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What happened to the cast of Walker, Texas Ranger?

The original Walker, Texas Ranger is fondly remembered for its vibrant ensemble cast, and for its unique ways of getting to the bottom of the crime du jour. With big names from iconic '80s movies like Chuck Norris and Clarence Gilyard filling out the cast, in addition to emerging talents like Nia Peeples, there's a lot to like about this classic '90s show. The series was definitely successful, with 8 seasons and TV film to its name. Its following has remained firm in the years since its cancellation — so much so, in fact, that the show has merited a reboot. 

News of the Walker, Texas Ranger reboot has prompted some longtime fans to wonder what happened to the cast of the original series. Now is as good of a time as any to take a look at what happened to those memorable actors, so let's take a moment to catch up with the cast of the original Walker, Texas Ranger.

Chuck Norris/Cordell Walker

Chuck Norris played Cordell Walker, the titular Texas Ranger. A martial arts expert, Norris is easily the most recognizable actor on the show. Already having earned praise for his work in action films such as The Way of the Dragon, Lone Wolf McQuade, and Firewalker, Chuck Norris is a huge reason why Walker, Texas Ranger remains a cult classic to this day.

After wrapping up the last season of Walker, Texas Ranger, Chuck Norris continued his acting career, playing lead roles in small movies such as The Bells of Innocence and The Cutter. Norris also made an appearance as himself in the comedy film Dodgeball, to give Peter La Fleur the push he needs to win a dodgeball tournament. Although Norris seems to have wound down his acting career since The Expendables 2 hit theaters in 2012, he has continued to make guest appearances on TV shows such as The Goldbergs, Hawaii Five-0, and even TNA iMPACT! Wrestling, which is similar to the WWE. While Chuck Norris' days as an action lead seem to have gone by, his appearance alone is enough to spark nostalgia for his work in the '80s and '90s.

Clarence Gilyard/James Trivette

Having previously portrayed Marcus Williams (AKA Sundown) in Top Gun, and Theo, a gangster, in Die Hard, Clarence Gilyard was a natural choice to play Texas Ranger James "Jimmy" Trivette. A close friend and the right-hand man of Chuck Norris' Walker, Trivette offers a foil to Walker's take-names, kick-*ss method of crime fighting. He has a more analytical approach, choosing to gather as much intel as possible before going after his mark. With only Chuck Norris acting in more episodes of the series, Gilyard played a huge role in the success of Walker, Texas Ranger.

After Walker, Texas Ranger wrapped up its final season, Gilyard took up the role of Pastor Bruce Barnes in the early 2000s Left Behind movies, which deal with what happens to those abandoned in the aftermath of the Christian rapture. Later, Gilyard put his acting career on hiatus in order to be a teacher. While Gilyard eventually returned to acting in 2012, it has mostly been in small films such as Little Monsters and a Matter of Faith. However, he did reprise his role as Theo from Die Hard in an Advance Auto Parts commercial. Although Gilyard's days of acting in big name films and TV shows seem to be in the past, his acting career is still going strong — as is his work in education.

Sheree J. Wilson/Alexandra Cahill

When Walker, Texas Ranger was just getting started, Sheree J. Wilson had just come off of a five-year stint on the popular soap opera Dallas, on which she played April Ewing. She was nominated for a Soap Opera Digest Award for Outstanding Villainess for this fiendish part. Wilson jumped to the side of the angels when she took on the role of Assistant D.A. Alex Cahill, being responsible for prosecuting all of the baddies Walker and Trivette capture. Wilson's Cahill also serves as the romantic interest for Chuck Norris' Walker, with the two eventually getting married.

Wilson stuck with Walker, Texas Ranger for all eight of its seasons. Ever since, she has chosen to focus on film. Wilson landed starring roles in indie movies like Killing Down and Anna's Storm (Hell's Rain in the UK). Wilson also played large roles in Christmas Belle and A Mermaid for Christmas, with the former currently available to stream on Hulu. More recently, she has appeared in Flip Turn, which tells the story of a boy who follows in the footsteps of his gold-medal winning grandfather as a swimmer. While Wilson hasn't acted in a big name TV show since Walker, Texas Ranger, it's clear her acting career isn't slowing down anytime soon.

James Wlcek/Trent Malloy

An up-and-coming actor in the late '80s and early '90s, James Wlcek previously held supporting roles in the twilight years of Ryan's Hope, a popular soap opera which ran from the mid '70s until 1989, as well as the more popular and longer-running As the World Turns. Wlcek then got an opportunity to play supporting character Trent Malloy, a martial arts expert and former student of Cordell Walker, on Walker, Texas Ranger. While he's not a police officer, Malloy's skills help Walker and company bring down a number of criminals. Wlcek's Malloy only appears in 13 episodes, but the character was received well, which led to the creation of the spin-off show, Sons of Thunder, with Wlcek in a starring role. Unfortunately, the series was cancelled after one season. Wlcek would leave Walker, Texas Ranger shortly thereafter. Wlcek hasn't played a recurring character on a TV show since he stopped playing Trent Malloy, with most of Wlcek's work coming in small TV movies, such as 2009's Hydra and 2011's Love's Christmas Journey.

