Ralph Macchio

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Ralph Macchio
Ralph Macchio 2018.jpg
Macchio at the 2018 Raleigh Comicon
Ralph George Macchio Jr.

(1961-11-04) November 4, 1961 (age 60)[1]
  • Actor
  • producer
Years active1979–present
Phyllis Fierro
(m. 1987)

Ralph George Macchio Jr. (/ˈmɑːi/, Italian: [ˈmakkjo]; born November 4, 1961) is an American actor and producer. He is best known for playing Daniel LaRusso in three Karate Kid films and in Cobra Kai, a sequel television series. He also played Johnny Cade in The Outsiders, Jeremy Andretti in Eight Is Enough, Bill Gambini in My Cousin Vinny, Eugene Martone in Crossroads, and Archie Rodriguez in Ugly Betty, and had a recurring role as Officer Haddix in The Deuce.

Early life[edit]

Macchio was born in Huntington, New York.[1] He is the son of Rosalie (née DeSantis) and Ralph George Macchio, who owned a ranch.[2][3] His father is of half Italian and half Greek[4] descent, and his mother is of Italian ancestry.[5] In a 1980 screen test, Macchio said his family was from Naples.[6] In 1979, Macchio graduated from Half Hollow Hills Central School District in New York.[7]


Macchio began tap dancing lessons at the age of three and was discovered by a talent agent when he was 16 years old.[1] He was then cast as Jeremy Andretti in the television series Eight Is Enough.[1] After Eight is Enough ended, he won the role of Johnny Cade in the 1983 film The Outsiders.[1] It was this role that led him to be cast as Daniel LaRusso in the blockbuster 1984 film The Karate Kid and two of its sequels, The Karate Kid Part II and The Karate Kid Part III.[1][8] In The Karate Kid, Macchio portrayed a "high school weakling turned bullybuster"[9] who learns karate from his friend and mentor, Mr. Miyagi (portrayed by Pat Morita).[10] Macchio's work in the Karate Kid series made him "stratospherically famous".[8]

Macchio appeared in the 1986 film Crossroads, portraying music student Eugene Martone. Also in 1986, Macchio starred in Cuba and His Teddy Bear on Broadway, alongside Robert DeNiro.[1][11] In 1992, he starred opposite Joe Pesci and Marisa Tomei in the hit comedy My Cousin Vinny, playing Billy Gambini, who was wrongfully accused of murder while passing through a small Alabama town.[1] In 1996, Macchio performed the lead role of J. Pierrepont Finch in the U.S. tour revival of the 1962 Tony Award-winning musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and received positive reviews. Referring to his performance as a chorister in a high school production of the same musical, Macchio said, "I was known as the 'Dancing Kid,' not that I was all that great. But I had been dancing since the age of three, taking lessons at the June Claire School of Dance in Babylon, Long Island."[12][13]

Macchio in 2015

In 2005, Macchio played himself in the HBO series Entourage.[1] He appeared in the 2007 music video for the song "Sweep the Leg" by No More Kings as a caricature of himself and Daniel from The Karate Kid.[14][15] Beginning in October 2008, he appeared in several episodes of the ABC Network television series Ugly Betty as Archie Rodriguez, a local politician who is Hilda's love interest.[16] As of November 2008, Macchio was ranked No. 80 among VH1's 100 Greatest Teen Stars.[17]

In June 2010, Macchio appeared in Funny or Die's online short, "Wax On, F*ck Off", in which his loved ones stage an intervention to turn the former child star from a well-adjusted family man into an addict besieged with tabloid scandal in order to help his career.[18] A recurring joke in the sketch is that Macchio is confused for an adolescent. The short was lauded by TV Guide's Bruce Fretts, who referred to the video as "sidesplitting" and "comic gold".[19] On September 20, 2010, Macchio played the adult Carl Morelli in a staged reading of the Charles Messina play A Room of My Own presented by the Bleecker Street Theater Company.[20] In February 2011, it was announced that Macchio would compete on ABC's Dancing with the Stars. He was eliminated during the semi-finals, placing fourth in the overall competition.[21] Macchio appeared in Canadian band Danko Jones' music videos for "Had Enough" and "I Think Bad Thoughts".[22]

