Since his breakout appearance as Johnny Lawrence in 1984’s The Karate Kid, William Zabka has been a cherished symbol of the ’80s era. Since his breakthrough in the character of the antagonist in the cult classic film, he has returned to it in both the sequel and the Cobra Kai television series. As if that weren’t enough, he’s gone on to star in several hit TV shows and films, and even try his hand at directing a few of them.
William, 56, is an actor who has kept his personal life under wraps. His family life appears to be going well, even though he and his wife Stacie have been married for almost a decade and he rarely talks about his private life. Read on to learn more about William and Stacie’s history together.
Also, Look At
Zabka was born in New York City to Stanley William Zabka (a director, writer, and composer) and Nancy (Heimert), who worked in business relations, production, and as an assistant in the film industry. His siblings include a brother and a sister.
His father, Stan Zabka, served as an assistant director for the first two years of Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show and as a production manager for several films, including the Chuck Norris vehicle Forced Vengeance (1982). Since 2008, Zabka has been married to his wife Stacie.
When Zabka was cast in his first film, The Karate Kid, he became a household name (1984). When he was cast, he took on the role of Johnny Lawrence, the main adversary to Ralph Macchio’s protagonist. He was a skilled wrestler but had never studied karate. After deciding to try out for the film, he decided to take up Tang Soo Do and is now a second-degree green belt.
The comedic films Just One of the Guys (1985) and Back to School (1989) featured Zabka in the 1980s (1986). Zabka also appeared in an episode of The Equalizer on CBS as the character’s son (1986–89). He was Jack, Audrey’s athletic boyfriend in National Lampoon’s European Vacation (1985).
Later on, he made an effort to distance himself from his role as the class bully. In an interview, he discussed how, due to his reputation for playing villains, he was occasionally harassed in public. He studied filmmaking in the 1990s and 2000s while working primarily as an actor in indie features. Shot on location in the Czech Republic and Poland in 2003, he wrote and produced the short film Most.
Most (also known as The Bridge) premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2003 and has since gone on to win other accolades at other prominent film festivals. In 2003, it won the Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films’ Best of Festival award. He received an Oscar nod for Best Live-Action Short Film in 2004.
…..And William Zabka from Karate Kid?
— Steve Cassidy (@stefanmignon) October 14, 2022
Zabka directed and appeared in the “Sweep the Leg” music video for No More Kings in 2007. Zabka plays a satirical version of himself in this music video, a trailer park denizen who is fixated on his role in The Karate Kid. Martin Kove and Ralph Macchio, two of the original cast members from “The Karate Kid,” make cameo appearances in the video as well.
Music videos for both “Why Wait” (2010) and “Yours If You Want It” (2017), both huge hits for Rascal Flatts, were directed by Zabka. Zabka had another appearance in a film that year, the comedy Hot Tub Time Machine. Zabka and Macchio appeared in the eighth season episode of How I Met Your Mother titled “The Bro Mitzvah” as special guests.
Zabka also made multiple appearances during the ninth season of the comedy. At Heresy in Venice, California, Zabka directed advertisements for clients like Little Tikes and Verizon. In 2018, YouTube Red released a 10-episode reincarnation of The Karate Kid called Cobra Kai, starring William Zabka as Johnny Lawrence. The series was announced on August 4, 2017. Along with Ralph Macchio, he also serves as co-executive producer for the show.
Set 33 years after the events of the first film, the series follows a down-and-out Johnny who, to start over, reopens the Cobra Kai dojo. It reignites his rivalry with a mature Daniel LaRusso (Macchio), who has been finding it difficult to find equilibrium in his life since the passing of his mentor, Mr Miyagi.
Is William Zabka Married?
Indeed, he is. Since 2008, Stacie Lynn Zabka has been Mr Zabka’s wife. After “a few years” of dating under the radar, the couple secretly tied the knot. His wife’s business background is the only thing we know about her. A quick check on Glamour Path reveals that she is worth a cool $100k.
She doesn’t participate in any of Zabka’s public activities, and she doesn’t even have a social media profile. In 2010, Zabka and his wife attended a movie premiere, the last time they were seen in public together.
William Zabka Kids
As much as William and Stacie try to keep their personal and professional lives apart, the Cobra Kai star has spoken publicly about raising his two sons. In an interview with People published in January 2021, William identified himself as a “camp counsellor-type person.”
A father’s responsibilities, he remarked, “may seem like a drain on one’s time, but they enrich one’s life.” Though William and his wife keep their two children out of the public eye, he has shared sweet moments with them on social media, such as a Father’s Day 2015 snapshot of himself cuddling his sons. On Instagram in August of 2018, he posted a photo of himself and one of his son’s surfing.