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".
"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.
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!"
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:
Oh no! Karate Kid actor Rob Garrison, "Tommy", passed away. He was 59. My thoughts and deepest condolences go out to his family at this difficult time. https://t.co/EtAmO8qvZE— Martha Quinn (@MarthaQuinn) September 27, 2019
RIP Tommy. I’m sorry you got so upset when Daniel beat you at the All Valley. https://t.co/McQuSs69BW— RealitySteve (@RealitySteve) September 27, 2019
This story originally appeared on Fox News and is reprinted here with permission.