Ralph Macchio

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Ralph Macchio
BornRalph George Macchio
(1961-11-04) November 4, 1961 (age 50)
Huntington, Long Island, New York, U.S.
Years active1980–present
Spouse(s)Phyllis Fierro (1987–present)
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Ralph Macchio
BornRalph George Macchio
(1961-11-04) November 4, 1961 (age 50)
Huntington, Long Island, New York, U.S.
Years active1980–present
Spouse(s)Phyllis Fierro (1987–present)

Ralph George Macchio, Jr. (/ˈmɑːi./; November 4, 1961) is an American actor, best known for his roles as Daniel LaRusso in the Karate Kid series, Eugene Martone in Crossroads, Billy 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.


Early life

Macchio was born on November 4, 1961, 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 Italian and half Greek descent, and his mother is of Italian ancestry.[4]


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 movie. 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, Karate Kid Part II and III. In the mid-1980s, Macchio's face began appearing on the covers of many teen "bubble gum" 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 Billy 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."[5][6]

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 #80 among VH1's 100 Greatest Teen Stars.[7]

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.[8] 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."[9]

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 Bleeker Street Theater Company.[10]

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.[11]

Macchio appears and acts in the music video of Danko Jones's "I Think Bad Thoughts," also featuring Elijah Wood and Jena Malone.[12]

In April 2012, Macchio was cast in the film Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho, co-starring Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Jessica Biel and Toni Collette, and directed by Sacha Gervasi. Macchio will portray Psycho screenwriter Joseph Stefano.[13]

Personal life

Macchio met his wife, Phyllis Fierro, a nurse practitioner, through his grandmother when he was 15. They married in 1987 and have two children, Julia and Daniel.[14][15]

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 The Wussy Boy Manifesto. Nerdcore artist MC Frontalot mentions him in his song, "Braggadocio".[16] Macchio was featured in a brief cameo at the end of the No More Kings video for "Sweep the Leg".

The Bat for Lashes' song "Daniel" is inspired by Macchio's character in the Karate Kid movies.[17] The front cover of the single shows singer Natasha Khan with Daniel LaRusso's face painted on her back.[18]


1980Up the AcademyChooch Bambalazi
Eight is EnoughJeremy Andretti
1982Dangerous CompanyDenny Brody
High PowderEddie
1983The OutsidersJohnny Cade
1984The Karate KidDaniel LaRusso
TeachersEddie Pilikian
The Three Wishes of Billy GrierBilly Grier
1986CrossroadsEugene Martone
The Karate Kid, Part IIDaniel LaRusso
1988Distant ThunderJack Lambert
1989The Karate Kid, Part IIIDaniel LaRusso
1991Too Much SunFrank Jr.
The Last POW: The Bobby Garwood StoryRobert Garwood
1992My Cousin VinnyBilly Gambini
1993Naked in New YorkChris
1998The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the RescueTimVideo (voice)
1999The Other Side (The Outer Limits)Dr. Eberhardt
Can't Be Heaven (Forever Together)Hubbie Darling
The Office PartySean
2001"Popcorn Shrimp"Cop #2Film short
2003A Good Night to DieDonnie
2006Beer LeagueMaz
2007Head CaseHimselfTV series, episode five
2008–2009Ugly BettyArchie Rodriguez, Jr.11 episodes
2009Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead[19]Bobby Bianchi
2010Law & Order: Criminal IntentLouis MarcianoEpisode "Inhumane Society"
PsychNick ConforthEpisode "We'd Like to Thank the Academy"
Wax on, F*ck offHimselfOnline short
2011Dancing with the StarsHimselfFinished 4th place. (semi-finalist)
2012Happily DivorcedFrankieSeason 2 - Mid-Season Finale
HitchcockJoe Stefano


  1. ^ "Ralph Macchio Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Yahoo!. http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/contributor/1800052185/bio. Retrieved 2008-09-21. 
  2. ^ http://open.nysenate.gov/legislation/bill/J3158-2009
  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"
  4. ^ http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/american-gypsies/q-a-with-ralph-macchio/
  5. ^ "How Ralph Macchio Succeeds". playbill.com. April 24, 1996. http://www.playbill.com/features/article/64275-How-Ralph-Macchio-Succeeds. Retrieved March 23, 2011. 
  6. ^ 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. http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1996-05-31/features/1996152118_1_ralph-macchio-finch-rosemary. Retrieved March 23, 2011. 
  7. ^ "100 Greatest Teen Stars #'s 80-61". vh1devas2000live.com. MTV Networks. http://www.vh1divas2000live.com/shows/dyn/the_greatest/97835/episode_featured_copy.jhtml. Retrieved 15 November 2008. 
  8. ^ "Wax On, F*ck Off with Ralph Macchio" Funny or Die; 2010
  9. ^ Fretts, Bruce. "Cheers & Jeers"; TV Guide; July 5, 2010; Page 92
  10. ^ Lenzi, Linda (September 21, 2010). "Photo Coverage: Cantone, Macchio et al. in A ROOM OF MY OWN". BroadwayWorld.com. http://broadwayworld.com/article/Photo_Coverage_Cantone_Macchio_et_al_in_A_ROOM_OF_MY_OWN_20100921. 
  11. ^ Chen, Joyce (May 18, 2011). "'Dancing with the Stars' semifinals recap: Ralph Macchio, Karina Smirnoff knocked out of the running". Daily News (New York). http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv/2011/05/18/2011-05-18_dancing_with_the_stars_semifinals_recap_ralph_macchio_karina_smirnoff_knocked_ou.html. Retrieved 2011-05-18. 
  12. ^ "Ralph Macchio, Elijah Wood Think Bad Thoughts in Indie Music Clip". The Wrap. March 28, 2011. http://www.thewrap.com/tv/column-post/ralph-macchio-and-elijah-wood-think-bad-thoughts-indie-music-clip-video-25891. Retrieved March 28, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Ralph Macchio Plays ‘Psycho’ Scribe Joe Stefano In ‘Hitchcock’". Deadline.com. April 17, 2012. http://www.deadline.com/2012/04/ralph-macchio-plays-psycho-scribe-joe-stefano-in-hitchcock/. Retrieved April 19, 2012. 
  14. ^ Jocelyn Valle (June 25, 2010). "Whatever happened to Ralph Macchio?". Inquirer.net. http://showbizandstyle.inquirer.net/entertainment/entertainment/view/20100625-277523/Whatever-happened-to-Ralph-Macchio. Retrieved December 5, 2010. 
  15. ^ Paul Chi. "The Karate Kid All Grown Up". People. http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20281994,00.html. Retrieved December 5, 2010. 
  16. ^ http://www.lyricstime.com/mc-frontalot-braggadocio-lyrics.html
  17. ^ 89.3 The Current Presents, "The Great Girl Grossout", aired 31 January 2010 on The Current (Minnesota Public Radio) and archived here: http://minnesota.publicradio.org/radio/programs/current-presents/
  18. ^ Natural wonder
  19. ^ 'The Outsiders' Cast : Where Are They Now?

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