In April 2012, Macchio was cast in the film Hitchcock, based on the non-fiction book Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho. Macchio portrayed Psycho screenwriter Joseph Stefano.[23] In 2013, he appeared in How I Met Your Mother. The main character, Barney Stinson, asserts that Macchio's character, Daniel LaRusso, in The Karate Kid is not the real karate kid; instead, it's Johnny Lawrence, Daniel's nemesis in the film.[24] From February to March 2016, Macchio co-starred with Mario Cantone in the Off-Broadway production A Room of My Own,[25] after having read the play in 2010[20] and 2014.[26]

Macchio reprised his role as Daniel LaRusso in Cobra Kai, an action comedy-drama Netflix series presented in an episodic storytelling format that began in 2018. Along with William Zabka, he is also a co-executive producer of the series.[1][27]

Personal life[edit]

Macchio was introduced to his future wife, Phyllis Fierro, by his grandmother when he was 15.[28] They married on April 5, 1987, and have two children, Julia (born 1992) and Daniel (born 1996). Fierro is a nurse practitioner.[28][29][30]

At a celebration of the 30th anniversary of The Karate Kid at the Japanese American National Museum in 2014, Macchio said that the yellow 1947 Ford convertible his character Daniel receives from Miyagi in the first film was sitting in his garage.[30]

Macchio is a fan of the New York Islanders hockey team and was featured as the team's celebrity captain in the 1991 Pro Set Platinum trading card series.[31] A 2016 bobblehead promotion saw his likeness in the team's uniform donning the iconic 'crane kick' pose from The Karate Kid.[32]



Year Title Role Notes
1980 Up the Academy Chooch Bambalazi
1982 High Powder Eddie Television film
1982 Dangerous Company Denny Brody Television film
1983 The Outsiders Johnny Cade
1984 The Karate Kid Daniel LaRusso
1984 Teachers Eddie Pilikian
1984 The Three Wishes of Billy Grier Billy Grier Television film
1986 Crossroads Eugene Martone
1986 The Karate Kid Part II Daniel LaRusso
1988 Distant Thunder Jack Lambert
1989 The Karate Kid Part III Daniel LaRusso
1990 Too Much Sun Frank Jr.
1992 The Last P.O.W.: The Bobby Garwood Story Robert Garwood Television film
1992 My Cousin Vinny Bill Gambini
1993 Naked in New York Chris
1998 Dizzyland N/A Short film
1998 The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue Timmy Brisby (voice) Direct-to-video film
2000 The Office Party Sean Short film
2000 Can't Be Heaven Hubbie Darling
2001 Popcorn Shrimp Cop #2 Short film
2003 A Good Night to Die Donnie
2006 Beer League Maz
2009 Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead Bobby Bianchi
2010 Wax On, F*ck Off[33] Himself, concept writer Short film
2012 Hitchcock Joseph Stefano
2012 Holiday Spin Ruben Television film
2013 He's Way More Famous Than You Himself
2014 A Little Game Tom
2015 Lost Cat Corona Dominic
2017 Psych: The Movie Nick Conforth Television film
TBA A Dog and Pony Show Aaron Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1980–1981 Eight Is Enough Jeremy Andretti Recurring role (19 episodes)
1982 CBS Afternoon Playhouse Tony Barnett Episode: "Journey to Survival"
1999 The Outer Limits Dr. Neal Eberhardt Episode: "The Other Side"
2000 Chicken Soup for the Soul Max Episode: "Letters to Suzie"
2000 Twice in a Lifetime Officer Dan Payello/Phillip Barbosa Episode: "My Blue Heaven"
2005 Entourage Himself Episode: "Aquamansion"
2007 Head Case Himself Episode: "Ralph Macchio and Liz Phair"
2008–2009 Ugly Betty Archie Rodriguez Recurring role (11 episodes)
2010 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Louis Marciano Episode: "Inhumane Society"
2010 Psych Nick Conforth Episode: "We'd Like to Thank the Academy"
2011 The Whole Truth Frankie Berlito Episode: "Lost in Translation"
2011 Dancing with the Stars Himself (contestant) Placed in fourth (17 episodes)
2012 Happily Divorced Frankie Episodes: "Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place" (Parts 1 & 2)
2013 Robot Chicken Daniel LaRusso, Colonel Steven Shay, Janitor (voice) Episode: "Caffeine-Induced Aneurysm"
2013 How I Met Your Mother Himself Episode: "The Bro Mitzvah"
2014 Psych Logan Phelps Episode: "Remake A.K.A. Cloudy... With a Chance of Improvement"
2016 Comedy Central Roast of Rob Lowe Himself/roaster Television special
2017–2019 The Deuce Officer Haddix Recurring role (17 episodes)
2017 Whose Line Is It Anyway? Himself Special Guest (Season 10, Episode 8)
2018 Kevin Can Wait Alviti[34] 2 episodes: "The Smoking Bun" and "Phat Monkey"
2018 Conan Himself Episode: "Conan Without Borders: Japan"; pre-recorded video clip[35]
Cobra Kai Daniel LaRusso Main role
Continuation of The Karate Kid film series


