When The Karate Kid made its debut across film screens everywhere, many assumed it would be another teen flick for the summer of 1984. But the underdog movie about a scrawny teen who stands up and fights his school bully by the way of martial arts, became a classic.
The movie itself is more than just about karate, it actually has a lot of heart with life lessons about friendship, patience, and courage. This explains why the small movie went on to gross more than $90 million in the USA alone.
The success of The Karate Kid, made it’s young lead Ralph Macchio into a teen heartthrob overnight and gave Pat Morita a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Here is what happened to the rest of the cast.
“The Karate Kid” revolves around the friendship born between Daniel LaRusso and Mr. Kesuke Miyagi.
Macchio was actually 22 years old when he was cast to play teen Daniel LaRusso. A lot of the cast members didn’t believe him when he revealed his real age.
Before “The Karate Kid” he appeared in “The Outsiders” alongside Tom Cruise, Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, and Emilio Estevez.
He had worked in various commercials and appear on TV shows like “Eight is Enough.”
Macchio had a baby face throughout his career, making it hard for him to shed the Daniel LaRusso persona.
“That character, he’s become part of popular culture, a relatable underdog that hopefully will continue to entertain generations.”
“He really was the every-kid next door that we all believed we could be. He had no business winning anything, but in the end, he was victorious,” he points out. “It’s a great coming-of-age story, and, well, what can I say? Almost 30 years later, and people are still reciting lines to me to this day.”