Marco Sanchez/Carlos Sandoval

Marco Sanchez began acting in the early '90s, with his first big role coming in the form of the TV show SeaQuest 2032, where he played Sensor Chief Miguel Oritz. This eventually helped him land the role of Carlos Sandoval on Walker, Texas Ranger, a close friend of Jimmy Wlcek's Trent Malloy. Like Wlcek, Sanchez played a minor character who graduated to a major role in the Sons of Thunder spin-off. However, that show was canceled after one season, and Sanchez then departed Walker, Texas Ranger.

Since his time on Walker, Texas Ranger, Sanchez has made a number of appearances on big TV shows, most notably on NCIS, where he played Alejandro Rivera, one of the leaders of the Reynosa Cartel. Sanchez has also made guest appearances and held supporting roles on other series, including Star Trek: Enterprise, Criminal Minds, Two and a Half Men, and Lucifer. You can catch Sanchez in minor roles in big budget movies as well, including Star Trek: Into Darkness and American Pie 2, where he was uncredited. Although Sanchez hasn't had a lot of huge roles, he has managed to carve out a good acting career by appearing on a solid variety of well-beloved TV shows.

Judson Mills/Francis Gage

Having previously played Hutch Hutchinson on As the World Turns, Walker, Texas Ranger was not Judson Mill's first rodeo. Mills came onto the series late, only appearing in the final two seasons. He played Texas Ranger Francis Gage, a rookie assigned under Cordell Walker's wing. Mills brought a breath of fresh air to the show, and lasted until the series' finale in 2001. After completing this role, Mills went on to have a major part in The President's Man: A Line in the Sand as Deke Slater, the assistant to Joshua McCord (played by none other than Chuck Norris). Mills would also go on to have guest roles on a number of mainstream TV series in the 2000s and early 2010s, playing Keith Wetzel on an episode of The X-Files, Ty Radcliffe on an episode of CSI Miami, and a small role as a beach sheriff on Disney's The Lab Rats. Mills also had a role as Deputy Roe on season one of HBO's Westworld. His character is unceremoniously killed via exploding cigar.

Nia Peeples/Sydney Cooke

Despite having almost two decades' worth of acting experience under her belt prior to Walker, Texas Ranger, Nia Peeples was best known for her music career. Her hit songs "Trouble" and "Street of Dreams" were highly popular in the late '80s. Peeples helped add new dimension to the series as Texas Ranger Sydney Cooke, a rookie assigned under Cordell Walker. 

Upon the series' conclusion, Peeples went on to have a number of guest roles in early 2000s shows such as The Division, Andromeda, and Barbershop. Peeples also snagged a role as Karen Taylor on the popular soap opera The Young and the Restless. However, the part Peeples is best remembered for is Pam Fields, the mother of Emily Fields in Pretty Little Liars. Pam sets up a major source of conflict in the show by having Emily's girlfriend Maya sent away on the pretext of marijuana possession, as she is unable to accept her daughter's sexuality. This drives a wedge between Emily and Pam, but the elder Fields is able to bridge the divide and redeem herself when she defends Emily against another parent's homophobia. Pretty Little Liars was a huge success, and reminded everyone why Nia Peeples is such a great actress.

Noble Willingham/CD Parker

Already having enjoyed a long acting career, Walker, Texas Ranger proved to be the perfect send off for Noble Willingham. He took up the role of former Texas Ranger and bar owner CD Parker, who frequently offers advice to Cordell Walker, and occasionally assists him on cases. Prior to joining the series, Willingham had acted in successful films such as Paper Moon, where he played Mr. Robertson, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, where he played the owner of the Miami Dolphins, and Good Morning, Vietnam, where he had Private Cronauer's back as General Taylor. Willingham also made a number of guest appearances on popular '80s shows such as Dallas, where he played a U.S. Senator, The A-Team, and even an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Willingham played Parker through the second-to-last season of Walker in 2000, when he called it quits in order to run for the U.S. House of Representatives. Unfortunately, Walker, Texas Ranger proved to be the sunset of Willingham's TV acting career, as he died in 2004 of natural causes at the age of 72.

Floyd Westerman/Ray Firewalker

Although Floyd "Red Crow" Westerman was almost 60 when he joined the cast of Walker, Texas Ranger, he had only been acting for about five years. In that time, Westerman accumulated an impressive resume, making appearances on early '90s series such as MacGyver, L.A. Law, and Northern Exposure. In Walker, Texas Ranger, he took the role of Cordell Walker's Uncle Ray Firewalker, whom Cordell was raised by and frequently seeks advice from in earlier seasons. Westerman did not stay with the show for long, only playing the role for the pilot season and season one. 

After his time on Walker, Texas Ranger came to end, Westerman took on a wide variety of roles, including Albert Hosteen on The X-Files, George Littlefox on Dharma and Greg, and a guest role as Ernie Two Feathers on the late '90s show The Pretender. Westerman's career began to wind down in the early 2000s, his last role being Chief Running Bear in 2008's Swing Vote. He died in 2007 at the age of 71, from leukemia.