Ralph George Macchio, Jr. 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.
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 Part III. In the mid-1980s, Macchio's face began appearing on the covers of many teen bubblegum 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 William 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.
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 No. 80 among VH1's 100 Greatest Teen Stars.
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. 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.
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.
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.
Macchio appears and acts in the music video of Danko Jones's I Think Bad Thoughts, also featuring Elijah Wood and Jena Malone.
In April 2012, Macchio was cast in the film Hitchcock, based on the non-fiction book Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho, co-starring Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Jessica Biel and Toni Collette, and directed by Sacha Gervasi. Macchio portrays Psycho screenwriter Joseph Stefano.
In April 2013, Macchio appeared in the popular sitcom How I Met Your Mother in the episode entitled The Bro-Mitzvah.