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Ralph George Macchio Jr. (/ˈmɑːi/, Italian: [ˈmakkjɔ]; born November 4, 1961) is an American actor, known for his roles as Daniel LaRusso in The Karate Kid and Cobra Kai, Eugene Martone in Crossroads, Bill Gambini in My Cousin Vinny, and Johnny Cade in The Outsiders. Additionally, he competed on the twelfth season of Dancing with the Stars.

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

(1961-11-04) November 4, 1961 (age 57)
ResidenceLong Island, New York, U.S.
OccupationActor, producer
Years active1980–present
Phyllis Fierro (m. 1987)

Early lifeEdit

Macchio was born in Huntington, New York.[1] He is the son of Rosalie (née DeSantis) and Ralph Macchio, Sr., 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 stated his family is from Naples.[6]


Macchio at the Chiller Theatre Expo in New Jersey, October 2013

Macchio first appeared on American television commercials for products such as Bubble Yum and Dr Pepper. His on-screen debut was in the 1980 film Up the Academy, and his first major role was playing Jeremy Andretti in the television series Eight Is Enough. In 1983, he appeared as Johnny Cade in The Outsiders alongside many young actors who had yet to become major stars, such as C. Thomas Howell, Tom Cruise, Emilio Estevez, Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, and Matt Dillon. In 1984, Macchio became known internationally following the release of the first Karate Kid film. Playing high school senior Daniel LaRusso, Macchio was actually in his early twenties when the film was made. He continued this success with the film's sequels, The Karate Kid Part II and The Karate Kid Part III. In the mid-1980s, Macchio's face began appearing on the covers of many teen "bubblegum" magazines such as Tiger Beat, 16, and Teen Beat. 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.[7] 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.

In 1993, Macchio portrayed Chris, the sexually confused best friend of Eric Stoltz's character, in the indie film Naked in New York, along with such notable actors as Mary-Louise Parker, Jill Clayburgh, Kathleen Turner, and Tony Curtis. 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."[8][9] Since the mid-1990s, Macchio's film appearances have been occasional cameo or supporting roles, notably and recently A Good Night to Die and Beer League.

Macchio in 2015

In 2005, Macchio played himself in the HBO series, Entourage. On May 1, 2007, Macchio played himself in an episode of the Starz series, Head Case. In 2008, he appeared in a VitaminWater commercial that featured NASCAR driver Carl Edwards. Macchio was depicted as Edwards' "spiritual advisor" and dressed in his Karate Kid clothes. Since October 2008, he has appeared in several episodes of the ABC Network television series Ugly Betty as Archie Rodriguez, a local politician, with a semi-regular role as Hilda's love interest on the show. As of November 2008, Macchio was ranked No. 80 among VH1's 100 Greatest Teen Stars.[10]

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, all in order to help his career. During the video Macchio reacts to seeing a poster for the 2010 Karate Kid remake.[11] 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".[12] 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.[13] In February 2011 it was announced he would compete on ABC's Dancing with the Stars. He was eliminated during the semi-finals, placing fourth in the overall competition.[14] Macchio appeared in Canadian band Danko Jones' music videos for "Had Enough" and "I Think Bad Thoughts", also featuring Elijah Wood and Jena Malone.[15] In April 2012, Macchio was cast in the film Hitchcock, based on the non-fiction book Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho, co-starring Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Jessica Biel and Toni Collette, and directed by Sacha Gervasi. Macchio portrays Psycho screenwriter Joseph Stefano.[16] In April 2013, Macchio appeared in the popular sitcom How I Met Your Mother in the episode entitled "The Bro-Mitzvah". From February to March 2016, Macchio co-stars with Mario Cantone in the Off-Broadway production A Room of My Own,[17] after having read the play in 2010[13] and 2014.[18]

Macchio reprises his role as Daniel LaRusso in Cobra Kai, a television sequel to the movie trilogy, that YouTube Premium released on May 2, 2018, with a ten-episode first season. He is also a co-executive producer of the series, along with William Zabka. The series is set 34 years after the events of the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament and revolves around a down-and-out Johnny Lawrence (Zabka) who – seeking to get his life back on track, and obtain redemption for his defeat in the 1984 tournament – reopens the Cobra Kai dojo. This reignites his rivalry with a now-successful LaRusso, who has been struggling to maintain balance in his life without the guidance of his now-deceased mentor, Mr. Miyagi.[19]

Personal lifeEdit

Macchio was introduced to his wife, Phyllis Fierro, by his grandmother when he was 15.[20] They married on April 5, 1987, and have two children, Julia (born 1992) and Daniel (born 1996). Fierro is a nurse practitioner.[20][21][22]

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 is sitting in his garage.[22]

In popular cultureEdit

DJ Q-Ball of the Bloodhound Gang released a song on his MySpace called "The Ralph Macchio Memoirs". Poetry slam artist Big Poppa E references Ralph Macchio in his performance poem The Wussy Boy Manifesto. Nerdcore artist MC Frontalot mentions him in his song, "Braggadocio".[23] Macchio was featured in a brief cameo at the end of the No More Kings video for "Sweep the Leg".[24]

Macchio's character in the Karate Kid film inspired the "Daniel" song by English singer Bat for Lashes;[25] the front cover of the single shows Bat for Lashes with Daniel LaRusso's face painted on her back.[26]

The song "Ralph Macchio" by Norwegian singer Annie is about her crush on Macchio in her youth[27] over a 1980s-themed pop track.

