Old School Americana & Nostalgia


‘Walker, Texas Ranger’ Cast: Then and Now

‘Walker, Texas Ranger’ Cast: Then and Now

Backed by a stellar cast, Martial arts legend Chuck Norris became a TV legend with the series Walker, Texas Ranger, running from 1993 to 2001. The Neo-Western action series spawned a TV movie in 2005 and also led to the infamous Chuck Norris facts meme. The series has run in syndication ever since, with many outlandish stunts and memorable moments still shared on social media.

Of course, the original show inspired the recent reboot, Walker, starring Jared Padalecki. With that sort of legacy, many fans probably wonder what the cast of Walker, Texas Ranger has been up to since the show wrapped in 2001. Here’s a round-up of the main players, including Norris himself.

Sheree J. Wilson (Alexandra Cahill-Walker)

Sheree J. Wilson played Alexandra Cahill-Walker, the sharp-witted district attorney. Initially a courtroom nemesis, she disapproved of the sheer force needed to nab criminals. However, she eventually fell for Chuck’s irresistible charm, and they tied the knot in Season 8, proving that even the law can’t resist a good love story.

Sheree J. Wilson in 2008 (Photo by Peter Larsen/Getty Images)

Starting her career as a model and spokesperson, Wilson’s breakthrough came with a recurring role on the popular prime-time soap Dallas as April Stevens Ewing. Tragically, her character met her demise during the final season while on her honeymoon with her newlywed husband, Bobby Ewing. While still occasionally active in acting, Sheree has also ventured into the realm of beauty therapy skincare products. Recently, she has graced the silver screen with notable performances in films such as The Silent Natural and A Mermaid for Christmas (both in 2019) as well as Flip Turn (2022).

Clarence Gilyard Jr. (James Trivette)

James (aka Jimmy) was Walker’s partner and the second half of the Ranger Team. They were an outstanding duo known for their exceptional teamwork and technology-assisted arrests. Gilyard’s first TV appearance was on Diff’rent Strokes in 1981. He gained fame as Officer Benjamin Webster in the hit show CHiPs and also had a prominent role in the Andy Griffith-led series, Matlock. Additionally, he had high-profile roles in 80s blockbusters like Top Gun and Die Hard.

Clarence Gilyard Jr in 1985. (Photo by Getty Images)

In 2016, Gilyard took on the role of Hoak Colburn in the stage production of Driving Miss Daisy at the University of New Mexico’s Popejoy Hall. This performance was particularly special as he was reunited with his Walker, Texas Ranger cast member, Sheree J. Wilson.

Gilyard passed away of natural causes at age 66 in 2022.

Walker, Texas Ranger Himself… Chuck Norris

Cordell Walker, a Dallas lawman who prefers punches to pistols, saves force for when it’s truly needed. He mixes Native American wisdom with awe-inspiring martial arts mastery. Norris, the unstoppable force behind the show’s cult following, not only headlined in it but also wrote episodes and even belted out the theme song “Eyes of a Ranger,” rocking from season two onwards.

Chuck Norris and his wife Gena O’Kelley in 2009 (Photo by Vince Bucci/WireImage)

Norris, a martial arts master and champion, followed Bruce Lee’s path to become a beloved action star. He debuted on-screen in 1972’s Way of the Dragon alongside Lee and surprised audiences with box-office hits like Breaker! Breaker! and Good Guys Wear Black in the late 70s. In the 80s, Norris starred in military action films, including 1984’s Missing in Action.

Chuck Norris isn’t strictly an actor. He demonstrated his brand power in ads for World of Warcraft, T-Mobile, Hoegaarden, United Healthcare, Cerveza Poker, Toyota, and QuikTrip.

In 2012, Norris and his wife started CForce Bottling Co., using their ranch’s aquifer. Chuck Norris also became Fiat’s ambassador in 2017. Plus, his fearless image dominates mobile video games like World of Tanks.

Chuck Norris is not resting on his past success. He will appear with Vanilla Ice in the upcoming action comedy Zombie Plane. Norris will also star in Agent Recon next year, alongside Derek Ting and Marc Singer. On Instagram, Norris shared that his son did the fight choreography for the film.

The Heart of the ‘Walker, Texas Ranger’ Cast…  Noble Willingham (CD Parker)

CD Parker, the proud owner of “CD’s Bar and Grill,” is a retired Ranger who maintains a close relationship with his fellow Rangers. He has earned the affectionate nickname ‘Big Dog’ from his friend Jimmy. CD is the only character who consistently addresses Walker by his first name. Initially portrayed by Gailard Sartain for the pilot episode, the role of CD Parker was later taken over by the talented Noble Willingham. Worth mentioning, Willingham was the sole Texan actor with a prominent role on the show, making his addition all the more valuable.

Willingham began his career as an economics teacher at a Houston High School before chasing his passion for acting. His path to stardom began with an audition for the Texas-based film The Last Picture Show. He landed the role of a repressed basketball coach and turned in an impressive screen debut.

With a remarkable presence in over 30 feature films. In 1981, he appeared in the hallmark werewolf film, The Howling, helmed by Gremlins director, Joe Dante. He also left a lasting impression as General Taylor alongside Robin Williams in Good Morning, Vietnam (1987). Additionally, he popped up on the small screen with memorable guest appearances on popular shows like The Waltons. In 1992, he even played a pivotal role in launching the Tim Allen-led hit series Home Improvement as John Binford. His final acting role was in Walker, Texas Ranger before his passing in 2004 at the age of 72.