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‘Hey Ralphie, it’s me, Unca Popzi! I love your a**, baby’: Ralph Macchio Reveals Karate Kid Legend Pat Morita’s Final Words to Him Before His Death

pat morita ralph macchio

You can’t talk about ’80s movies without mentioning The Karate Kid. The Karate Kid series is from a bygone era, and younger viewers are likely to be more familiar with the 2010 Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith-led remake, also titled The Karate Kid. Nonetheless, The Karate Kid had such an impact that even those who have never seen it have a sense of basic familiarity with it.

The next Karate Kid movie
Daniel LaRusso in The Karate Kid

The success of The Karate Kid spawned a franchise, which included a remake in 2010 and later the Netflix show Cobra Kai.

Also Read: Sony’s New Karate Kid Movie Unrelated to Cobra Kai Should Be Blamed on Top Gun: Maverick’s Soaring Success

Relationship between Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita

Daniel LaRusso, a teen, gets into trouble with bullies after his mother relocates the family to Southern California. Mr. Miyagi, a karate instructor, meets Daniel and teaches him everything he knows about the sport and life in general. Daniel competes in karate tournaments against his bullies in the ensuing coming-of-age story and learns the value of compassion.

During a recent interview on Kara Swisher’s Sway podcast, Ralph Macchio discussed his relationship with the late actor, who died in 2005.

He began by discussing Mr. Miyagi’s significance in Daniel LaRusso’s life, noting that he had requested that the mentor’s storyline be included in Cobra Kai before its production.

Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita in Karate Kid
Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita in Karate Kid

Swisher then claimed that he was “personally close” to Morita. While the actors had a strong connection, Macchio clarified that they were not “close” to each other.

“I was personally close to him in the sense that, as time passed and years passed, the significance and relevance of our screen partnership around the world became so clear to me,” the actor explained.

“It was truly the definition of magic when we did those scenes because there was a give and take,” the 59-year-old said. “It was effortless, like the perfect tango.” That’s the word. It was effortless. I had no idea how rich it was, I just knew it was simple, and therein lies the truth for me. Something otherworldly, or whatever you want to call it.”

He went on to say how much he enjoyed being Morita’s scene partner.

Also Read: “There’s an endgame”: Cobra Kai Star William Zabka Reveals Exciting Future For Series, Says He’s Open For Another Karate Kid Trilogy in Future

Pat Morita’s Final Words to Ralph Macchio

Pat Morita passed away in 2005, at the age of 73. The cause of his death was the subject of conflicting reports. His daughter, Aly Morita, said he died of heart failure in a Las Vegas hospital on Thursday; while longtime manager Arnold Soloway said the actor died of kidney failure in a hospital while awaiting a transplant.

Johnny (William Zabka) and Daniel (Ralph Macchio) in Cobra Kai
Johnny (William Zabka) and Daniel (Ralph Macchio) in Cobra Kai

In his final words to Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita said “Hey Ralphie, it’s me, Unca Popzi! I love your a**, baby” 

“It was an honor and a privilege to work with him and create a little bit of cinema magic together,” Macchio said in a statement. “My life is better for having known him. I’ll miss his genuine friendship.”

“Forever my Sensei,” Macchio added, referring to Morita’s character in The Karate Kid.

Also Read: “It better be a Cobra Kai movie”: Sony Confirms New Karate Kid Movie Releasing in 2024, Reveals it’s the Return of the Original Franchise

With Cobra Kai‘s worldwide fame, it’s easy to attribute the show’s success to its role as a continuation of The Karate Kid franchise. Cobra Kai hasn’t relied solely on memories of The Karate Kid films. In fact, among contemporary movies and TV shows that incorporate nostalgia into their plots, Cobra Kai is one of the best at doing so in just the right ways.

Cobra Kai season 5, released on 9th September 2022, is currently streaming on Netflix.

Source: usatoday