A Requiem for Chuck Norris’s Beard

We are gathered here today to remember one of Hollywood's greatest treasures: Chuck Norris's beard. The well-trimmed facial hair lived a long and butt-kicking life during its decades-long existence on Norris's face. Now -- sadly -- the beard is no more.

We were first alerted to the shocking news by TMZ. The gossip site ran a photo -- presumably recent -- of Norris enjoying the great outdoors without his beard's company.

Is Norris, 73, going through a first-quarter-life crisis? Can Chuck still intimidate man, woman, and inanimate object without his world-famous facial hair? Well, of course he can. He's Chuck Norris. But one shouldn't discount the beard's contribution to the man’s success.

[Related: ‘Expendables 2′ poster reveals 573 years of action expertise]

Indeed, over the course of his butt-kicking career, Norris has kept his enemies close, but his beard closer. It was there to help defeat Joe Piscopo in "Sidekicks." It stood strong while Norris knocked over numerous trouble-makers in "Walker, Texas Ranger." And, most recently, the beard gave a stirring performance in "Expendables 2" opposite Stallone’s muscles, Willis’s smirk, and Van Damme’s hairline.

But now the beard is gone. It has left the dojo. But something tells us it will be back. Like a dyed-blonde panther it waits, ready to reappear when we least expect it.

Watch Chuck Norris in 'The Expendables 2' theatrical trailer...