‘Cobra Kai’ Star William Zabka Played a Hunky Love Interest in an ’80s Sitcom
Since its debut in 2018, Cobra Kai attracted pop culture fans old enough to remember the original Karate Kid films and young fans looking for something new. The television series features several former stars of The Karate Kid, including William Zabka, reprising his role as Johnny Lawrence. Most viewers probably know Zabka best for this character, but the actor has dozens of other credits. Zabka even had a small role in an 80s NBC sitcom that aired the same year. The Karate Kid created.
William Zabka became famous for his role in “The Karate Kid”
Zabka was born in New York in 1965. From an early age, he knew he wanted to become an actor, inspired by his father, who worked as an assistant director on several television productions. In 1983, Zabka graduated from high school. He then briefly attended college before leaving to focus on his acting career, reports IMDb.
His first acting credit was in the 1983 TV series America’s Greatest Hero. Zabka appeared in one episode as Clarence Mortner Jr. But he didn’t get his big break until the following year when he landed the role of Johnny Lawrence in The Karate Kid.
Playing the main antagonist of the story, Zabka became a sensation. The film even inspired him to pursue martial arts.
Although his role in The Karate Kid set it up for success, Zabka appeared in another project in 1984 – one on a much smaller scale.
Zabka played Jeffrey in the sitcom Leave me alone! Although her role was small, it was still memorable. The rising young star played the love interest of Samantha Kanisky (Lara Jill Miller) in the episode “Sam’s First Love”, which aired on October 27, 1984. Leave me alone! was a popular series that aired on NBC for six seasons, from 1981 to 1987.
The TV show told the story of a former singer, Nell Harper, who becomes housekeeper to a widowed police chief and his three daughters. Featuring Tony winning actor Nell Carter, Leave me alone! was so popular that he hosted various guest stars on the show. Well-known celebrities who have appeared on the show include Whitney Houston, Andy Gibb, Milton Berle, Don Rickles, and Helen Hunt.
Although Zabka’s contribution to the show has been modest, it’s still an interesting chapter in the Cobra Kai star career.
What is the “Cobra Kia” actor up to now?
William Zabka fully assumed his role in The Karate Kid franchise, appearing in the film’s sequels and even some parody productions. Fans were therefore thrilled to learn that Zabka would be returning as Johnny Lawrence in the Karate Kid-inspired TV series Cobra Kai.
The show debuted on YouTube Red in 2018 before moving to Netflix in January 2021. Season 4 debuted on the streaming giant in December 2021, and Netflix renewed the show for a fifth season. According to Decider, the fifth season does not yet have a release date, but the showrunners have confirmed that they have wrapped filming.
In a December 2021 interview with Screen Rant, Zabka opened up about what it’s like to play Johnny, revealing that Season 5 “may be my favorite season. It’s even more! It’s a lot of fun…I tip my hat to the writers and creative team for doing such a great job. I’m really proud to be a part of it.”
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