Thomas Ian Griffith

Thomas Ian Griffith (born March 18, 1962)[1][2] is an American actor, producer, writer and martial artist who has starred in films and on television. Griffith is best known for portraying Terry Silver in the 1989 film The Karate Kid Part III, a role he reprised in the fourth season of the television series Cobra Kai.[3]

Thomas Ian Griffith
Born (1962-03-18) March 18, 1962 (age 59)
  • Actor
  • writer
  • martial artist
Years active1984–present
(m. 1991)

Early lifeEdit

Griffith was born in Hartford, Connecticut, the son of Mary Ann (née O'Neil), who worked at a dance studio, and Thomas Joseph Griffith.[1] Griffith attended South Catholic High School in Hartford.[4] He then studied at the College of the Holy Cross where he was a dean's list student before leaving after his junior year to "make it" as an actor in New York.[5]


Griffith became obsessed with Tae Kwon Do while in high school and earned a black belt when he was 18.[4] His knowledge of Tae Kwon Do helped him land his first feature film: 1989's The Karate Kid Part III, in which he played Terry Silver, a rival martial arts expert who influences Daniel LaRusso against his friend and mentor, Mr. Miyagi.

In 1996, Griffith starred in the film Hollow Point alongside Tia Carrere, as DEA agent Max Parish and FBI agent Diane Norwood respectively. Griffith has also collaborated with director John Carpenter. He played head vampire Jan Valek in the 1998 film Vampires and co-created the comic book series Asylum, together with Carpenter and producer Sandy King.[6]

Griffith appeared in the 2002 film XXX, in which he portrayed Agent Jim McGrath.

His first TV role was on the soap opera Another World, as Catlin Ewing, whom he played from 1984 to 1987. In 1999, he starred in the TV movie Secret of Giving with Reba McEntire; earlier in 1999, he had appeared in Reba's video for the song "What Do You Say". He also starred as Rock Hudson in a 1990 TV movie Rock Hudson. He has made guest appearances on a number of television shows, including In the Heat of the Night, Wiseguy, and One Tree Hill.

From 2013 to 2017, Griffith periodically wrote and worked as a story editor for the NBC television series Grimm and became a co-producer in 2015.

In 2021, Griffith reprised the role of Terry Silver from The Karate Kid Part III in Season 4 of Cobra Kai.

Personal lifeEdit

Griffith has been married to his former Another World costar Mary Page Keller since 1991, and has two sons.[1] He holds black belts in kenpo karate and tae kwon do.[2]



Year Film Role Notes
1989 The Karate Kid Part III Terry Silver
1990 Rock Hudson Rock Hudson TV movie
1992 Ulterior Motives Jack Blaylock
1992 Kill Fee Unknown
1993 Excessive Force Detective Terry McCain
1994 Crackerjack Jack Wild
1994 Blood of the Innocent Detective Frank Wusharsky
1996 Hollow Point Max Parrish
1997 Behind Enemy Lines CIA Agent Mike Weston
1997 Kull the Conqueror General Taligaro
1997 The Guardian The Guardian TV movie
1998 John Carpenter's Vampires Jan Valek
1999 The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax Jack Farrell TV movie
1999 Avalanche Neal Meekin
1999 The Secret of Giving Harry Withers TV movie
2000 A Vision of Murder: The Story of Donielle Doug Brister TV movie
2000 For the Cause Evans
2001 High Adventure Chris Quatermain
2002 Beyond the Prairie: The True Story of Laura Ingalls Wilder Cornelius Loudermilk TV movie
2002 Black Point Gus Travis
2002 XXX NSA Agent Jim McGrath
2003 Timecop 2: The Berlin Decision Brandon Miller
2005 The Pirate's Curse Captain Jeffery Thorpe
2020 Dolly Parton's Christmas on the Square None Consulting Producer


Year Show Character Notes
1984 Another World Catlin Ewing 1984–1987
1985 Miami Vice (Phil The Shill) Extra (guy in pool, next to guy on raft in clothes)
1988 In the Heat of the Night Luke Potter 2 episodes
1989 Wiseguy Roger Tot
2004 One Tree Hill Larry Sawyer 5 episodes
2005 The Closer Thomas Yates 1 episode
2006 Cold Case Mitch 1 episode
2013–2017 Grimm None Writer (8 episodes), story editor, co-producer
2021-present Cobra Kai Terry Silver Main Role; Season 4


  1. ^ a b c "Thomas Ian Griffith Biography (1962?-)". Archived from the original on September 6, 2012. Retrieved August 27, 2017. some sources cite 1962...
  2. ^ a b Clary, David W. (March 1993). "Meet the Karate Kid's Worst Enemy". Black Belt. p. 18. Griffith, 32... [interview necessarily conducted prior to March 1993 publication date]
  3. ^ Petski, Denise (May 27, 2021). "Terry Silver Returns In 'Cobra Kai' Season 4". Deadline. Retrieved May 27, 2021.
  4. ^ a b "Griffith is Latest Force in Hot World of Hollywood Action Movies". Hartford Courant. May 17, 1993. Retrieved January 1, 2022.
  5. ^ "'Another World' has high hopes for Griffith". The Times and Democrat. February 10, 1984. Retrieved January 1, 2022.
  6. ^ Yanes, Nicholas (May 2014). "Sandy King discusses movie making and the comic book 'John Carpenter's Asylum'". Trending News Theme. Archived from the original on January 12, 2021. Retrieved June 25, 2021.

External linksEdit