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William Zabka (Appreciation Thread)

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With the current hit YouTube Red series Cobra Kai, it is time IMO to give William Zabka an appreciation thread.

Born on October 20, 1965, William Zabka is the son of film industry worker Stan Zabka. At the age of 18, Zabka was offered his debut role, that of bad boy Johnny Lawrence in The Karate Kid. Having a background in wrestling, Zabka underwent training in Tang Soo Do under Pat Johnson, who appeared in the film as both the karate tournament referee and was the film's fight choreographer. Despite having no martial arts background prior to the film, Zabka looked good enough and the experience was so good for Zabka that he would continue training, eventually getting a black belt in the martial art.

After playing bullies in both Just One of the Guys (1985) and Back to School (1986), Zabka grew tired of playing the bad boy bully roles. He would have a recurring role as the son of the titular Equalizer on the TV series from 1985 to 1989, appearing in 12 episodes. In 1992, Zabka joined forces with the legendary Bolo Yeung in Shootfighter: Fight to the Death and its 1995 sequel. He would go on to play a villain in PM's teen martial arts action film The Power Within, where he faced off against T.J. Roberts and played another villain, a rogue ally of Antonio Sabato Jr.'s gang in High Voltage. In 2000, Zabka took the lead in the SyFy film Python and its 2001 sequel.

Of course with Cobra Kai, which brings him back to his debut role, it is safe to say that Johnny's back!


A true Cobra Kai reunion in 2010: Ron Thomas (Bobby), Martin Kove (Sensei John Kreese), Chad McQueen (Dutch), William Zabka (Johnny), and Tony O'Dell (Jimmy)


Edited by AlbertV

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