This ‘Karate Kid’ Villain Has an Unexpected Connection to Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton

Getty Dolly Parton poses at the 53rd annual CMA Awards.

Thomas Ian Griffith may be best known for portraying Terry Silver in “The Karate Kid Part III.” The 59-year-old will reprise the role in “Cobra Kai” season 4, which will premiere on Netflix on December 31, 2021. According to IMDb, the actor also appeared in the television series “Another World,” “Behind Enemy Lines,” and “One Tree Hill.”

Griffith also has an impressive writing career. He has penned the screenplays for the films “Night of the Warrior,” “Excessive Force,” and “Black Point.” In addition, he has co-written episodes of the NBC series “Grimm” with his wife actress Mary Page Keller. The couple also penned a 2019 episode of “Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings,” titled “Sugar Hill.” 

Thomas Ian Griffith Spoke About Working With Dolly Parton

During a June 2021 appearance on the “Cobra Kai Kompanion” podcast, Thomas Ian Griffith discussed his experience working on “Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings.” He explained that he and Keller were hired to write an episode of the series inspired by Dolly Parton’s 2002 song “Sugar Hill.” The actor then shared that he enjoyed collaborating with Parton. 

“Dolly was just unbelievable, you know, she was fantastic,” said Griffith. 

The actor then shared that Parton gave him and Keller freedom with the script. 

“Mary and I were like, ‘What’s the mandate, what does Dolly want?’ And all we got back was she knows you guys have been together forever and she wants your interpretation so it’s like let’s do an epic love story,” explained the actor. 

Griffith revealed that Parton was impressed with the script. 

“We remember handing in the script and the executive and Dolly, they get on the phone and Dolly said, ‘I cried three times. I had to put it down. They’re not changing a word of this.’ It’s like, ‘God bless you Dolly.’ So she’s amazing we’ve got to work with her since and hopefully we’ll work with her again soon,” stated the father-of-two. 

Thomas Ian Griffith Discussed Being in ‘Cobra Kai’ Season 4

During the “Cobra Kai Kompanion” interview, Griffith hinted at Terry Silver’s storyline in the upcoming season of “Cobra Kai.” He shared that he believes “a lot of [fans’] questions will be answered” regarding the character in season 4. 

“It’s an exciting journey, not just for Terry Silver but overall. It’s just — it’s an epic season. I’m so proud of it. And I really can’t wait for it to drop,” said the actor. 

While speaking to AwardsWatch in August 2021, William “Billy” Zabka, who plays Johnny Lawrence, discussed Thomas Ian Griffith joining the “Cobra Kai” cast. The actor shared that he enjoyed working alongside Griffith on the series.

“Thomas is a wonderful actor. What a talented guy he is, you know, I didn’t really — I learned so much about him. I never had a chance to work with him because I didn’t do ‘Karate Kid II’ — or ‘III’ with him. I wasn’t in that with him so I just met him really and got to know so much about him,” said Zabka. 

The actor went on to list Griffith’s many talents. 

“He’s a great singer, opera singer, musician and writer. He’s written a pilot every year for TV,” shared the 59-year-old. 

READ NEXT: ‘Cobra Kai’ Actor Xolo Maridueña Reveals Co-Star Pranked Him

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