In 2018, Rob Garrison returned to the Karate Kid franchise to play Tommy on the acclaimed series Cobra Kai. In Season 2, Episode 6, titled “Take a Right,” the character, who suffers from a terminal illness, reunites with his former Cobra Kai teammates Jimmy (Tony O’Dell), Bobby (Ron Thomas), and Johnny (William Zabka). The friends spend the day reminiscing in Big Bear and they end night by sitting by a campfire. After a night of camping, Jimmy and Bobby discover Tommy’s dead body. The paramedics are called but are unable to revive him.
Unfortunately, Garrison and his character went through similar circumstances. In September 2019, the actor passed away at “a specialty hospital in Pennsylvania,” as reported by TMZ. The publication reported that the actor had been admitted to the hospital about a month before his death, as he was “dealing with kidney and liver issues.”
Ralph Macchio Took To Twitter To Share Kind Words About Garrison
Shortly after his passing, the actor’s other co-star Ralph Macchio, who portrays Daniel LaRusso in the Karate Kid franchise, took to social media to release a statement. According to Pop Culture, the actor shared a touching “tribute to his friend on Twitter.”
“Rob Garrison was a kind gentleman from the 1st day I met him to the last day we spoke. I am so glad he had the opportunity to show his range & genuine heart w/his performance last season on Cobra Kai. His campfire scene was of my favs of Season 2. RIP my friend. U will b missed,” read the tweet, which was uploaded on September 27, 2020.
Macchio Also Released a Statement Following Pat Morita’s Death
Unfortunately, Garrison is not the only member of the original Karate Kid cast who has died since the film’s release in 1984. Pat Morita, who portrayed Mr. Miyagi, passed away in 2005 after a lifelong battle with alcoholism. The day after his death, Macchio publically shared a statement about his co-star, as reported by E! News.
“Pat Morita was a truly generous actor, a gifted comic, and an even greater friend. It was both my honor and privilege to have worked with him and create a bit of cinema magic together. My life is all the richer for having known him. I will miss his genuine friendship. Forever my Sensei,” read the statement.
Macchio also delivered speeches at both of Morita’s memorial services. During a 2012 interview on the Covino & Rich Show, the actor revealed that he was somewhat reluctant to give the eulogies and implied he believed that Morita’s brother should have had the honor. He stated, however, that he was glad he took on the responsibility as “it just felt right to be there, you know.”