), and a daughter, Dina (b. 1963) – who was born out of wedlock. Norris and Dianne divorced each other in 1989, after over 30 years of being together. Norris has 5 children from his two marriages and he reportedly has more than 11 grandchildren.
Chuck Norris is an American actor, screenwriter, movie producer, and martial artist. Norris was actually named Carlos Ray Norris at birth and he is a United States Air Force veteran who rose through the ranks to become an Airman First class.
When he left the Air force, he took up martial arts and was so good at it that he actually participated in and won several competitions; he has also displayed his mastery of martial arts in most of the movies that he has featured in. He has his own school, Chuk Kuk Do, where martial arts skills are taught. He possesses a black belt in Judo, Tang Soo Do, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Chuck Norris Took A Break From His Career To Take Care Of His Gena O’Kelley
Both Chuck and Gena have all shown dedication to building and sustaining their family. It is because of this that the actor once gave up his career to put his emphasis on nursing his wife who had a health challenge back to sound health in 2013.
Gena suffered from rheumatoid arthritis and in the course of treatment, she was later diagnosed with gadolinium deposit disease, a condition that was drug-related; it was linked to the injection she was given during her treatment for an initial health issue known as gadolinium. She got the injection three times in eight days, leading to a burning sensation that spread all through her body before she was later found to have an issue with her kidney. The duo would later sue 5 companies a total of $10 million for damages linked to the health complication of Gena.
At the time, the actor decided to take a leave from his career, stating that his focus was strictly to keep his wife alive and well. Not only has he succeeded in doing just that, but he has also returned to his career and has appeared in a good number of films since then.
His earlier retirement would hardly have affected the financial future of the Norris family as it has so much in terms of fortune. Currently, the family seems well secured as they have a net worth of about $70 million.