Year Production Role Theater
1986 Cuba and His Teddy Bear Teddy The Public Theater
1996–1997 How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying J. Pierrepont Finch US national tour[36][37]

Music videos[edit]

Music videos
Year Title Artist Role
2007 Sweep the Leg No More Kings Himself
2010 "Had Enough" Danko Jones Dr. Lee Dorian
2011 "I Think Bad Thoughts" Danko Jones Dr. Lee Dorian
2012 "The Ballad of Danko Jones" Danko Jones Dr. Lee Dorian

Video game[edit]

Year Title Role
2020 Cobra Kai: The Karate Kid Saga Continues Daniel LaRusso (voice)


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Ralph Macchio". Biography (TV program). August 16, 2019. Retrieved November 13, 2019.
  2. ^ J3158-2009 – NY Senate Open Legislation – Congratulating Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Macchio upon the occasion of their 50th Anniversary .New York State Senate.
  3. ^ "Wild West's Failure a Lesson, Investor Says". The Wichita Eagle. October 5, 2007. p. 1A. Archived from the original on October 4, 2013 – via NewsBank. Ralph Macchio Sr., father of the actor best known for his recurring role as Daniel LaRusso in three Karate Kid movies... Macchio operated a Western entertainment park – the Wild West Ranch and Western Town in Lake George, NY – until closing it this year after a land ownership
  4. ^ "American Gypsies: Q&A With Executive Producer Ralph Macchio". National Geographic Society. Archived from the original on October 3, 2013. Retrieved October 4, 2013. Actually, I have a little Greek in the bloodstream as well (my Dad is half Greek).
  5. ^ Q&A With Executive Producer Ralph Macchio Archived August 19, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. National Geographic Channel.
  6. ^ "Ralph Macchio and Phil Hartman screen test". Youtube. Archived from the original on November 17, 2021. Retrieved October 10, 2014.
  7. ^ James M. Welsh, Gene D. Phillips, Rodney F. Hill (2010). The Francis Ford Coppola Encyclopedia. Scarecrow Press. p. 167. ISBN 9780810876514.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  8. ^ a b Freeman, Hadley (August 25, 2020). "Karate Kid Ralph Macchio: 'I'm at peace with the choices I made'". The Guardian. Retrieved August 23, 2021.
  9. ^ Cerone, Daniel (July 1, 1989). "Macchio at 27: The Man Who Lives Inside the 'Kid'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 23, 2021.
  10. ^ Rosen, J.J. (November 22, 2019). "Mr. Miyagi and the quest for the perfect mentor". The Tennessean. Retrieved August 23, 2021.
  11. ^ Gussow, Mel (May 19, 1986). "Theater: 'Cuba and His Teddy Bear'". The New York Times. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
  12. ^ "How Ralph Macchio Succeeds". Playbill. April 24, 1996. Archived from the original on September 8, 2012. Retrieved March 23, 2011.
  13. ^ Rousuck, J. Wynn (May 31, 1996). "A cheery revival for 'How to Succeed' Review: Grown-up Ralph Macchio charms as this updated '61 Pulitzer Prize musical opens a national tour here". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved March 23, 2011.
  14. ^ Frye, Cory (March 10, 2018). "Of Being and Johnny Lawrence (Sweep the Leg)". Albany Democrat-Herald. Corvallis Gazette-Times. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
  15. ^ Strauss, Chris (October 9, 2014). "'Karate Kid' villain Billy Zabka is still best friends with the Cobra Kais". USA Today. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
