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Ralph Macchio

Ralph Macchio
Macchio at the Chiller Theatre Expo in New Jersey, October 2013
Born Ralph George Macchio, Jr.
(1961-11-04) November 4, 1961
Huntington, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1980 – present
Spouse(s) Phyllis Fierro (m. 1987)
Children 2

Ralph George Macchio, Jr. (, Italian pronunciation: ; born November 4, 1961) is an American actor, best known for his roles as Daniel LaRusso in the Karate Kid series, Eugene Martone in Crossroads, Bill Gambini in My Cousin Vinny, and Johnny Cade in The Outsiders. He is also known to American television audiences for his recurring role as Jeremy Andretti in the fifth season of the television comedy-drama Eight Is Enough. He also appeared on the television comedy Ugly Betty in the recurring role of Archie, a local Queens politician. He competed on the twelfth season of Dancing with the Stars. Ralph also appeared twice on the show Psych.


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
  • Personal life 3
  • In popular culture 4
  • Filmography 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early life

Macchio was born in Huntington, New York.[1] He is the son of Rosalie (née DeSantis) and Ralph Macchio, Sr., who owned a ranch.[2][3] His father is of half Greek[4] and half Italian descent, and his mother is of Italian ancestry.[5] In a 1980 screen test Macchio stated his family is from Naples.[6]


Macchio first appeared on American television commercials for products such as Bubble Yum and Dr Pepper. His on-screen debut was in the 1980 film Up the Academy, and his first major role was playing Jeremy Andretti in the television series Eight Is Enough. 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.

In 1984, Macchio became known internationally following the release of the first Karate Kid film. Playing high school senior Daniel LaRusso, Macchio was actually in his early twenties when the film was made. He continued this success with the film's sequels, The Karate Kid Part II and The Karate Kid, Part III. In the mid-1980s, Macchio's face began appearing on the covers of many teen "bubblegum" magazines such as Tiger Beat, 16, and Teen Beat.

Macchio appeared in the 1986 film Crossroads, portraying music student Eugene Martone. In 1992, he starred opposite Joe Pesci and Marisa Tomei in the hit comedy My Cousin Vinny, playing William Gambini, who was wrongly accused of murder while passing through a small Alabama town. It was the first significant adult role of his career.

In 1993, Macchio portrayed Chris, the sexually confused best friend of Eric Stoltz's character, in the indie film Naked in New York, along with such notable actors as Mary-Louise Parker, Jill Clayburgh, Kathleen Turner, and Tony Curtis.

In 1996, Macchio performed the lead role of J. Pierrepont Finch in the U.S. tour revival of the 1962 Tony Award winning musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and received positive reviews. Referring to his performance as a chorister in a high school production of the same musical, Macchio said, "I was known as the 'Dancing Kid,' not that I was all that great. But I had been dancing since the age of three, taking lessons at the June Claire School of Dance in Babylon, Long Island."[7][8]

Since the mid-1990s, Macchio's film appearances have been occasional cameo or supporting roles, notably and recently A Good Night to Die and Beer League. In 2005 Macchio played himself in the HBO series, Entourage.

On May 1, 2007, Macchio played himself in an episode of the Starz series, Head Case. In 2008, he appeared in a VitaminWater commercial that featured NASCAR driver Carl Edwards. Macchio was depicted as Edwards' "spiritual advisor" and dressed in his Karate Kid clothes. Since October 2008, he has appeared in several episodes of the ABC Network television series Ugly Betty as Archie Rodriguez, a local politician, with a semi-regular role as Hilda's love interest on the show.

As of November 2008, Macchio was ranked No. 80 among VH1's 100 Greatest Teen Stars.[9]

Macchio in August 2013.

In June 2010, Macchio appeared in Funny or Die's online short, "Wax On, F*ck Off", in which his loved ones stage an intervention to turn the former child star from a well-adjusted family man into an addict besieged with tabloid scandal, all in order to help his career. During the video Macchio reacts to seeing a poster for the 2010 Karate Kid remake.[10] A recurring joke in the sketch is that Macchio is confused for an adolescent. The short was lauded by TV Guide's Bruce Fretts, who referred to the video as "sidesplitting" and "comic gold".[11]

On September 20, 2010, Macchio played the adult Carl Morelli in a staged reading of the Charles Messina play A Room of My Own presented by the Bleecker Street Theater Company.[12]

In February 2011 it was announced he would compete on ABC's Dancing with the Stars. He was eliminated during the semi-finals, placing fourth in the overall competition.[13]

Macchio appeared in Canadian band Danko Jones' music videos for "Had Enough" and "I Think Bad Thoughts", also featuring Elijah Wood and Jena Malone.[14]

In April 2012, Macchio was cast in the film Hitchcock, based on the non-fiction book Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho, co-starring Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Jessica Biel and Toni Collette, and directed by Sacha Gervasi. Macchio portrays Psycho screenwriter Joseph Stefano.[15]

In April 2013, Macchio appeared in the popular sitcom How I Met Your Mother in the episode entitled "The Bro-Mitzvah".

