Ralph Macchio Biography

Ralph Macchio photo

Born: November 04, 1961


Date of Birth: November 4, 1961

He may be all grown up now but to many, Ralph Macchio will always be the Karate Kid.

Macchio was born in Huntington, New York to an Italian-American family. He got his start as a teenager, appearing in campaigns for Bubble Yum and Dr. Pepper. In 1980, Macchio landed his first major role, a recurring gig on the family sitcom, Eight is Enough before going on to film Francis Ford Coppola's 1983 drama, The Outsiders. The period film, about a teen gang of greasers in the 60s, is credited for starting the brat pack craze and featured up-and-coming stars like Tom Cruise, Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe and Diane Lane.

The following year, Macchio secured his biggest role to-date—playing the lead role in the martial arts drama, The Karate Kid, helmed by Rocky director, John G. Avildsen. The film featured Macchio as Daniel LaRusso, a high school student who uses the art of karate to defend himself against a pack of ruthless bullies. It became an instant classic, spawning two sequels as well as a fourth movie featuring a then-unknown Hilary Swank, plus a 2010 reboot starring Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan.

Macchio's last major film role was 1992's critically acclaimed comedy, My Cousin Vinny with Joe Pesci. Co-star Marisa Tomei ended up winning a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her work in the film. No longer being the fresh-faced star of a popular martial arts franchise, Macchio found it difficult to land mentionable roles for most of the 90s and 2000s. In 2008, he landed a recurring role on the television dramedy, Ugly Betty and in 2011, he competed on the ABC reality series, Dancing with the Stars, where he placed fourth, ultimately losing to NFL player, Hines Ward.

Things may be looking for Macchio. He recently signed on to appear in the star-studded feature Hitchcock (2013), a behind-the-scenes look at the production of Psycho, one of the filmmaker's most famous projects. Macchio will play Joe Stefano, the screenwriter who originally penned the horror-classic.


Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho (2013)
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Undead (2009)
Beer League (2006)
A Good Night to Die (2003)
Can't Be Heaven (2000)
Dizzyland (1998)
Naked in New York (1993)
My Cousin Vinny (1992)
Too Much Sun (1990)
The Karate Kid, Part III (1989)
Distant Thunder (1988)
The Karate Kid, Part II (1986)
Crossroads (1986)
Teachers (1984)
The Karate Kid (1984)
The Outsiders (1983)
Up the Academy (1980)

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