Ralph Macchio was an icon in the 1980s! Everyone knew his name, and you couldn’t meet a girl who didn’t like him or a boy who didn’t want to be him.
But what was the big deal? Why was he so popular, and how did he get there? Plus, where in the world is he now, 30 years later?
Well Macchio was born in New York to a couple that had moved to the U.S. from Naples, Italy. His father owned a ranch, so he wasn’t exactly brought up in the life of luxury.
Macchio’s acting career started in the early 1980s. He started by appearing in commercials for Dr. Pepper and Bubble Yum. A little while later, he was Johnny Cade in the movie The Outsiders, which helped propel him (and many other young men) into stardom. To give a few examples, Patrick Swayze, Matt Dillon and Emilio Estevez were also in the movie.
But what really topped Macchio’s acting career was The Karate Kid. Playing a senior in high school who was getting beat up by bullies, Macchio went on to learn karate and participate in a huge karate tournament. He ended up fighting the bullies that had beat him up previously, and one of them actually got kicked out of the tournament in order to break his leg. Macchio still finished the tournament though, winning with a tricky crane kick he’d seen his mentor perform constantly.
Ralph Macchio In “The Karate Kid” 1984
The movie was a mega hit, and Macchio went on to star in two more Karate Kid movies.
But where is the actor now? Is he all washed up, or did he continue to work in Hollywood over the years?
Macchio continued to work as an adult, but never had the kind of success he’d experienced in his 20s (I mean, it would’ve been a pretty high bar for anyone to maintain). His most significant role was the antagonist in My Cousin Vinny, a comedy starring Joe Pesci.
Ralph Macchio And Joe Pesci In “My Cousin Vinny”
He’s also been featured as a guest in multiple TV shows over the years, from Entourage to How I Met Your Mother. He’s appeared in a few musicals, commercials, and had some repeat roles in shows such as Ugly Betty.
In 2011, it was announced that he would compete in the next Dancing with the Stars. He actually did very well, finishing in 4th place and getting eliminated in the semi-finals.
Ralph Macchio and Karina Smirnoff On DWTS
So even though Macchio hasn’t been front and center like he was after The Karate Kid, he has still kept pretty busy which is impressive for a star from an era that saw so many failures. Unlike a lot of young movie stars who completely disappear from the face of the earth, he has still managed to stay in the game.
Ralph hasn’t done all of this by himself though. He has been married to the same woman, Phyllis Fierro, since 1987. They’ve had two kids since then, and his wife works as a nurse practitioner.
Ralph Macchio And Family
Ralph has always been one of our favorite stars of all time, and it’s nice to see him still being in the game after all these years. Especially given the usual drama seen all over the news in Hollywood over the last few years. Ralph will always have a special place in the hearts of those who loved him from the 80s!