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How Old Was Ralph Macchio In The Karate Kid?

Looks can be deceiving.

The Karate Kid (1984)

The Karate Kid is an iconic movie that most people have seen. While the first movie was a huge success, it also spawned not only a run of sequels but also the ongoing Cobra Kai Netflix series.

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Leading the past movies and the current series is Daniel LaRusso who in the events of Cobra Kai is a much older and wiser man teaching his daughter the art of karate. This is in contrast to LaRusso himself who in the events of the first Karate Kid film was the student to his master Mr. Miyagi.

Daniel LaRusso is portrayed in all the films and series by actor Ralph Macchio. Given his reappearances, you may wonder how old he was during the original film which first launched back in the early ‘80s.

How old was Ralph Macchio in The Karate Kid?

Ralph Macchio in The Karate Kid (1984).
Image via IMDB

When Ralph Macchio was the first cast as Daniel LaRusso in The Karate Kid, he was just 21 years old. By the time the movie hit theaters, though, he was just a few months shy of his 23rd birthday.

His young appearance allowed the actor to play the part of a teenage Daniel well into his mid-20s. At the time of The Karate Kid: Part II, Macchio would have been nearing 25 years old and for the third installment to the franchise, he was nearing 28.

How old was Ralph Macchio when he returned in Cobra Kai?

Ralph Macchio stars as Daniel LaRusso (r), renewing his fued against William Zabka's Johnny Lawrence in Netflix's Cobra Kai.
Image via IMDB

The next time audiences would see Macchio in his iconic role of Daniel LaRusso would be in the series Cobra Kai where the then 57-year-old actor reprised the role that started it all.

Over the course of five seasons so far, with a sixth season on the way, fans have seen Daniel and his old nemesis Johnny Lawrence, played by William Zabka, renew their rivalry, with hardly any “love” lost it seems. After over three decades, Daniel lives a successful life while Johnny has fallen on hard times. Fate points both men towards opening their own dojos, teaching karate to the next generation, and reconciling their own pasts. A number of other familiar faces return, such as John Kreese, Johnny’s old sensei, played by Martin Kove, and Thomas Ian Griffith’s Terry Silver, another of Daniel’s past adversaries weighing in on all that bad blood from the mid-1980s.

Now 61 years old and more Cobra Kai to come, it’ll be interesting to see how everlasting Daniel LaRusso will continue to be.

Cobra Kai is rumored to have a timeframe for its sixth and final season release sometime in 2024 or perhaps even 2025, due to the recently-ending writer’s strike. However, a more definitive date isn’t confirmed at this point in time for the last entry in a successful franchise.