Cobra Kai cast ages: How old was the cast then (and now)?

Cobra Kai. (L to R) Ralph Macchio as Daniel LaRusso, Xolo Maridueña as Miguel Diaz in Cobra Kai. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2021
Cobra Kai. (L to R) Ralph Macchio as Daniel LaRusso, Xolo Maridueña as Miguel Diaz in Cobra Kai. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2021 /

Netflix’s original dramedy series Cobra Kai just has a way of pulling at our heartstrings with all of the nostalgia. The popular series is a sequel to the beloved Karate Kid movie franchise, seeing multiple actors reprise their roles all these years later. While Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) owns a successful car dealership and has a wonderful family, Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) hasn’t had as great of a life when the series first starts off.

Though Daniel and Johnny are still rivals, they must learn how to put their differences aside for the greater good in Cobra Kai, showing up to support their town and their respective families. Without a doubt, one of the best parts of the Netflix show is the cast, and fans cannot wait to see what happens next in the forthcoming sixth and final season. We know it’ll be epic!

While we wait for news regarding Cobra Kai season 6, let’s break down the main actors and reveal how old they were at the start versus now. It’s been a long, awesome ride at the dojo, hasn’t it?

Cobra Kai and Karate Kid cast ages

Ralph Macchio
ORLANDO, FLORIDA – MARCH 31: Ralph Macchio attends MegaCon Orlando 2023 at Orange County Convention Center on March 31, 2023 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images) /

How old was Ralph Macchio in Karate Kid (and Cobra Kai season 1)?

Beloved actor Ralph Macchio jumped into the acting scene back in the 1980s and had his two breakout roles as Johnny Cade in The Outsiders (1983) and Daniel LaRusso in The Karate Kid (1984). I bet he didn’t think he’d still be playing Daniel all these years later! Macchio was born on Nov. 4, 1961, meaning he was 22 years old when the first Karate Kid movie came out, turning 23 later that year.

Fast forward 35 years, and Macchio was 56 when the first season of Cobra Kai season 1 premiered, still an expert at martial arts onscreen. At the time of this writing, the actor is 61 years old.

Throughout his career, Macchio also appeared in movies such as My Cousin Vinny, A Good Night to Die, and Hitchcock, along with shows like Ugly Betty, How I Met Your Mother, and Kevin Can Wait.

William Zabka
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – MAY 16: William Zabka attends the 2021 MTV Movie & TV Awards at the Hollywood Palladium on May 16, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/2021 MTV Movie and TV Awards/Getty Images for MTV/ViacomCBS) /

How old was William Zabka in Karate Kid (and Cobra Kai season 1)?

William Zabka might’ve played a villain in the Karate Kid movies, but he’s turned into a character we all love in Cobra Kai. The actor was born on Oct. 20, 1965, meaning he was just 18 when the first Karate Kid came out in 1984! He turned 19 later that year. We got to know Zabka as Johnny Lawrence in the first two movies (and the third one if you count older footage) and I think we can all agree he improves drastically in the TV show.

Zabka was 52 years old when Cobra Kai season 1 came out, and currently, he is 57.

In addition to his career as Johnny Lawrence, Zabka is known for movies like Back to School and National Lampoon’s European Vacation, along with the shows The Equalizer and How I Met Your Mother. In 2003, he wrote and produced a short film called Most which was nominated for an Academy Award.

Xolo Maridueña
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – APRIL 25: Xolo Mariduena attends the red carpet promoting the upcoming film “Blue Beetle” at the Warner Bros. Pictures Studio presentation during CinemaCon, the official convention of the National Association of Theatre Owners, at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace on April 25, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Greg Doherty/WireImage) /

How old was Xolo Maridueña in Cobra Kai season 1?

Xolo Maridueña might not have been part of the Karate Kid movies, but when Cobra Kai first premiered, he certainly cemented a name for himself in the franchise. Born on June 9, 2001, the up-and-coming actor was 16 years old when the show came out, turning 17 just about a month later. Currently, he is 22 years old.

