How The Girl From "Karate Kid" Looks Today, She Got Better Than Selena Gomez

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.

It all starts with Daniel and his mom relocating from New Jersey to California.

Ralph Macchio

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.

"Daniel LaRusso, talk about an ingrained part. It becomes your alter ego: People think that's actually my name, they think I grew up in Newark, they think I actually know martial arts," Macchio admitted. "I keep fooling them into believing it's true."

"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."

Elisabeth Shue

Shue played Ali Mills in the film. Ali is Daniel's love interest and the reason the teen is bullied; Ali dated the bully prior to Daniel.

She did some commercials to earn extra money while going to college.

She transferred to Harvard University to pursue a degree in political science.

William Zabka

Zabka played Johnny Lawrence, the ultimate bully, jock, and jerk. He admits that prior to "The Karate Kid" he made many TV commercials playing an all-around American kid.

The success of the movie had him typecast to continue to play the bully in other films.

"I didn't set out to be a villain in film. I'm a character actor, and if my first movie was a comedy, I could have played a geek just as well."

His short film "Most", which he wrote and directed in 2004, was nominated for an Academy Award.

He has made other films in his career and directed music videos.

Ron Thomas

Ron Thomas played Bobby Brown, one of the Cobra Kai members and Johnny's friend.

He is also a motivational speaker.

In 1992, he opened the United Warrior's Academy in Northridge, California, which focuses on Ju-Jitsu.

Chad McQueen

Chad McQueen is the son of legendary actor Steve McQueen. He played Dutch in "The Karate Kid" and "The Karate Kid II."

Tony O'Dell

O'Dell had been working for several years prior to landing his role of Jimmy.

He worked in "CHiPs", "Eight is Enough", and "Dynasty."

He played Alan Pinkard on the TV series "Head of the Class" from 1986 to 1991.

Martin Kove

Kove played the role of Cobra Kai trainer, John Kreese. It is rumoured that the director wanted Kove for the role but for some reason his audition kept getting put off.

Randee Heller

Heller had been a TV regular before landing the role of Daniel's mom Lucille LaRusso.

She landed a recurring role in "Mad Men" in 2010.

Her role of Miss Blankenship in "Mad Men" earned her a nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series.