The name Ralph Macchio may ring a bell in some people’s heads, but he is best known as Daniel LaRusso of The Karate Kid movie franchise.
However, Macchio has starred in many films and television shows during a lifetime of enjoying the performing arts.
The Karate Kid has managed to create a memorable career that has turned into an incredibly profitable venture.
What Is Ralph Macchio’s Net Worth?
After over 40 years in the entertainment industry, Ralph Macchio has amassed a net worth of $4 million.
Macchio began acting at 16 and got his first role as a recurring side character named Jeremy Andretti on the television show Eight is Enough.
Macchio has appeared in quite a few movies since 1980, with another movie on the way.
His history of television shows is just as long, ranging from 1980 to the current day.
Macchio has managed to use each role he takes on as a stepping stone to even bigger roles or even expanding his lifelong franchise.
He has even appeared in music videos for No More Kings and multiple videos for Danko Jones, a Canadian hard rock band.
Ralph Macchio appeared in a YouTube reboot series of The Karate Kid called Cobra Kai, which has become an incredibly popular show since switching from being a YouTube Red exclusive to streaming and expanding on Netflix.
His reboot series has become so popular that they created a video game based on the television show, which earned Macchio his first video game voice acting role.
Macchio was one of the executive producers of Cobra Kai until Will Smith began producing for the show.
Ralph Macchio once starred in a theater production of Cuba and His Teddy Bear alongside Robert DeNiro.
He later went on a tour around the United States for a production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.
This extensive career all began with Macchio’s love of tap dancing at the age of three.
His parents, who were Greek and Italian, believed it was important to start helping Macchio develop his talents at a young age.
Ralph Macchio grew up on his parents’ ranch and studied the performing arts for 13 years before his talent agent discovered him.
The Karate Kid Franchise
The biggest highlight of Ralph Macchio’s career is The Karate Kid series of films, which he starred in alongside Pat Morita, William Zabka, Martin Kove, and Elisabeth Shue.
The movie premiered in 1984 and became the classic underdog story.
The first The Karate Kid movie had a budget of $8 million but only made a little over $5 million in the opening week.
However, it went on to make nearly $91 million worldwide.
Fans loved this movie so much that it almost instantly became the ultimate underdog story.
This prompted the producers to create a sequel in 1986.
In The Karate Kid II, Ralph Macchio’s character visits Japan with his mentor, played by Pat Morita, and we learn more about Mr. Miyagi’s past.
The sequel had an estimated budget of $13 million and made a total of more than $115 million worldwide, despite making only $12 million in the first week of its release.
The Karate Kid II proved to be even more successful than the original movie, which prompted the creators of The Karate Kid movies to make the series a trilogy.
The third installment of the series was released three years after the second movie.
The Karate Kid III managed to make $10 million within the first week of its release, but it wasn’t as successful as its predecessors, only raking in $38 million worldwide.
Not much is known about the movie that followed, The Next The Karate Kid, which only made $15 million worldwide.
The franchise wouldn’t see much success until the remake with Jaden Smith taking on the role of Daniel LaRusso’s replacement, Dre Parker.
Mr. Miyagi was replaced with Mr. Han, played by Jackie Chan.
This movie had a massive budget of $40 million and made $351 worldwide.
This showed Macchio and investors that there was still interest in The Karate Kid series from viewers.
Macchio In The Film Industry
One of the first movies that Ralph Macchio ever starred in was Up the Academy, which also starred Robert Downey Jr.
The movie was directed by Robert Downey Sr., the father of Macchio’s costar.
As Chooch, a young man sent to a military academy to become a man, Macchio had a much larger role than the future Iron Man actor.
After doing a couple of television films, Ralph Macchio landed the role of Johnny Cade in The Outsiders.
It was actually his performance in Eight is Enough that earned him the role.
This role was a crucial step in Macchio’s acting career.
His role as Johnny Cade is what caught the eyes of the casting director for The Karate Kid.
Most of Ralph Macchio’s popularity and fame come from The Karate Kid franchise.
The Karate Kid franchise is near and dear to Macchio’s heart.
He even owns the yellow 1947 Ford that he waxed in the movie and keeps it safe in his garage.
The next big role for Macchio was Bill Gambini in My Cousin Vinny in 1992.
The story follows two young men from New York who have been accused of murder and must rely on Bill’s cousin Vinny to get them out of prison for something they didn’t do.
A year later, he starred in Naked in New York with Whoopi Goldberg, Timothy Dalton, Mary-Louise Parker, and Eric Stoltz.
Can’t Be Heaven gave Macchio his first voice-acting role as Hubbie the ghost, a friendly ghost who helps a young child get through childhood troubles.
In 2003, Macchio played Donnie in the comedy-thriller A Good Night to Die.
However, this movie did not do well at the box office or in the opinion of viewers. Macchio portrayed Joseph Stefano, the writer of Psycho in 2012.
His Television Career
Television is where Ralph Macchio got his start at the age of 16.
The first role he was ever cast in was a recurring side character in the television show, Eight is Enough.
This was enough to earn him his next role as Johnny Cade in the film, The Outsiders.
Ralph Macchio took a long break from television to focus on his film career.
He began acting for television again in 1999, appearing in an episode of The Outer Limits reboot as Doctor Neal Eberhardt.
In 2000, he also starred in one of the episodes of the television show that is based on the books Chicken Soup for the Soul, which were real-life, feel-good scenarios that were meant to be soothing to watch.
That same year, he also appeared as Officer Dan Payello and Phillip Barbosa in Twice in a Lifetime.
In the show, Macchio plays a dirty cop who has died prematurely and is given a second shot at life to fix his mistakes.
From 2008 until 2009, he played Archie Rodriguez in the comedy show, Ugly Betty, appearing in 11 different episodes.
