‘The Karate Kid’ Actor Has Died at 59

Columbia Pictures

Most known for The Karate Kid and The Karate Kid Part II, Robert Garrison has passed away at the age of 59.

Robert Garrison was a well-known and beloved actor who was best known for playing Tommy in the Karate Kid movies. When The Karate Kid saw instant success after it hit theaters in 1984, Garrison reprised his role in the second movie, The Karate Kid Part II, in 1986.

karate kid actor dies age 59 cobra kai
Columbia Pictures

Garrison portrayed Tommy, a rowdy member of the villainous Cobra Kai dojo, and had one of the most well-known lines in the original 1984 movie: “Get him a body bag!”

A Short But Severe Illness

Unfortunately, Garrison passed away after a short, but very intense, battle with kidney and liver problems.

He had been in the hospital for more than a month while suffering kidney and liver failure, which no amount of medication, vitamins, or treatments could help. He was in a hospital in Pennsylvania at the time of his death, after he had been transferred from West Virginia, where he was from.

News of the actor’s passing was posted to Facebook by his sister-in-law, Linda Garrison, and was later confirmed to be true by his manager, Rick Henriques.

Fondly Remembered

“Rob was a great person and ambassador to the Karate Kid legacy,” manager Henriques said in a statement, adding, “He will be missed by me and everyone he encountered.”

While there has been no official cause of death to be released yet, his sister-in-law shared that his death was a result of his organs shutting down. His family is currently working on funeral arrangements.

Garrison, while best known for his first major movie role in The Karate Kid, actually started his acting career as a child in the late 1970’s in Search and Destroy and Starship Invasions. Later in his career, he had roles on Macgyver, Homefront, and Coach.

Most recently, Garrison reprised his role as Tommy in Cobra Kai, a YouTube TV spinoff of the Karate Kid franchise.