Back in 1984, Ralph Macchio made an impression as the young karate champ in ‘The Karate Kid.’ He became a big hit with teenagers and also starred in two ‘Karate Kid’ sequels. But as the mid-1990s approached, the actor seemed to disappear from Hollywood.
In his later career, Macchio starred in the movie ‘Crossroads’ in 1986 as a music student after the first ‘Karate Kid’ and also performed in the Broadway play ‘Cuba and His Teddy Bear’ alongside Robert DeNiro. He gained more fame in 1992 with the comedy ‘My Cousin Vinny,’ where he played a wrongly accused character.
In 1996, Ralph took on the lead role in a musical revival and received positive reviews. He also appeared in the HBO series ‘Entourage’ in 2005 and played a role in the TV show ‘Ugly Betty’ starting in 2008. He was also ranked as one of VH1’s 100 Greatest Teen Stars in 2008.
Following those, Macchio acted in a staged reading of a play and then competed in ‘Dancing with the Stars’ in 2011, where he finished fourth. He also appeared in music videos for the Canadian band Danko Jones. In 2012, he was cast in the film ‘Hitchcock,’ playing the role of Psycho screenwriter Joseph Stefano.
Later, Ralph made an appearance in the TV show ‘How I Met Your Mother.’ So, he basically became a cameo actor in the aftermath of his ‘Karate Kid’ roles. He mostly took TV roles rather than starring in films. He also returned to Broadway for a new role in 2016 by playing the lead character, Carl Morelli, in ‘A Room of My Own.’
Macchio tried his hand at filmmaking, too. He wrote, directed, and produced the indie film ‘Across Grace Alley.’ He cast his ‘Dancing with the Stars’ partner, Karina Smirnoff, in a role in the movie.
Starting in 2018, the actor reprised his role as Daniel LaRusso in ‘Cobra Kai,’ which originally premiered on YouTube Red and later moved to Netflix. The show reexamines the story from Johnny’s perspective, as he reopens the Cobra Kai karate dojo, reigniting his rivalry with Daniel. Macchio is also a co-executive producer of the series alongside William Zabka.