Ralph Macchio may be turning 50 on Friday, but you'd never guess it from looking at the perpetually baby-faced star of "The Karate Kid" and "My Cousin Vinny."
The shockingly uncontroversial Macchio is famous in Hollywood circles for his refusal to go the drug-addled route of too many of his fellow 1980s heartthrobs and, as if it were any question, the choice seems to be paying off. While former teen stars and ex-brat pack members continue to duke it out for the chance to appear on one of VH1's "Celebreality" shows (e.g. "Celebrity Fit Club," "Celebrity Rehab"), the 50-year-old Macchio seems to be having one of the most interesting years of his career.
In March, Macchio appeared on season 12 of "Dancing With the Stars," competing with dancer Karina Smirnoff.
Macchio was a fan favorite from the start, and though the pair fell short of victory (finishing fourth overall), the show reignited the public's fondness for the actor. He has since filled his time producing a series for the National Geographic Channel, starring in a Sundance-bound indie film alongside Ben Stiller and Jesse Eisenberg and appearing in a series of teen driving videos for State Farm with his son, Daniel, according to The Washington Post.
In honor of Ralph Macchio's half-century, Huff/Post50 decided to pay tribute with a slideshow of the actor's career highlights from acting alongside some of the 20th century's biggest stars in "The Outsiders" to dancing the foxtrot alongside Kirstie Alley on "Dancing With the Stars."
(For more pics of Ralph Macchio before his "Dancing With The Stars" fame, check out this additional gallery at Snakkle.com.)
Happy birthday, Ralph!
Ralph Macchio was born on Nov. 4, 1961 in Huntington, New York. He began acting early, appearing in a series of commercials for Dr. Pepper and Bubble Yum before his 18th birthday. He was eventually cast as Jeremy Andretti on the ABC comedy "Eight is Enough."
Ralph (right) shows off his singing and dancing chops in a school production of "South Pacific" at Half Hollow Hills West High School.
In 1983, Macchio landed his first major film role as Johnny Cade in the adaptation of S.E. Hinton's classic "The Outsiders." The film was a success, raising Macchio's notoriety and those of his fellow costars, Tom Cruise, Emilio Estevez and Matt Dillon.
In 1984, Macchio starred in "The Karate Kid" alongside the late Pat Morita. The film turned Macchio into a teen sensation, with his face appearing on the covers of Teen Beat, 16 and Tiger Beat.
In this famous scene from "The Karate Kid," Macchio's character Daniel LaRusso is fed up with Morita's Mr. Miyagi, who seems to be taking advantage of his desire to learn karate by making him sand his deck and wash his car. What follows is proof that Mr. Miyagi is the wisest and most diabolically ingenious fictional martial arts teacher to ever grace the big screen (after all, he trained the kid and got his car washed).
In 1987, Macchio married Phyllis Fierro. The actor met the former nurse practitioner when he was 15 and she was caring for his grandmother. Now in their third decade of marriage, Macchio and Fierro have two children.
Earlier this year Macchio competed in the 12th season of ABC's "Dancing with the Stars." He and partner Karina Smirnoff placed fourth in the overall competition. In this clip, the pair performs the foxtrot to Dean Martin's "Ain't That A Kick In The Head?"
Macchio recently appeared in the hysterical Funny Or Die video, "Wax On, F**k Off," in which the actor's family members and former costars plead with him to develop an affinity for drugs and prostitutes to revive his career. If the satire tells us anything, it's that we shouldn't expect to hear much drama out of the Macchio camp anytime soon. Unlike too many other former '80s stars, the man is clean, content and successful. Happy 50th, Ralph!
For more pics of Ralph Macchio before his "Dancing With The Stars" fame, check out the rest of the gallery at Snakkle.com.