The Cast Of The Karate Kid Is Unrecognizable Today
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The Cast Of The Karate Kid Is Unrecognizable Today

November 30, 2019

Whether they were Cobra Kai bullies or Daniel’s
inner circle, each member of the Karate Kid cast gave something to the production that
helped make it a classic. Here’s a look at what the stars of the film
have been up to over the years, and what they look like today. Ralph Macchio got steady work as a young actor
before The Karate Kid, including a prominent recurring role on the sitcom Eight Is Enough. But 1983 and 1984 brought a powerful one-two
punch that would cement him as an icon of ’80s pop culture. In ’83 he joined a fraternity of young actors
in The Outsiders, and then in ’84 he was cast as Daniel LaRusso in Karate Kid. The massive success of the latter film led
to three sequels, with Macchio returning for two of them. Macchio continued to pick up regular acting
work in the ’90s and 2000s, including roles in My Cousin Vinny and The Secret of NIMH
2. He also landed a sweet TV gig in 2008 with
a recurring role on Ugly Betty. Besides returning to the Karate Kid franchise
for YouTube’s Cobra Kai series in 2018, Macchio’s also made time to poke fun at himself, playing
versions of “Ralph Macchio” on everything from Entourage to How I Met Your Mother. “Shut it, Ralph Macchio! …why don’t you go have a party with Luke Skywalker, and Harry Potter, and War Horse, And all the other movie bad guys and stop
ruining mine!” William Zabka’s first major screen acting
work was an episode of The Greatest American Hero in 1983. His second was the role of Johnny Lawrence
in The Karate Kid, which cemented him as one of the best, and perhaps most misunderstood,
villains of 1980s cinema. He went on to other major ’80s films like
National Lampoon’s European Vacation and Back to School. He also returned briefly as Johnny for The
Karate Kid Part II. Zabka continued to work regularly throughout
the ’90s and 2000s, particularly in action films like Shootfighter: Fight to the Death
and Descent Into Darkness. In 2013 he re-entered pop culture mythology
in a major way by playing a version of himself in How I Met Your Mother. And in 2018 he returned as a down-on-his-luck
Johnny Lawrence for Cobra Kai. “It was an illegal kick.” “Oh Illegal come on, really? Come on, what about that elbow to my knee?” “Yeah, I got a warning you got the win.” “Woah woah woah. No fighting
in the showroom, guys.” Of all the young actors in The Karate Kid,
Elisabeth Shue is the one who arguably came away from the film with the highest-profile
career. With only a handful of credits to her name
when the film was made, its success granted her numerous opportunities in the coming decades. Unlike the other leads in the franchise, Shue
did not return for any of the sequels. But she did go on to appear in other ’80s
classics like Adventures in Babysitting, Cocktail, and as the recast role of Jennifer in Back
to the Future Part II and Part III. In the ’90s she gained acclaim as a major
dramatic talent, earning an Oscar nomination for Leaving Las Vegas. These days, Shue continues to work regularly,
most prominently in television. In 2012 she became one of the stars of CSI,
and she’ll next be seen in Amazon’s original superhero series The Boys. Randee Heller had nearly a decade of steady
work in television to her name when she landed the role of Daniel’s mother Lucille in The
Karate Kid and became one of pop culture’s most beloved movie moms. She returned for The Karate Kid Part II and
Part III, and in between she filled the ’80s with roles in a variety of TV series with
names like Mama Malone and Boys Will Be Boys. Heller has gone on to have an essentially
unbroken streak of roles in major TV series, whether one-off guest appearances or recurring
roles. Mad Men and Desperate Housewives are just
two of the many shows she’s popped up in. In 2018, she reprised the role of Lucille
on Cobra Kai. Martin Kove had already been acting on screen
for more than a decade by the time The Karate Kid came along. One of his most important breakout roles came
in 1975, when he was cast as Nero the Hero in the Roger Corman-produced Death Race 2000. In The Karate Kid, he was flawless as John
Kreese, the ruthless sensei of the Cobra Kai dojo. Kove returned as Kreese for both Part II and
Part III, and he’s continued to act regularly in film and TV. In 2017, he appeared as “Master John” on a
Karate Kid tribute episode of the ’80s-set sitcom The Goldbergs, and then a year later,
he reprised the role of John Kreese on Cobra Kai. One of the things that makes The Karate Kid
such an enduring classic is its willingness to add color to supporting characters, particularly
Johnny’s friends at Cobra Kai. They’re never just one-dimensional goons,
and that’s particularly true in the case of Ron Thomas as Bobby. Though he went along with what Johnny and
Kreese asked of him, there was an always some reluctance to Bobby’s role in bullying Daniel. Thomas’ acting career is relatively sparse
beyond The Karate Kid. But outside of the film world, he’s continued
to pour his passion into martial arts. Today he’s a champion martial artist, martial
arts instructor, author, and motivational speaker. He holds a sixth-degree black belt, and he’s
a National Rank Examiner for the United States Judo Association, among many other accolades. He’s also a ten-year veteran of Universal
Studios Hollywood stunt shows, including the “Conan Sword and Sorcery Spectacular” and
the “Miami Vice Action Spectacular.” Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Looper videos about your favorite
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  1. Machio returning for for 2 of the sequels,he should have stopped at the firsr one and finished with that classic,because the other sequels aren't even as good as the 1° !

  2. Haha cobra kai is the spinoff from Karate kid and you still have some of the characters from main show on that. And I recognise them

  3. Every single actor on this list has appeared on Cobra Kai already(except for Elisabeth Shue). So currently, they are ALL VERY RECOGNIZABLE.

  4. I am surprised the All valley under 18 tournament didn’t strip
    That blackbelt as well as the trophy he didn’t earn the black belt it was stolen for him and reason 2 if they looked at camera footage as he went to registration for tournament Daniel didn’t have no belt no black belt so he is a fake champion who was carried he couldn’t beat Johnny Laurence who been training for yrs to get black belt and become tournament champion 2 yrs in a row there would be no way in hell Daniel would of beat mike Barns he countered everything Daniel three at him Daniel said he afraid of him he does a shit form which are useless and he wins that’s bull

  5. Chosin was my favorit Karate Kid villain and character, for some reason I always thought he was Scorpion from MK when I saw him ! lol!

  6. Theyre still playing these characters to this day. I believe they were hired BECAUSE they were recognizable.

  7. Karate kid Part II is still my favorite. Such a better storyline than the first and better acting as well. The 3rd one shat all over the previous two.

  8. First of all… FALSE! Second of all, they all got old, we all do! Duh! They won't look the same! Get over yourself Looper with these stupid videos and titles! Thumbs down!

  9. Well if you can recognize Pat Morita after he's been rotting in the ground for the last 14 years you should seriously consider changing your career to facial reconstruction expert

  10. They're not unrecognizable to me! They have been on "Cobra Kai" for the last 2 seasons. Anyone that has not watched "Cobra Kai" SHOULD. A 3rd season has already been announced.

  11. The only one who’s unrecognizable in the cast is Pat Morita since he’s unfortunately dead…but you failed to mention him.

  12. lol the only reason i'm watching this is cause it's a timer for the elite challenge in the fleeca heist, thanks looper

  13. what the fuck are you talking about?! they're older but look the same, Ralph has aged well. it's not like they've all had plastic surgery and Botox.

  14. I'm DISGUSTED that Mr Miyagi (Pat Morita) wasn't even MENTIONED. He's what MADE that movie. Yes, he's passed away, but he is truly what made that trilogy a classic . I'm SHOCKED not a single mention.

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