Ralph Macchio, pronounced “mah-chee-oh,” is best known for playing Daniel LaRusso in three Karate Kid movies and a television series. His boyish good looks helped him land leading roles in TV shows like Eight Is Enough and The Outsiders, but when his film career stalled in the 1990s, he focused on family life and a series of well-received comedy films.
His 1992 movie My Cousin Vinny was a breakout hit, but it didn’t spur enough new acting opportunities for him to make a significant comeback. He prefers a quiet life out of the spotlight and has been married to his high-school sweetheart, Phyllis Fierro, since 1987. He competed in the 2011 edition of Dancing With the Stars and has written a book, Waxing On: The Karate Kid and Me.
In addition to his acting work, he’s also an accomplished painter and singer. His singing voice is so distinctive that he’s been compared to Frank Sinatra and Sam Cooke. His music has been featured in many popular movies and TV shows.
The actor has two children with Fierro, and he once saved a baby porpoise that was beached near his Malibu home. He’s a fan of The Beatles and Bruce Springsteen, and he once appeared in a music video with rock guitarist Steve Vai. The actor is also a fan of the New York Islanders, and his character’s 1947 yellow Ford convertible from the first Karate Kid movie still sits in the garage of his California home.