Personal life

Ralph Macchio first met future wife Phyllis Fierro when his grandmother introduced them when he was 15.[16] They married when he was 26 and have two children, Julia (born 1992) and Daniel (born 1996). Fierro is a former nurse practitioner.[16][17][18]

In popular culture

DJ Q-Ball of the Bloodhound Gang released a song on his MySpace called "The Ralph Macchio Memoirs". Poetry slam artist Big Poppa E references Ralph Macchio in his performance poem The Wussy Boy Manifesto. Nerdcore artist MC Frontalot mentions him in his song, "Braggadocio".[19] Macchio was featured in a brief cameo at the end of the No More Kings video for "Sweep the Leg".[20]

Macchio's character in the Karate Kid film inspired the "Daniel" song by English singer Bat for Lashes;[21] the front cover of the single shows Bat for Lashes with Daniel LaRusso's face painted on her back.[22]

The song "Ralph Macchio" by Norwegian singer Annie is about her crush on Macchio in her youth[23] over an 80s-themed pop track.

In the TV 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 film. In the 8th season episode The Bro Mitzvah, Ralph Macchio is invited to Barney's bachelor party, although Barney is disappointed in the surprise, expecting William Zabka the "real" Karate Kid. For the duration of the episode, the characters note the similarities between Barney and Macchio, by which Barney is disgusted. At the end of the night, the clown hired for the party's entertainment reveals himself to be William Zabka.[24]

In the Parks and Recreation 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.[25]


Year Title Role Notes
1980 Up the Academy Chooch Bambalazi
1982 High Powder Eddie Television film
1982 Dangerous Company Denny Brody Television film
1983 Outsiders, TheThe Outsiders Johnny Cade
1984 Karate Kid, TheThe Karate Kid Daniel LaRusso
1984 Teachers Eddie Pilikian
1984 Three Wishes of Billy Grier, TheThe Three Wishes of Billy Grier Billy Grier Television film
1986 Crossroads Eugene Martone
1986 Karate Kid, Part II, TheThe Karate Kid, Part II Daniel LaRusso
1988 Distant Thunder Jack Lambert
1989 Karate Kid, Part III, TheThe Karate Kid, Part III Daniel LaRusso
1990 Too Much Sun Frank Jr.
1992 Last P.O.W.: The Bobby Garwood Story, TheThe Last P.O.W.: The Bobby Garwood Story Robert Garwood Television film
1992 My Cousin Vinny Bill Gambini
1993 Naked in New York Chris
1998 Dizzyland N/A
1998 Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue, TheThe Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue 17-year-old Timmy Brisby Voice; direct-to-video
2000 Office Party, TheThe Office Party Sean Short film
2000 Can't Be Heaven Hubbie Darling
2001 Popcorn Shrimp Cop #2 Short film
2003 Good Night to Die, AA Good Night to Die Donnie
2006 Artie Lange's Beer League Maz
2009 Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead Bobby Bianchi
2012 Hitchcock Joseph Stefano
2012 Holiday Spin Ruben Television film
2013 He's Way More Famous Than You Himself
2014 Little Game, AA Little Game Tom Completed
Year Title Role Notes
1980–1981 Eight Is Enough Jeremy Andretti 19 episodes
1982 CBS Afternoon Playhouse Tony Barnett Episode: "Journey to Survival"
1999 Outer Limits, TheThe Outer Limits Dr. Neal Eberhardt Episode: "The Other Side"
2000 Chicken Soup for the Soul Max Episode: "Letters to Suzie"
2000 Twice in a Lifetime Officer Dan Payello/Phillip Barbosa Episode: "My Blue Heaven"
2005 Entourage Himself Episode: "Aquamansion"
2007 Head Case Himself Episode: "Ralph Macchio and Liz Phair"
2008–2009 Ugly Betty Archie Rodriguez 11 episodes
2010 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Louis Marciano Episode: "Inhumane Society"
2010 Psych Nick Conforth Episode: "We'd Like to Thank the Academy"
2011 Dancing with the Stars Himself (contestant) Placed in fourth
2012 Happily Divorced Frankie 2 episodes
2013 Robot Chicken Daniel LaRusso, Gibby, janitor Voice; episode: "Caffeine-Induced Aneurysm"
2013 How I Met Your Mother Himself Episode: "The Bro Mitzvah"
2014 Psych Logan Phelps Episode: "Remake A.K.A. Cloudy... With a Chance of Improvement"
Music videos
Year Title Artist Role
2010 "Had Enough" Danko Jones Dr. Lee Dorian
2011 "I Think Bad Thoughts" Danko Jones Dr. Lee Dorian


