Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year is “Walker, Texas Ranger,” a one-of-a-kind television show that cemented the legendary status of Chuck Norris in American pop culture.
To help honor the show’s milestone, getTV is airing the show — starting today, Monday, June 4 — on weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m. ET and on Sundays from 5 to 10 p.m. ET.
There is plenty of material, as the program ran for nine seasons and nearly 200 episodes.
It followed the adventures of Cordell Walker (Norris, shown above, center), a martial artist and Texas Ranger, and his team as they battled crime throughout Texas. “Walker” enjoyed massive popularity. There was nothing else like it on television, and there still isn’t.
Cast member Clarence Gilyard Jr. (who played Walker’s partner, Trivette, shown above, far right) chalked up that popularity to the show’s moral center in an exclusive interview with LifeZette.
The episodes “always had a lesson,” he said. It was a show “about family,” he added.
Everyone got along well, too. Gilyard said there was nothing but “love on and off the set” for the show’s nine seasons.
The last viewers saw of Cordell Walker and the gang was in the 2005 television film “Walker, Texas Ranger: Trial by Fire” — but that doesn’t mean the cast stopped working together.
Gilyard and Sheree J. Wilson (who played Assistant District Attorney Alex Cahill; she’s shown above left) have been teaming up for years for stage performances of the classic “Driving Miss Daisy.”
Performances of the play began five years ago in Vegas for them; that’s continued since. The two actors praise one another’s work, though Gilyard admits Wilson was not the first person who came to mind for the role of Daisy Worthen, an elderly white woman driven around by her black driver, Hoke Colburn (Gilyard) over the course of a 25-year period during some definitive moments in American history.
Yet Wilson captured the heart of Worthen.
So what is it about the story of “Driving Miss Daisy” and these roles that keeps bringing the two actors back?
“It speaks for itself,” Gilyard said of the material. “It’s just brilliant.” He added that “it’s a story about race, acceptance, love.” The material still manages to feel fresh for them even after multiple performances, he said.
“We get nervous every time we [go on stage] again,” Wilson told LifeZette exclusively in the same interview.
Even so, fans are no doubt clamoring for the actors to revisit their “Walker” roles at some point, especially considering that “Trial by Fire” ended on a cliffhanger and reboots have been television’s go-to material in recent years.
Asked whether they would be up for a reboot of the series, should one ever occur, neither hesitated in answering.
“We would love to come back in a nanosecond,” said Wilson.
Gilyard added, “Of course.”
For now, viewers can enjoy past episodes of “Walker” in celebration of its 25th anniversary and keep an eye out for “Driving Miss Daisy” performances — find dates here — from two actors who contributed so much to the success of “Walker, Texas Ranger.”
(photo credit, homepage and article images: CBS)