Rob Garrison, 'Karate Kid' Actor, Is Dead at 59

Rob Garrison Karate Kid
Columbia Pictures

Rob Garrison, the actor known for playing Tommy in The Karate Kid, has died, ET confirms. He was 59.

A representative for Garrison tells ET that the actor "was a great person and ambassador to The Karate Kid legacy. His performance in season two of Cobra Kai, being his last, was simply amazing and he stole the episode. He will be missed by me and everyone he encountered."

His rep also tells ET that, per Garrison's family, he died Friday morning at a hospital in West Virginia. His passing wasn't sudden. He had been in the hospital for over a month dealing with kidney and liver issues, and his organs shut down. The family is currently working on funeral arrangements. TMZ, was first to report the news. 

Garrison began his acting career in 1977, with a role in Starship Invasions. He then landed the role of Tommy in the 1984 John G. Avildsen-directed film, The Karate Kid, and reprised his role in its sequel, The Karate Kid Part II.

He acted on-and-off over the years, with parts in series like The Munsters Today, Columbo, Coach, MacGyver and Homefront. His last credit was this year, when he once again portrayed Tommy in the Cobra Kai series.

In April, he tweeted about his appearance on the series, thanking his fans for their support.

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

Following the news of his death, Cobra Kai series creator Jon Hurwitz tweeted his condolences. 

"Our entire Karate Kid/Cobra Kai family is devastated by the news of OG Cobra Rob Garrison's passing. He was a truly gifted performer and an even better man. My heart goes out to Rob's family during this difficult time. #RIP," he tweeted.

Garrison is survived by his brother, Patrick, and sister-in-law, Linda.


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