Ralph George Macchio Jr., 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. Take a look below for 28 more awesome and interesting facts about Ralph Macchio.
1. He competed on the 12th season of Dancing with the Stars.
2. Macchio was born in Huntington, New York.
3. He’s the son of Rosalie and Ralph Macchio, Sr., who owned a ranch.
4. His father is of half Greek and half Italian descent. His mother is of Italian ancestry.
5. In a 1980 screen test, Macchio stated that his family is from Naples.
6. He is listed as one of twelve “Promising New Actors of 1984” in John Willis’ Screen World, Vol. 36.
7. Macchio graduated from Half Hollow Hills West High School in 1979.
8. His career started back in the late 1970s, when he was doing commercials for Bubbly Yum and Dr. Pepper.
9. When Joel Siegel first did a review for The Karate Kid, he pronounced his name “Ma-Key-O” instead of “Ma-Chee-O”. The latter pronunciation was the way Ralph Macchio pronounced his name, but the former is the proper Italian pronunciation. Siegel was called in at 4AM the day of his review’s airing to correct the pronunciation. He later expressed annoyance at being called in at 4AM in the morning because Macchio, “didn’t known how to pronounce his own name.”
10. His daughter, Julia Macchio, was born in 1992, and his son, Daniel Macchio, was born in 1996.
11. He’s a huge fan of singer and songwriter Bruce Springsteen.
12. He once saved a baby porpoise that was beached on the shores of Malibu. When reporters tried to cover the story, he asked to remain anonymous.
13. In the movie Crossroads, Macchio has a final “cutting-heads” guitar showdown with a demonic rock guitarist, played by real life guitar hero Steve Vai. Both Macchio and Vai were born and raised on Long Island.
14. During Pat Morita’s funeral procession, Macchio gave a brief eulogy and ended it as quoted, “Forever, my Sensei,” to the mourners.
15. Some moviegoers who sat through the end credits for the Marvel comics features Thor and The Avengers noticed a “thank you” credit for Ralph Macchio. However, this wasn’t meant for the Karate Kid actor, but rather for a man with the same name who was a Marvel writer during the 1980s.
16. Macchio was introduced to his wife, Phyllis Fierro, by his grandmother when he was 15 years old.
17. At a celebration of the 30th anniversary of The Karate Kid at the Japanese American National Museum in 2014, Macchio said that the 1947 yellow Ford convertible his character Daniel receives from Miyagi in the first movie is sitting in the garage at his home in southern California.
18. DJ Q-Ball of the Bloodhound Gang released a song on his MySpace called “The Ralph Macchio Memoirs.”
19. Poetry slam artist Big Poppa E references Ralph Macchio in his performance poem The Wussy Boy Manifesto.
20. Nerdcore artist MC Frontalot mentions him in his song, “Braggadocio.”
21. Macchio was featured in a brief cameo at the end of the No More Kings video for “Sweep the Leg.”
22. Macchio’s character in The Karate Kid movie inspired the “Daniel” song by English singer Bat for Lashes; the front cover of the single shows Bat for Lashes with Daniel LaRusso’s face painted on her back.
23. The song “Ralph Macchio” by Norwegian singer Annie is about her crush on Macchio in her youth, over a 1980s-themed pop track.
24. In the television 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 movie.
25. In the Parks and Recreations 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.
26. His on-screen debut was in the 1980 movie Up the Academy, and his first major role was playing Jeremy Andretti in the television series Eight Is Enough.
27. 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.
28. Macchio reprises his role as Daniel LaRusso in Cobra Kai, a television sequel to the movie trilogy, that YouTube Red released on May 2, 2018, with a ten episode first season.