The Karate Kid AKA Ralph Macchio
For those of you with Sky Movies it won't have gone unnoticed that the Karate Kid films are on every five minutes.
Not that this is a bad thing. OK, so Part III is just awful and Part II patchy (it does have that great bit with the block of ice) the original film of 1984 is great fun.
In fact, we'd go as far as to say that along with Gremlins and Ghostbusters, it's one of the iconic films of the 80s. It certainly made this writer more enthusiastic about helping out around the house; I honestly thought that if I volunteered to paint the fence my dad would be secretly teaching me the ancient art of karate.
Sadly, all I learnt was the even more ancient art of painting the fence. And I only got 20p.
Anyhoo, for those not in the know The Karate Kid follows the story of working class kid Daniel LaRusso - played by Ralph Macchio - who moves from New Jersey with his mother to sunny California, where he gets bullied by a set of Aryan Nazi types who also happen to kick bottom down the local karate dojo.
However, Daniel befriends janitor Mr Miyagi who offers to train him in the art of self defence. Unwittingly all the while Daniel is helping Miyagi around his home by "sanding the floor" and the now-famous "wax on, wax off" technique of car cleaning, he is really learning the ways of karate.
Finally, in classic underdog tale, Daniel kicks seven shades of shit out of these kids in a national championship, winning the girl and respect from just about everyone. Yay!!!
The film was a massive hit, making a star out of Macchio, but as quickly as he emerged, he disappeared without a trace. So where is he now?
Born in Long Island in 1961, Macchio was actually 22 when he played '15 year old' Daniel - (that's nothing, the guy who played Mr Miyagi was only 12). He had landed other roles notably as a greaser in Francis Ford Coppola's The Outsiders in 1983, which starred a load of stars before they were famous including Rob Lowe, Patrick Swayze, Emilio Estevez, Matt Dillon and Tom Cruise before the nose job.
After the success of The Karate Kid, Macchio made two sequels, one in 1986 and the other in 1989. The next hit for Macchio was in 1992 with the comedy My Cousin Vinny alongside Joe Pesci and Marisa Tomei, who won an Oscar for her turn as Pesci's girlfriend.
As for his private life post Karate Kid, In 1987 he married Phyllis Fierro, who he is still with, and together they have two children and all live back in Long Island.
In a nutshell Macchio has still been working in the entertainment industry, directing a few films and popping up here and there.
According to IMDB one film of note was 1986's Crossroads, where he played music student Eugene Martone, who battles Jack Butler (played by guitarist Steve Vai), a protégé of the Devil. Now that sounds either mind-bogglingly brilliant or absolutely dreadful. It's probably dreadful.
Most recently he was recently seen in an episode of the HBO series Entourage with Playboy king Hugh Hefner.
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