Sorry, Jaden Smith, but to a generation of moviegoers, the Karate Kid will always be Daniel-san, a.k.a. Ralph Macchio, the star of the original "Karate Kid." Released 30 years ago this week (on June 22, 1984), "The Karate Kid" hit pop culture with the force of a flying-crane kick to the chin. It launched a franchise that included three sequels (as well as Smith's 2010 reboot), made stars out of Macchio and Elisabeth Shue, earned an Oscar nomination for Noriyuki "Pat" Morita as the wise and gentle Mr. Miyagi, and stands up today as a great family film and one of the most inspirational sports dramas ever made.
Even so, many of its principals were never able to escape completely from the film's shadow. Macchio, for one, will always be remembered first and foremost for his role as bullied teen-turned-karate champ Daniel LaRusso – especially since, 30 years later, he still looks like the boyish high schooler he played then. Here's what became of Daniel and the rest of the "Karate Kid" stars, and how their careers have waxed on and waxed off over the years.
Article photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures