The Truth About Ralph Macchio's Children

It's safe to say that Ralph Macchio is one of the most iconic actors of the 1980s thanks to his roles in "The Karate Kid" and "The Outsiders." The beloved films definitely made him a star at the time, and he continued to work as an actor over the years, appearing in a variety of both movies and TV shows. Despite his success, he has managed to lead a fairly quiet existence, opting to live a more low-key life with his family.

At the height of his fame in 1987, Ralph married his high school sweetheart, Phyllis Fierro, and the couple welcomed daughter Julia Macchio in 1992 and son Daniel Macchio in 1996. Ralph credits his family for his laid-back approach to fame, telling People, "Without the foundation and the family we established, 'one foot in, one foot out' would have been very, very difficult on my own, because there would not be balance."

All these years later, Ralph is on Netflix's super popular "Cobra Kai" series, a spinoff of "The Karate Kid," and his kids are all grown up. And from the looks of their social media accounts, the two have pretty interesting lives of their own; they are far more than just Daniel LaRusso's kids. Here's what you need to know about Julia and Daniel Macchio.

Like their dad, they've worked in show business

Like their father, "The Karate Kid" star Ralph Macchio, both Julia and Daniel Macchio have both dabbled in the entertainment industry, finding work in Hollywood as actors and then some. Julia, in particular, has five acting credits on her IMDb, with her latest movie being 2018's "Stella's Last Weekend." She also had a notable role in the 2012 film "Girl Most Likely," which starred Kristin Wiig. As Us Weekly reported at the time, Julia attended the New York City screening of that film with her father, who later gushed on Twitter, "Great job, my girl. Congrats!!"

Julia has credited her dad for encouraging her to perform but pointed out how she isn't just riding his coattails. She explained to News @ Hofstra, "He has supported the fact that I want to work for everything that I earn; I've never wanted anything handed to me." Julia also has a love for dance and musical theater.

As for Daniel, he too has a few acting credits on his IMDb, with his last role being in the 2012 short film "It's Colder Here." He seemed to be interested in more than just acting, since he also has two writing credits for films, and has served as a composer on several others. 

Julia Macchio appeared on her dad's show

Julia Macchio landed her biggest role yet in 2021 when she popped up in the Netflix series "Cobra Kai." Not only is the comedy-drama one of the streaming service's most popular TV shows (per Collider), but it also stars her father, Ralph Macchio. According to Decider, Julia made her debut during Season 4, playing Vanessa LaRusso, a cousin of her dad's character, Daniel LaRusso.

From the looks of her Instagram, Julia seemed thrilled to have landed the role and posted several behind-the-scenes photos while on set. She gushed in one caption, "I'm so beyond grateful to have worked with/been in the company of such an incredible cast, crew and team." Clearly impressed by her work, show co-creator Jon Hurwitz tweeted, "Loved finally having a chance to work with the talented and supremely kind @Julia_Macchio! She had everyone on set laughing."

Julia also apparently used her time on the show to hang out with her dad. She posted a selfie of them, writing, "Before I started/After I wrapped with the best dad in the world!" Ralph must have been happy to share the screen too, especially since he's opened up about how special it is that his kids like the show. He dished on "The View," "That is an icing on the cake. ... To have something that's such a big part of my life ... be such a big part of my kid's life and them championing it."

Was Daniel Macchio named after The Karate Kid?

If you're a fan of "The Karate Kid" you may have realized that Ralph Macchio's son, Daniel Macchio, shares a name with his dad's iconic role, Daniel LaRusso. However, according to the "Cobra Kai" star, his kid wasn't entirely named after the fictional character. "My wife's cousin Daniel was her best friend growing up," Ralph told People. "For me the name Daniel will always mean something special."

When it comes to how Daniel himself feels about his name, Ralph shared with The Guardian, "There was a chunk of time when my son was like: 'Did you have to?' But now he's proud of it." That doesn't mean that Daniel hasn't been teased a little for it. Ralph recalled on "The Tonight Show" that when Daniel was a kid, there was one Little League game in particular where the opposing coach kept chanting the infamous "Karate Kid" line "Down goes LaRusso."

On a 2021 episode of "The Kelly Clarkson Show," Ralph noted that while he "still thinks it's a beautiful name," Daniel is his own person. "Now he's Dan, and he's his's wonderful," the movie star said. It seems that as a young child, Daniel didn't even realize at first why his name was famous. Ralph revealed on "Conan," "My son found all those teen magazine kind of pictures ... and ran into the family room to my daughter and said, 'look dad was huge and we missed it.'"

They're a close-knit family

Julia and Daniel Macchio appear to be tight with their mom, Phyllis Fierro, and their dad, actor Ralph Macchio. The "Karate Kid" gushed to People that despite his success in Hollywood, "My biggest accomplishment has been raising my family." He also dished how his children make his comeback on Netflix more special, saying, "Part of the beauty of the success of 'Cobra Kai' is how much my kids are enjoying it." The real-life Daniel-san went on to add that "to see it be such a present part of their lives today, it's really wonderful."

Julia too has spoken about their family dynamic, telling Broadway World, "My dad and I are so close, we're such great friends and we really support each other's work." The dancer seems close with her mother as well, referring to her as "the best of the entire universe" in an Instagram post. In April 2021, Julia shared a special moment they had all together as a family watching the sunrise, writing, "it might be my favorite family memory."

Daniel appears to be just as family-oriented, often throwing photos of the four of them up on his Instagram. In a post of them at an event, he captioned, "Love my family." When it comes to his relationship with his sister, it seems they have a special bond, with Daniel calling Julia, "the best sister I could ask for" in a post. Julia apparently agrees, writing to Daniel on Instagram, "You've been my best friend since the day you were born."

