This Karate Kid Star Named Their Son After a Character

Ralph Macchio and William Zabka Posing

Getty Ralph Macchio and William Zabka pose together at the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con.

Arguably, Ralph Macchio’s most iconic role is Daniel LaRusso from the Karate Kid franchise. Since 2018, 34 years after the first film premiered, the actor has reprised the beloved character in Cobra Kai

Like many fans of the franchise, the 59-year-old appears to hold Daniel LaRusso in high regard. According to The Guardian, his son is actually the character’s namesake. In an August 2020 interview with the publication, Macchio revealed that the 24-year-old sometimes had issues with his name. 

“There was a chunk of time when my son was like: ‘Did you have to?’ But now he’s proud of it. Unlike Ralph, Daniel is a classic, it never goes out of style, you know?” said the actor. 


Macchio Also Spoke About His Son’s Name on ‘The Kelly Clarkson Show’

In a recent interview on The Kelly Clarkson Show, Macchio clarified that The Karate Kid was not the only reason he and his wife, Phyllis, decided on the name Daniel for their second-born child. 

“My wife’s best friend growing up was her cousin Daniel, so she always had an affinity for that name, and it was a classic biblical name that I always loved,” explained the actor. 

He went on to say that the character in the original Karate Kid script “was [named] Danny Weber,” but eventually was changed “to make him more Italian.”

Macchio did note, however, that he and his wife were somewhat hesitant about the name, despite both having a strong fondness for it. 

“It was like, is it too soon?” said Macchio.

He stated, however, that he was pleased with their choice for their son. 

“We went for it, and I still think it’s a beautiful name,” noted the actor.

Macchio, however, did reiterate that his son had a distaste for his name for “a couple of years.” However, he currently has an appreciation for its significance. Macchio also noted that his son goes by “Dan, and he’s his own,” which the actor thinks is “wonderful.” 


Macchio Noted That His Children Love ‘Cobra Kai’

In the same interview with Kelly Clarkson, the actor revealed that both Dan and his daughter, Julia, 28, love Cobra Kai. 

“That is one of my favorite surprises of this show is how much my kids embrace it, and their friends embrace it,” said Macchio. “And just, that something that’s such a big part of my life from the past is now such a massive part of my life and my family and my kids. You know, usually your kids, you’re trying to find stuff that they like that you could connect with. And in this case, they literally championed this show out there and take such pride in it.”

The actor shared similar sentiments about his children and their appreciation for the acclaimed series during a January 2021 interview on The View with co-star William Zabka, who plays Johnny Lawrence.

“Every season it launched was like Christmas morning for them. All their friends, they’re all getting together binge-watching it as a group, and it’s really quite wonderful. And [Dan and Julia are] friends with some of the young cast members, our next generation cast, and it’s the gift that keeps on giving ,” revealed Macchio.

To see more Ralph Macchio, be sure to watch to Cobra Kai Season 3, available on Netflix.

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