Robert Garrison (right). Picture: Supplied
Robert Garrison (right). Picture: Supplied

Karate Kid actor dead at 59

Robert Garrison, best known for his role of Tommy in the early instalments of The Karate Kid, has died after a battle with kidney and liver problems.

Fox News reports that a representative for Garrison called the actor "an ambassador to The Karate Kid legacy".

Robert Garrison (right) played Tommy in The Karate Kid. Picture: Columbia Pictures
Robert Garrison (right) played Tommy in The Karate Kid. Picture: Columbia Pictures

"Rob was a great person and ambassador to The Karate Kid legacy. His performance in Season 2 of Cobra Kai, being his last, was simply amazing and he stole the episode. He will be missed by me and everyone he encountered," read the statement.

Ralph Macchio (right) and Pat Morita in the Karate Kid. Picture: Supplied
Ralph Macchio (right) and Pat Morita in the Karate Kid. Picture: Supplied

Garrison died in a hospital in West Virginia, where he had been for over a month before his organs shut down, his sister-in-law told TMZ.

"My brother was a fun-loving guy. He enjoyed people and he enjoyed life. He liked to have fun and make people laugh up until the very end. He will definitely be missed," his brother Patrick told TMZ.

The actor's family said they are co-ordinating funeral arrangements for the former child actor, who started his career in the late 1970s before landing his first major role in the 1984 classic film and its sequel, The Karate Kid Part II. Tommy delivers one of Karate Kid's most memorable lines during the fim's climax: "Get him a bodybag!"

Ralph Macchio in the Karate Kid. Picture: Supplied
Ralph Macchio in the Karate Kid. Picture: Supplied

According to IMDb, Garrison left the acting business from 1995 to 2011. He would reprise his role as Tommy this year for the YouTube TV series adaptation Cobra Kai. The actor also held smaller roles on TV shows MacGyver, Homefront and Coach.

"I'm heartened to know how much Rob enjoyed and cherished his time working on Cobra Kai. We were looking forward to seeing his smiling face again this season, as we had plans for Tommy to ride again. But he'll remain in our thoughts every day as we strive to make him proud. #RIP," Cobra Kai writer-producer Jon Hurwitz said via Twitter.

Garrison is survived by his brother Patrick. Karate Kid fans are today paying tribute to the late actor on social media:

 

 

 

 

 

 

This story originally appeared on Fox News and is reprinted here with permission.


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