Maridueña might be best known for playing Miguel in Cobra Kai, but pretty soon the DC Universe is about to put him on an even bigger map. The actor is set to play Jaime Reyes/Blue Beetle in the upcoming superhero movie Blue Beetle, which hits theaters on Aug. 18, 2023.

Tanner Buchanan
ATLANTA, GEORGIA – MAY 19: Tanner Buchanan attends SCAD Fashion 2023 at SCAD Forty on May 19, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Derek White/Getty Images) /

How old was Tanner Buchanan in Cobra Kai season 1?

Tanner Buchanan brings the role of Robby Keene to life in Cobra Kai, a character the fans love. The actor was on born on Dec. 8, 1998, which means he was 19 years old when the show premiered, turning 20 later that year. That makes him a little bit older than Maridueña, but he’s still one of the younger cast members of the series.

At the time of this writing, Buchanan is 24 years old. Prior to Cobra Kai, TV fans likely know the actor from his roles as Charlie Gardner in Girl Meets World, Jack Downey in The Fosters, and Chad Brad Bradley in Fuller House. He also appeared in a season 9 episode of Grey’s Anatomy. If you haven’t seen any of these titles, you might’ve seen Buchanan in the 2021 Netflix movie He’s All That, which he starred in alongside Addison Rae.

Mary Mouser
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 07: Mary Mouser attends Netflix’s “Cobra Kai” Season 5 Premiere Event at Los Angeles State Historic Park on September 07, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images) /

How old was Mary Mouser in Cobra Kai season 1?

Born on May 9, 1996, Mary Mouser is the oldest of the kid characters on this list. The talented actress plays Daniel’s daughter Sam, who follows in the footsteps of her father and learns karate while finding herself in a love triangle with Miguel and Robby, who happen to be enemies. When Cobra Kai premiered, Mouser was 21 years old, turning 22 just a few days later. She turned 27 years old just last month.

Apart from Cobra Kai, Mouser has a long list of titles on her resume, including movies like Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day and shows such as Body of Proof, Criminal Minds, Room 104, Freakish, Scandal, and NCIS. Just like her Cobra Kai co-star Tanner Buchanan, the actress also played a role in The Fosters.

Martin Kove
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 10: Actor Martin Kove attends the Brentwood and Pacific Palisades International Film Festival at the Landmark Theater on June 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Greg Doherty/Getty Images) /

How old was Martin Kove in Karate Kid (and Cobra Kai season 1)?

Martin Kove might not have been in a starring role in the first season of Cobra Kai, but fans of the Karate Kid movies know he’s definitely an original star of the franchise. Kove appeared in the first three movies as one of the main antagonists, John Kreese, and then reprised the role in Cobra Kai. He started as a guest star in season 1 and was upped to a series regular starting in season 2.

Born on March 6, 1946, Kove was 38 years old when the first Karate Kid came out, and 72 when the first season of Cobra Kai was released. Currently, the actor is 77 years old.

Kove has appeared in a wide variety of movies over the years, including Death Race 2000, Rambo: First Blood Part II, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Thomas Ian Griffith
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 06: Thomas Ian Griffith of “Cobra Kai” visits SiriusXM Studios on September 06, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images) /

How old was Thomas Ian Griffith in Karate Kid?

Though Thomas Ian Griffin hasn’t been around since the first Karate Kid movie, he surely made an impression on viewers when he made his debut as Terry Silver in The Karate Kid III, which came out in 1989. At the time, Griffin was 27 years old when the movie came out. Now, he’s 61.

Griffith was a late addition to Cobra Kai, being added to the cast in season 4. Fans love to see the series continue to invite Karate Kid actors back into the fold, and Griffith is no exception! When the actor appeared on our screens again in the Netflix series, he was 56 years old.

While Griffith is best known for his part as Terry Silver, he’s also appeared in many other shows and movies over the years, including One Tree Hill, Cold Case, and John Carpenter’s Vampires.

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