William Zabka: 10 fun facts about the Cobra Kai actor

Born in New York in October 1965, William Zabka became well known in the 1980s for bringing to life the main antagonist of Kid Kid, a classic that gained a legion of fans soon after its release. In recent years, audiences have been able to see him once again in the shoes of Johnny Lawrence, but this time in the series. Cobra Kaia Netflix series since its 3rd season.

Want to know some fun facts about the actor’s career? Check out all the details below!

10. Family involved in the arts

(Reddit/Play)Source: Reddit

Zabka’s parents have always been involved in film and television. Nancy, her mother, in addition to working as a commercial agent, also acted as a producer and production assistant.

Stanley William Zabka, his father, studied to work as a director and screenwriter, but spent most of his life as an assistant director, participating in the production of several films, including one of Chuck Norris’s features. His brothers, Guy and Judy, also followed in the artistic business.

9. The start in Kid Kid

(Columbia Pictures/Reproduction)(Columbia Pictures/Reproduction)Fonte:  Columbia Pictures

Although he first came to prominence in 1984 as Johnny Lawrence, he didn’t have much martial arts experience when he was cast. According to what he told later, improvising was his only alternative at the time, generating good results in front of the cameras. After filming ended, the actor began taking private lessons, earning a black belt in Tang Soo Do.

8. He is fluent in Czech

(Netflix/Play)(Netflix/Play)Fonte:  Netflix

You may have noticed that Zabka is not such a common surname, right? So it is! William Zabka has Czech origins as his grandfather was Czech and his grandmother, despite being born in the US state of Nebraska, was the daughter of Czechs. For this reason, he is fluent in the language. His surname even means something like “little frog”.

7. Marked for being a bully

(Netflix/Play)(Netflix/Play)Fonte:  Netflix

In an interview that took place in the late 1980s, he said he was uncomfortable with the mark Johnny Lawrence had left on his career, as he was always called upon to play bully characters.

Even in the streets, people always confused things and cursed him. Despite this, in the following decades he continued in the audiovisual field, studying to be a filmmaker. As time passed, he directed several commercials and music videos.

6. Was nominated for an Oscar in 2004

(IMDb/Playback)(IMDb/Playback)Fonte:  IMDb

Because of his dedication to studying behind the camera, Zabka wrote and co-produced a short film in 2003, filmed on location in the Czech Republic and Poland. the titled Most premiered at Sundance that same year and won many awards at other renowned festivals such as Palm Springs. In 2004, together with Bobby Garabedian, he was nominated for an Oscar for Best Short Film.

5. Participation in How I Met Your Mother

(CBS/Reproduction)(CBS/Reproduction)Cast iron: CBS

In April 2013, alongside Ralph Macchio, his former partner in Kid Kidhe participated in the 22nd episode of the 8th season of How I Met Your Motheron CBS, playing himself.

Thus, in the titled “The Bro Mitzvah”, Ted (Josh Radnor) and Marshall (Jason Seal) are engaged in holding a bachelor party event for Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) and invite different personalities to the occasion.

4. The nice guy

(Columbia Pictures/Reproduction)(Columbia Pictures/Reproduction)Fonte:  Columbia Pictures

Before participating in an episode of The Greatest American Hero in 1983, when he definitively started his career, Zabka made all kinds of commercials. He was always cast to play the nice guy, who won the trust of the crowd.

But it wasn’t always like that, because as a child, in the 1970s, he participated in several auditions, always seeing acting as just a simple hobby.

3. Zabka made the protagonist’s son from The Equalizer

(CBS/Reproduction)(CBS/Reproduction)Cast iron: CBS

Over 12 episodes between 1985 and 1989, the actor participated in the series The Equalizer, on CBS, playing Scott McCall, the son of protagonist Robert McCall (played by Edward Woodward). During this period, he also made several appearances in other television and film productions, which include Just One of the Guys (1985), Back to School (1986) e A Tiger’s Tale (1987).

2. It was against the existence of the series Cobra Kai

(Netflix/Play)(Netflix/Play)Fonte:  Netflix

Initially, when creators Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg thought of producing Cobra Kai, when they invited William Zabka, he was against the production because of what had happened to Johnny Lawrence in the films. However, little by little he was won over by the scripts and understood that the series would serve as a new chance for the character.

1. He kicked Ralph Macchio for real

(Netflix/Play)(Netflix/Play)Fonte:  Netflix

To close the list, it is necessary to talk about a curiosity behind the scenes of Kid Kid. Training in the martial art for weeks on end before filming began, Ralph Macchio and William Zabka were on good terms.

However, while filming one of the sequences in which they faced off, Zabka ended up hitting Macchio with a kick to the face by mistake. According to the actor, the accident occurred because of nervousness and for wanting to make everything come out in the best way in front of the cameras. Macchio said he was seriously injured, but luckily the blow only hurt his jaw.

Did you like the list? be sure to watch Cobra Kai right now on Netflix!

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