The Karate Kid Cast (1984) – Where Are They Now?

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The “original” Karate Kid was one of the biggest blockbuster films of the 1980s and for good reason. It serves as more than just an inspirational tale of the new kid standing up to the local bully, and it is far from your typical martial arts movie. The Karate Kidtruly has something for everyone, combining elements of action and drama with a touch of comedy to collectively form the perfect recipe for cinematic gold.

It even includes a love story to entice the female demographic. It is also a film that transcended the big screen into popular culture, ultimately withstanding the test of time. One of the biggest reasons for The Karate Kid’s longevity and success are the film’s many memorable characters and the actors who played them. Which begs the questions, what exactly have they been up to over the years and where are they now? We decided to find out.

1. Ralph Macchio, Daniel LaRusso


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Then: Charlie Sheen was offered the role of Daniel LaRusso before it went to Ralph Macchio. In the film, Macchio plays a teen who transfers to a new school and gets picked on by a group of boys who are training in some rather unethical martial arts. At the time of filming, Macchio was actually 22 — he went on to star in two more ‘Karate Kid’ films.

Now: Macchio most recently appeared on an episode of ‘How I Met Your Mother’ as himself and had a small supporting role in ‘Hitchcock.’ 

Pat Morita, Keisuke Miyagi


DIgital Spy

Pat Morita was already a veteran screen star when he took on the role of The Karate Kid‘s wise mentor Keisuke Miyagi. He appeared in more than 20 episodes of Happy Days (stretching from 1975-1983) before earning an Oscar nomination for The Karate Kid in 1985. He appeared in the film’s numerous sequels (including the Hilary Swank version), and continued to work in TV and film until his death in 2005. (Digital Spy)

3. Elisabeth Shue, Ali Mills


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Then: A little-known actress at the time, Elisabeth Shue won the part of Ali Mills, Daniel’s love interest and girlfriend of that huge jerk, Johnny.

Now: In the ’90s, Shue tried to ditch her teen queen image by starring in the dark drama ‘Leaving Las Vegas,’ for which she earned an Academy Award nomination. After being “reintroduced” in the comedy ‘Hamlet II,’ she’s now a series regular on ‘CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,’ and has appeared in ‘House at the End of the Street’ and ‘Chasing Mavericks.’

4. William Zabka, Johnny Lawrence


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Then: William Zabka made his big-screen debut in ‘The Karate Kid’ as Johnny Lawrence, the lead member of Cobra Kai.

Now: Zabka is known for his villainous roles in ’80s films, and while he continues to act, he’s also writing, directing and producing. He earned an Academy Award nomination for writing and producing the film ‘Most’ in 2004. Zabka appeared on ‘How I Met Your Mother’ as himself, like Macchio, and had a small role in the ’80s throwback comedy ‘Hot Tub Time Machine.’

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