You can even spot Ralph Macchio in a 2010 episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent as Louis Marciano, a boxer who was just released from jail after getting caught in the dog-fighting ring.
He stars alongside Jeff Goldblum in this episode.
In 2011, the tap-dancing The Karate Kid actor competed on Dancing With the Stars and was able to get 4th place after 17 episodes.
He was partnered with Karina Smirnoff.
Ralph Macchio also appeared on Celebrity Roast for the roasting of Rob Lowe.
The idea of Cobra Kai was in the works for about 30 years but faced many struggles before even reaching production.
Macchio’s ideas were considered “short-sighted, one-off ideas”.
After consideration, the idea to focus on Daniel LaRusso would not be as interesting as focusing on what became of his opponent.
This directive decision was made to model the Rocky franchise’s choice to move on to another fan-favorite character from the series like they did with Creed.
Cobra Kai originally started as a YouTube Red exclusive series in 2018.
While the show was extremely popular on the platform, there weren’t many consumers who were willing to pay for a YouTube streaming service.
YouTube Red was not selling as well as YouTube had hoped, so they sold the rights to Cobra Kai to Netflix.
The show was released on that platform on August 28th, 2020.
Netflix released information about adding a third season to the series soon after they got the rights, which was released in 2021.
Despite the decision to shift the narrative focus onto a new protagonist, Ralph Macchio has appeared in the series during the third season.
His new role has led to a resurgence in fans recognizing him in public.
Fans often quote lines, such as, “Sweep the leg!” at the actor while he is out in public.
He has stated that this act can be slightly annoying, especially when he’s out trying to do things like getting groceries or taking his family out.
However, he has also admitted that he is “as privileged and lucky as you can get” and appreciates the attention.
The show takes a look at how the mentorship that both Daniel and Johnny received shaped their personalities and their futures.
The show was made to help humanize Johnny and help redeem his character.
Other Film Ventures
Aside from being a theater, television, and film actor, Ralph Macchio has also been a producer, director, and writer.
Ralph Macchio has been all over the entertainment industry and began to branch off from acting in 1994.
One of the first positions that Macchio filled was as the producer and director of The Ties That Bind, which was supposed to be a half-hour long situational comedy show that Macchio made with Warner Bros.
They filmed six episodes of the series and announced the cast, but the series was never aired.
The show was meant to be edgier than Roseanne, but it was turned into an edgeless, lesser version of Full House.
In 2012, American Gypsies was released as a reality television show on National Geographic.
This show was pitched after the son of one of Macchio’s friends gave him a collection of rough-cut footage.
The student had originally put the piece together as an assignment for school, but it was so entertaining that Macchio was hooked on the idea.
Macchio got Stick Figure Productions in on the idea, and they began documenting what life was like as someone who was growing up and raising children in both a Romani and American culture.
A year after producing American Gypsies, Ralph Macchio went on to write and direct a short film that starred his dance partner from Dancing with the Stars, Karina Smirnoff.
Although the release wasn’t massive, everyone who saw the short film applauded its emotional story.
Across Grace Alley follows a young boy who becomes enthralled by watching a dancer who lives across the alley dance around her apartment.
Although the encounter between the two characters is awkward at first, it becomes relatable and heart-throbbing.
The short film received vastly more praise than many of Macchio’s other projects.
Ralph Macchio’s Family
Ralph Macchio met his future wife, Phyllis Fierro, while she was caring for his grandmother as a nurse practitioner.
His grandmother was the one to introduce the pair when Macchio was only 15 years old. Fierro and Macchio got married in 1987.
His grandmother had invited Fierro over for one of Macchio’s cousins’ birthday parties that she was holding in her basement.
Phyllis Fierro also happened to be the friend of another one of his cousins.
These high school sweethearts have managed to stay together for decades and raise two children, Daniel and Julie Macchio.
Throughout Ralph Macchio’s career, his wife has worked on the frontline of healthcare.
Phyllis Macchio has been working fiercely through the pandemic.
Both Ralph and Phyllis Macchio credit the strength their relationship has had to the commitment that they hold to each other.
The couple has been together for 34 years.
Ralph Macchio has often credited his ability to balance work life and home life to the way that his wife allows him to take a “one step in, one step out” approach to Hollywood.
When he feels that he can, he takes time to add more credits to his filmography and his career.
However, he is also able to step away from Hollywood when he needs to tend to himself and his family.
Macchio has never been one to fall into many of the temptations that other celebrities have had, whether they be drugs or overworking yourself to the point of ignoring your family.
While Ralph Macchio may have been an entertainer from the very beginning of his life, his family instantly became the greatest focus of his life.
Others may want more money, more fame, or more recognition, but Macchio wants to be the best husband and father that he can be.
Ralph Macchio may have made his biggest claim to fame in the 1980s, but his love of performing arts and creativity have kept him creating a variety of shows, movies, and other forms of entertainment.
With the new success that Cobra Kai has brought, Macchio has gotten a major resurgence in popularity that not even he was ready for.
While other generations may know him as The Karate Kid, younger generations will see him as the seasoned karate master that his character has become.
Unlike many other celebrities, Ralph Macchio isn’t motivated by what will make the most money or what will help him reach a new level of fame.
He simply wants to create stories based on characters he loves and feelings that he’s had before.
While Macchio’s career may have taken an odd turn in the late 1990s to early 2000s, he has been able to tell another story that fans are just begging to hear more of.
The success of Cobra Kai proves that his career is nowhere near over, and he has plenty more stories to enthrall the audience with.
Daniel LaRusso has risen once more to teach children and adults the effects of having positive-influencing authority figures in their lives and how strength comes from determination and plenty of practice.