'Karate Kid' Actor Robert Garrison Dead at 59

It's been reported that Karate Kid actor Robert Garrison has passed away at the age of 59. According to TMZ, the actor's sister-in-law, Linda, shared the tragic news, stating he passed away early Friday morning, in a West Virginia hospital. Linda also told the outlet that Garrison's death was not sudden as he was being treated for kidney and liver problems that began about a month prior.

While no official cause of death was shared, Garrison's sister-in-law stated he passed away after his organs began to shut down. Garrison was most well-known for his role as Tommy, in the first Karate Kid movie, playing the part of the Cobra Kai team member, famously yelling out, "Get him a body bag!"

He went on to appear in the sequel — Karate Kid II — as well, and earlier this year turned up in the franchise reboot Cobra Kai, on YouTube Premium.

Prior to his role in the Karate Kid franchise, Garrison began his acting career in the late '70s, appearing in films such as Search and Destroy and Starship Invasions.

In the early '80s, he turned up in films like Brubaker and Prom Night, before becoming a Cobra Kai member in the mid '80s.

He would later go on to take small roles in TV series like St. Elsewhere, MacGyver, and Columbo.

His final film performance, prior to his Cobra Kai cameo, was a 2011 film titled The Pledge.

Garrision was clearly very proud of his opportunity to make an appearance in Cobra Kai, as the late actor took to Twitter in April to comment on it.

"Thanks everyone for your wonderful comments on my appearance in COBRA KAI. Makes me feel great. Had a wonderful time doing it," he wrote.

Notably, in 2018, someone tweeted that they'd seen he was cast in the streaming series, but Garrison replied by saying, "I wish," implying that he had actually not signed on at that point. Luckily for fans, Garrison was able to shoot his cameo ahead of his unfortunate health issues.


Garrison was only 59 years old at the time of his death. He is survived by his brother, Patrick, and Patrick's aforementioned wife, Linda.

Photo credit: Columbia Pictures