  16. ^ DiNunno, Gina (March 12, 2009). "Ugly Betty's Ralph Macchio Returns for Some Romance". TV Guide. Retrieved August 23, 2021.
  17. ^ "100 Greatest Teen Stars #'s 80-61". vh1devas2000live.com. MTV Networks. Archived from the original on December 6, 2008. Retrieved November 15, 2008.
  18. ^ "Wax On, F*ck Off with Ralph Macchio" Funny or Die; 2010
  19. ^ Fretts, Bruce. "Cheers & Jeers"; TV Guide; July 5, 2010; Page 92
  20. ^ a b Lenzi, Linda (September 21, 2010). "Photo Coverage: Cantone, Macchio et al. in A ROOM OF MY OWN". Broadway World.
  21. ^ Chen, Joyce (May 18, 2011). "'Dancing with the Stars' semi-finals recap: Ralph Macchio, Karina Smirnoff knocked out of the running". Daily News. New York. Retrieved May 18, 2011.
  22. ^ Kenneally, Tim (March 28, 2011). "Ralph Macchio, Elijah Wood Think Bad Thoughts in Indie Music Clip". The Wrap. Retrieved March 28, 2011.
  23. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr (April 17, 2012). "Ralph Macchio Plays 'Psycho' Scribe Joe Stefano In 'Hitchcock'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 19, 2012.
  24. ^ Gonzalez, Sandra (April 29, 2013). "'How I Met Your Mother' recap: The Barney". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  25. ^ Piepenburg, Erik (February 12, 2016). "It's O.K. With Ralph Macchio if You Call Him the Karate Kid". Theater. The New York Times. Retrieved February 20, 2016.
  26. ^ Gans, Andrew (March 7, 2014). "Ralph Macchio and Mario Cantone Will Take Part in Reading of New Comedy A Room of My Own". Playbill. Retrieved February 20, 2016.
  27. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (August 4, 2017). "'Karate Kid' TV Sequel, Starring Ralph Macchio and William Zabka, a Go at YouTube Red". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
  28. ^ a b "Ralph Macchio's 50th Birthday: From Karate Kid To Dancing Star". Huffington Post. January 4, 2012. slide 6. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  29. ^ Valle, Jocelyn (June 25, 2010). "Whatever happened to Ralph Macchio?". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Archived from the original on June 28, 2010. Retrieved December 5, 2010.
  30. ^ a b Chi, Paul (June 1, 2009). "'The Karate Kid' All Grown Up". People. Retrieved May 4, 2018.
  31. ^ Barry, Sal (November 4, 2016). "Ralph Macchio: Celebrity Hockey Captain". Puck Junk. Retrieved January 6, 2021.
  32. ^ "Ralph Macchio gets kicking Islanders bobblehead". NHL.com. October 25, 2016. Retrieved March 3, 2021.
  33. ^ Bierly, Mandi (June 11, 2010). "Ralph Macchio Q&A: The story behind 'Wax On, F*ck Off'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  34. ^ Bubbeo, Daniel (February 9, 2018). "Ralph Macchio to guest star on 'Kevin Can Wait'". Newsday. Retrieved April 17, 2018. Macchio will guest star on two episodes ... Macchio will play 'Alviti,' the head of a company turning Long Island properties into parking lots
  35. ^ Maglio, Tony (November 30, 2018). "Watch 'Conan' Producer Jordan Schlansky Get Totally Owned by Childhood Hero Ralph Macchio (Video)". The Wrap. Retrieved December 2, 2018.
  36. ^ Rousuck, J. Wynn (May 31, 1996). "A cheery revival for 'How to Succeed' Review: Grown-up Ralph Macchio charms as this updated '61 Pulitzer Prize musical opens a national tour here'". The Baltimore Sun.
  37. ^ Berson, Misha (October 10, 1996). "'How To Succeed' In Show Business... – Since His 'Karate Kid' Days, Ralph Macchio Has Matured – In Age And Talent". The Seattle Times.

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