Julia Macchio has a big Instagram following

It appears that Julia Macchio isn't just an actor, but appears to be quite a presence on Instagram. As of January 2022, she has over 73,000 followers on the social media platform, which even includes celebrities like "This Is Us" star Milo Ventimiglia and "13 Reasons Why" actor Brandon Flynn. Her page seems to have the aesthetic of a social media personality too, since she often shows off her fashion and beauty looks in a variety of perfectly posed photos and occasionally includes inspiring captions like, "Be kind to yourselves when you look in that mirror (and always!!)"

While a lot of Macchio's photos are the usual selfie, some of the images look to be from professional photoshoots, which makes sense for someone who works in the entertainment industry. Outside of photoshoots, like a lot of influencers or performers, Macchio keeps her followers up to date on what she's working on, sharing herself on set, in rehearsals, or on stage, depending on her current project. And of course like a lot of influencers, Macchio shares snaps from her travels.

As you might've deduced by now, her nearest and dearest play a big role in her world, and it checks out that she has pics of family and friends on her IG account, too.

They are East Coasters

Julia and Daniel Macchio aren't your average Hollywood kids, despite having a father who became a major star in the 1980s. For starters, dad Ralph Macchio has made a point out of staying true to his family's roots, telling The Long Island Press, "Long Island has always been a home base. My wife's family is here, my parents are still here." Not only did his kids apparently have a relatively normal upbringing, but at one point they didn't even know their pop was famous. As "The Karate Kid" star recalled on "Conan," "My daughter would see this memorabilia ... and finally it was like, 'well it's time to sit you down honey, daddy's not like all the other daddies.'"

After finishing high school, both Julia and Daniel remained on the East Coast for college. Julia graduated from Hofstra University in New York in 2014 and, like her dad, she pursued the arts. She shared with the university's website, "Hofstra gave me the tools that I needed to succeed after college, as an individual and as a performer."

Daniel, meanwhile, attended Boston College. When graduation rolled around in 2018, he wrote on Instagram, "Forever thankful for all the memories and great people I've met in my time on campus." As for where he is now? Per his Instagram bio, he's based between Long Island and New York City. 

Julia Macchio is a professional dancer

While Julia Macchio is getting recognition as an actor for her role on "Cobra Kai," the Long Island native is also a professional dancer. In 2018, she showcased both her acting and dancing talents when she starred in a production of "Flashdance the Musical," telling Broadway World, "This story holds such a special place in my heart." Unsurprisingly, her family was very supportive. "Mom and dad, and my brother, saw the show multiple times when I was on the road and encouraged me to find the joy in every single performance," she shared.

Talking to News @ Hofstra about why the role in the musical was a major professional step for her, Macchio said, "I have always wanted to establish a career in which I utilized my acting, singing, and dancing abilities simultaneously." She also posted how special that experience was on Instagram and that she was grateful for the opportunity to have performed for a crowd — something she doesn't take for granted. As she wrote alongside a photo she took in a dance studio in September 2021, "Theater is back, baby. Keep washin those jazz hands. Let's spread love through art. It's essential."

Outside of theater, Macchio has shared dance videos with her followers and she's worked as a dance instructor. According to her Instagram bio, Macchio views herself as "Professional expresser of emotions" and it's apparent from her posts that she enjoys doing that through dance. 

Daniel Macchio is really into sports

Daniel Macchio's Linkedin shows that his post-college resume includes gigs with the NHL and Live Nation — both of which sound like good fits for someone who clearly loves sports as much as he does. As Daniel's Instagram makes very obvious, he's a fan of New York-based teams and often posts about the New York Islanders. "so proud of this team and proud to be an Islanders fan," he wrote in June 2021. "This run has been so special and I won't forget it." Daniel shared another big moment at an Islanders game when he sat in the stands with his dad, Ralph Macchio, and "The Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon.

Outside of hockey, Daniel has also uploaded photos he's taken at the World Series, at the New York Jets' stadium, and in the basketball stands watching the Brooklyn Nets. Additionally, Daniel attended The U.S. Open alongside his pop, and was even a New York Met for Halloween one year.

It appears Daniel's passion for sports is something he shares with his family, frequently attending games with his dad, mom, and sister. But it was his grandparents who gifted him "A ticket plan for the inaugural season at @ubsarena, a surprise visit from sparky and a customized framed birthday picture of UBS Arena!!," proving that his love of the game is something the whole family supports.

They are fans of their dad's work

Even though Julia and Daniel Macchio are clearly doing their own things in life, it doesn't mean they aren't major fans of their dad, Ralph Macchio. As the "Karate Kid" revealed on "The Kelly Clarkson Show," "That is one of my favorite surprises of this show, is how much my kids embrace ['Cobra Kai'], and their friends embrace it." He continued, "Usually your kids, you're trying to find stuff that they like that you could connect with. And in this case, they literally championed this show out there and take such pride in it."

Julia is definitely proud of her dad, telling News @ Hofstra, "I'm inspired by how he carries himself as a human being: always professional, always kind, always well spoken, always putting family first." Yet it's not just his approach to work that she's fond of, it's how he is as a father. Julia made that clear, referring to him as "the most loving family man, friend, hard worker" in an Instagram post.

Julia's brother Daniel seems to agree, calling their father, "the best dad ever!" Of course, Daniel is a big "Cobra Kai" fan, too, and often posts about the series, whether it's plugging new seasons, sharing previews, or supporting his dad at Comic-Con. So it appears that both of Ralph Macchio's children are talented and well-rounded adults, who value the importance of family and haven't let their dad's fame change them.