In the TV series How I Met Your Mother, Barney Stinson asserts that Macchio's character, Daniel LaRusso, in The Karate Kid isn't the real karate kid; instead, it's Johnny Lawrence, Daniel's nemesis in the film. In the 8th-season episode The Bro Mitzvah, Macchio is invited to Barney's bachelor party, although Barney is disappointed in the surprise, expecting actor William Zabka, the "real Karate Kid". For the duration of the episode, the characters note the similarities between Barney and Macchio, by which Barney is disgusted. At the end of the night, the clown hired for the party's entertainment reveals himself to be Zabka.[28]

In the Parks and Recreation episode "The Master Plan", Andy Dwyer, unable to remember the proper name of Jean-Ralphio Saperstein, declares "That Ralph Macchio guy's a total douche" after Jean-Ralphio flirts with April Ludgate.[29]



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[30] 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, Gibby, 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 The Deuce Officer Haddix Recurring role (5 episodes)
2017 Whose Line Is It Anyway? Himself Special Guest (Season 10, Episode 8)
2018 Kevin Can Wait Alviti[31] 2 episodes: "The Smoking Bun" and "Phat Monkey"
2018 Conan Himself Episode: "Conan Without Borders: Japan"; pre-recorded video clip[32]
2018−present Cobra Kai Daniel LaRusso Continuation of The Karate Kid film series


Year Production Role Theater
1986 Cuba and His Teddy Bear Teddy The Public Theater

Music videosEdit

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


  1. ^ "Ralph Macchio Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved September 21, 2008.
  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. ^ "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". (October 5, 2007).
  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. Retrieved October 10, 2014.
  7. ^ Gussow, Mel (May 19, 1986). "Theater: 'Cuba and His Teddy Bear'". The New York Times. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
  8. ^ "How Ralph Macchio Succeeds". Playbill. April 24, 1996. Archived from the original on September 8, 2012. Retrieved March 23, 2011.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ "100 Greatest Teen Stars #'s 80-61". MTV Networks. Archived from the original on December 6, 2008. Retrieved November 15, 2008.
  11. ^ "Wax On, F*ck Off with Ralph Macchio" Funny or Die; 2010
  12. ^ Fretts, Bruce. "Cheers & Jeers"; TV Guide; July 5, 2010; Page 92
  13. ^ a b Lenzi, Linda (September 21, 2010). "Photo Coverage: Cantone, Macchio et al. in A ROOM OF MY OWN".
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ "Ralph Macchio, Elijah Wood Think Bad Thoughts in Indie Music Clip". The Wrap. March 28, 2011. Retrieved March 28, 2011.
  16. ^ "Ralph Macchio Plays 'Psycho' Scribe Joe Stefano In 'Hitchcock'". Deadline Hollywood. April 17, 2012. Retrieved April 19, 2012.
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ 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.
  19. ^ 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.
  20. ^ a b "Ralph Macchio's 50th Birthday: From Karate Kid To Dancing Star". Huffington Post. January 4, 2012. slide 6. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  21. ^ 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.
  22. ^ a b Chi, Paul (June 1, 2009). "'The Karate Kid' All Grown Up". People. Retrieved May 4, 2018.
  23. ^ "Mc Frontalot – Braggadocio Lyrics". MC Frontalot. Nerdcore Fervor Conglomerated. Retrieved December 14, 2017.
  24. ^ Campbell, Christopher (June 11, 2010). "William Zabka-Directed Music Video, 'Sweep the Leg, Johnny'". moviefone. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  25. ^ "The Great Girl Grossout". 89.3 The Current Presents (Minnesota Public Radio). January 31, 2010. Archived from the original on March 26, 2010. Retrieved October 24, 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  26. ^ Natural wonder,, May 11, 2009.
  27. ^ "Annie announces 'A&R' EP will be released in August". NME. July 2, 2013. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  28. ^ Gonzalez, Sandra (April 29, 2013). "'How I Met Your Mother' recap: The Barney". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  29. ^ Kandell, Steve (May 14, 2010). "Parks and Recreation Recap: Are We Having Fun Yet?". New York. Archived from the original on June 14, 2011. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  30. ^ Bierly, Mandi (June 11, 2010). "Ralph Macchio Q&A: The story behind 'Wax On, F*ck Off'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  31. ^ 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
  32. ^ 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.

External linksEdit