The Karate Kid’s Ralph Macchio: From Teen Idol to Sexy at 59!

alph Macchio knows his self-described “young gene” can be confusing to fans. When he became a household name playing teen martial-arts student Daniel LaRusso in 1984’s he was 22. When he appeared as a college student in the Oscar-winning 1992 film he was already married and expecting his first child. And as he reprises his role in the spinoff series more than three decades after the movie made him a star, he has no trouble sliding back into the athletic part—even if he now uses reading glasses for the script. “Depending on the time of day and camera angle, it’s a little less flattering than it might have been 20 years ago,” the star, 59, says with a laugh from his home on Long Island. But a consequence of looking like the boy next door for most of his life is that he’s recognized whenever he leaves the house. “I always joke that if there’s a fly in a restaurant,” he says, referring tos famous scenes, “I have about nine seconds to get out before someone’s handing me a pair of chopsticks.”

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