Ralph Macchio
Macchio at GalaxyCon Raleigh in 2018
Ralph George Macchio Jr.

(1961-11-04) November 4, 1961 (age 62)[1]
Years active1979–present
Phyllis Fierro
(m. 1987)

Ralph George Macchio Jr. (/ˈmɑːi/ MAH-chee-oh, Italian: [ˈmakkjo]; born November 4, 1961) is an American actor. He is best known for playing Daniel LaRusso in three Karate Kid films, the 1984 film The Karate Kid and its sequels, The Karate Kid Part II (1986) and The Karate Kid Part III (1989), as well as in Cobra Kai, a sequel television series on Netflix. He also played Johnny Cade in The Outsiders (1983), Jeremy Andretti in the television series Eight Is Enough, William Gambini in My Cousin Vinny (1992), Eugene Martone in Crossroads (1986), and Archie Rodriguez in the television series Ugly Betty. He also had a recurring role as Officer Haddix in the television series The Deuce.

Early life

Macchio was born in Huntington, New York.[1] He is the son of Rosalie (née DeSantis) and Ralph George Macchio Sr., who owned a few laundromats and a wastewater disposal company. Ralph has a younger brother Steven.[2] His father is of half Italian and half Greek[3] descent, and his mother is of Italian ancestry.[4] In a 1980 screen test, Macchio said his family was from Naples.[5] In 1979, Macchio graduated from Half Hollow Hills High School West in Dix Hills, New York.[6]

Macchio began tap dancing lessons at the age of three and was discovered by a talent agent when he was 16 years old.[1]


Early roles

Macchio was cast as Jeremy Andretti for a season in the television series Eight Is Enough.[1] He next won the role of Johnny Cade in the 1983 film The Outsiders.[1]

Karate Kid films

His work on The Outsiders helped him to win the role of Daniel LaRusso in the blockbuster 1984 film The Karate Kid. He continued to portray the character in two of its sequels, The Karate Kid Part II (1986) and The Karate Kid Part III (1989).[1][7] In The Karate Kid, Macchio portrayed a "high school weakling turned bullybuster"[8] who learns karate from his friend and mentor, Mr. Miyagi (portrayed by Pat Morita).[9] Macchio's work in the Karate Kid series made him "stratospherically famous".[7]

Later roles

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][10] 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."[11][12]

In 2005, Macchio played himself in the HBO series Entourage.[1] 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.[13] As of November 2008, Macchio was ranked No. 80 among VH1's 100 Greatest Teen Stars.[14]

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.[15] 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.[16] Macchio appeared in Canadian band Danko Jones' music videos for "Had Enough" and "I Think Bad Thoughts".[17]

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.[18]

Macchio in 2015

Post-Karate Kid and Cobra Kai

Macchio 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.[19][20]

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, with frequent references to The Karate Kid.[21] 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".[22]

In 2013, he appeared in How I Met Your Mother. One of the main characters, 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.[23]

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.[24]

Beginning in 2018, Macchio reprised his role as Daniel LaRusso in Cobra Kai, an action comedy-drama series that began on YouTube Red and later moved to Netflix. Cobra Kai begins in the fall of 2017, and re-examines the "Miyagi-Verse" narrative from Johnny's point of view, beginning with his decision to reopen the Cobra Kai karate dojo, and the rekindling of his old rivalry with Daniel.[25] Along with William Zabka, he is also a co-executive producer of the series.[1][26]


In 2022, Macchio published the memoir Waxing On: The Karate Kid and Me (Dutton), in which he reflects upon the legacy of the Karate Kid films and Cobra Kai.[27]

Personal life

Macchio was introduced to his future wife, Phyllis Fierro, by his grandmother when he was 15. They married on April 5, 1987, and have two children.[28] Fierro is a nurse practitioner.[28][29][24]

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.[30] A 2016 bobblehead promotion saw his likeness in the team's uniform donning the iconic 'crane kick' pose from The Karate Kid.[31]



Year Title Role Notes
1980 Up the Academy Chooch Bambalazi
1982 High Powder Eddie Television film
Dangerous Company Denny Brody Television film
1983 The Outsiders Johnny Cade
1984 The Karate Kid Daniel LaRusso
Teachers Eddie Pilikian
The Three Wishes of Billy Grier Billy Grier Television film
1986 Crossroads Eugene Martone
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
My Cousin Vinny Bill Gambini
1993 Naked in New York Chris
1998 Dizzyland N/A Short film
The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue Timmy Brisby Voice, direct-to-video
1999 Can't Be Heaven Hubbie Darling
2000 The Office Party Sean Short film
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[32] Himself, concept writer Short film
2012 Hitchcock Joseph Stefano
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
2018 A Dog and Pony Show Aaron
2024 Karate Kid Daniel LaRusso Filming


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"
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"
Psych Nick Conforth Episode: "We'd Like to Thank the Academy"
2011 The Whole Truth Frankie Berlito Episode: "Lost in Translation"
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"
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 13, Episode 8)
2018 Kevin Can Wait Alviti[33] 2 episodes: "The Smoking Bun" and "Phat Monkey"
Conan Himself Episode: "Conan Without Borders: Japan"; pre-recorded video clip[34]
2018–present 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[35][36]

Music videos

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

Year Title Role
2020 Cobra Kai: The Karate Kid Saga Continues Daniel LaRusso
2022 Cobra Kai 2: Dojos Rising Daniel LaRusso



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  3. ^ "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).
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  9. ^ Rosen, J.J. (November 22, 2019). "Mr. Miyagi and the quest for the perfect mentor". The Tennessean. Archived from the original on February 10, 2023. Retrieved August 23, 2021.
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  20. ^ No More Kings "Sweep the Leg" (No More Kings Official YouTube Page) on YouTube
  21. ^ "Wax On, F*ck Off with Ralph Macchio" Archived October 30, 2022, at the Wayback Machine Funny or Die; 2010
  22. ^ Fretts, Bruce. "Cheers & Jeers"; TV Guide; July 5, 2010; Page 92
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  36. ^ 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. Archived from the original on October 2, 2012. Retrieved July 31, 2020.