  1. ^ "Ralph Macchio Biography".  
  2. ^ J3158-2009 – NY Senate Open Legislation – Congratulating Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Macchio upon the occasion of their 50th Anniversary .New York State Senate.
  3. ^ "Ralph Macchio Sr., father of the actor best known for his recurring role as Daniel LaRusso in three Karate Kid movies... Macchio operated a Western entertainment park – the Wild West Ranch and Western Town in Lake George, NY -until closing it this year after a land ownership". (October 5, 2007).
  4. ^ "American Gypsies: Q&A With Executive Producer Ralph Macchio". National Geographic Society. Retrieved October 4, 2013. Actually, I have a little Greek in the bloodstream as well (my Dad is half Greek). 
  5. ^ Q&A With Executive Producer Ralph Macchio. National Geographic Channel.
  6. ^ "Ralph Macchio and Phil Hartman screen test". Youtube. Retrieved October 10, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Succeeds"How Ralph Macchio . Playbill. April 24, 1996. Retrieved March 23, 2011. 
  8. ^ Rousuck, J. Wynn (May 31, 1996). "A cheery revival for 'How to Succeed' Review: Grown-up Ralph Macchio charms as this updated '61 Pulitzer Prize musical opens a national tour here". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved March 23, 2011. 
  9. ^ "100 Greatest Teen Stars #'s 80-61". MTV Networks. Retrieved November 15, 2008. 
  10. ^ "Wax On, F*ck Off with Ralph Macchio" Funny or Die; 2010
  11. ^ Fretts, Bruce. "Cheers & Jeers"; TV Guide; July 5, 2010; Page 92
  12. ^ Lenzi, Linda (September 21, 2010). "Photo Coverage: Cantone, Macchio et al. in A ROOM OF MY OWN". 
  13. ^ Chen, Joyce (May 18, 2011). Dancing with the Stars' semifinals recap: Ralph Macchio, Karina Smirnoff knocked out of the running"'". Daily News (New York). Retrieved 2011-05-18. 
  14. ^ "Ralph Macchio, Elijah Wood Think Bad Thoughts in Indie Music Clip".  
  15. ^ "Ralph Macchio Plays ‘Psycho’ Scribe Joe Stefano In ‘Hitchcock’".  
  16. ^ a b "Ralph Macchio's 50th Birthday: From Karate Kid To Dancing Star". Huffington Post. January 4, 2012. slide 6. Retrieved March 29, 2015. 
  17. ^ Jocelyn Valle (June 25, 2010). "Whatever happened to Ralph Macchio?". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved December 5, 2010. 
  18. ^ Paul Chi. "The Karate Kid All Grown Up". People. Retrieved December 5, 2010. 
  19. ^ Mc Frontalot – Braggadocio Lyrics.
  20. ^ Campbell, Christopher (June 11, 2010). "'"William Zabka-Directed Music Video, 'Sweep the Leg, Johnny.  
  21. ^ """The Great Girl Grossout. 89.3 The Current Presents (Minnesota Public Radio). January 31, 2010. Archived from the original on March 26, 2010. Retrieved October 24, 2015. 
  22. ^ Natural wonder. (May 11, 2009).
  23. ^ "Annie announces 'A&R' EP will be released in August".  
  24. ^ Gonzalez, Sandra (April 29, 2013). How I Met Your Mother' recap: The Barney"'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 27, 2015. 
  25. ^ Kandell, Steve (May 14, 2010). Recap: Are We Having Fun Yet?"Parks and Recreation".  

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Brandy & Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Dancing with the Stars (US) semi-finalist
Season 12 (Spring 2011 with Karina Smirnoff)
Succeeded by
Hope Solo & Maksim Chmerkovskiy
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