Thomas Ian Griffith Shares ‘Karate Kid’ Co-Stars Did Not Recognize Him

Thomas Ian Griffith

Getty Thomas Ian Griffith and his wife Mary Page Keller pose together in 2005.

Thomas Ian Griffith starred as Terry Silver, an evil billionaire, who happens to be a skilled martial artist, in the 1989 film “The Karate Kid Part III.” In the movie, he assists his friend John Kreese (Martin Kove) to bring down Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) by any means necessary. The businessman goes as far as employing a violent professional martial artist, Mike Barnes (Sean Kanan) as a way to make Daniel’s life even more difficult. 


Thomas Ian Griffith Revealed That Martin Kove & Sean Kanan Did Not Recognize Him 

During a July interview on the “Cobra Kai Kompanion” podcast, Griffith shared that despite being co-stars, Kove and Kanan did not recognize him at “an event.” The 59-year-old was not specific about what year the encounter took place, but implied quite some time had passed since filming “The Karate Kid Part III.” He explained that he and his wife actress Mary Page Keller “were having dinner at a place and there was an event upstairs and someone said oh [the] guys from ‘Karate Kid’ are up there.” This announcement caught Griffith’s attention and he decided to go see his castmates. 

“I saw Sean and Marty. They were standing there and I walked up and I said hey is this a ‘Karate Kid’ reunion? And they looked at me, both of them, and didn’t have any idea who I was,” said Griffith. 

The actor attributed his difference in appearance as the reason his “Karate Kid Part III” co-stars were unable to recognize him. 

“I’m going wow I must look like h*** or — because my hair went white or I had a beard, whatever it was,” said the actor. 

He stated they eventually realized who he was, and they “had fun” together. He then shared that “when [he] first walked up [he] think[s]” Kove and Kanan were under the impression that “they were being hounded by some fan coming after them,” which they did not seem to appreciate. 

“They were like walk away dude,” said Griffith. 


Sean Kanan Discussed His Relationship With Martin Kove in 2018

In a separate “Cobra Kai Kompanion” interview, uploaded in 2018, Sean Kanan discussed sharing the screen with Kove and Griffith. He shared that having Kove as a scene partner “was amazing” because he “was a fan” of the “Karate Kid” films before being cast as Mike Barnes. The actor went on to say that he is “actually very close friends” with the 75-year-old.  

“He is just absolutely one of the sweetest guys on the planet. He’s like an uncle to me. I would say that Marty is like an uncle. And I have so much love for the guy that it’s amazing having gone from being this 19-year-old kid on the set to now I’m going to be 52-years-old next month in November and now Marty and I are friends,” said Kanan. “You know, I know his son and I am friends with his son, Jesse. So for me, that was one of the best gifts of the experience was forging that friendship with Marty.” 

Kanan also noted that “working with Thomas Ian Griffith was great.”

“I mean he’s, you know, he’s a terrific actor. He was a lot of fun. He created a bigger than life character and you know, he and I really enjoyed working together,” said the 54-year-old. 

READ NEXT: Chad McQueen’s Daughter Reveals if He Will Be in ‘Cobra Kai’


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