The Karate Kid fans are mourning the loss of actor Robert Garrison after his sister-in-law revealed that he passed away on September 27. Linda Garrison told TMZ that Rob had been suffering from kidney and liver issues, and had been in the hospital for the past month fighting his illness. He died of organ failure at the too-young age of 59. The family is in the middle of planning funeral arrangements. In the wake of Rob’s death, learn more about the accomplished actor, who recently reprised his legendary role for YouTube’s Cobra Kai.
1. He played Tommy in The Karate Kid. Tommy was one of the most fun characters in The Karate Kid franchise. The Cobra Kai fighter was one of main bully Johnny’s (William Zabka) closest allies, and one of Daniel’s (Ralph Macchio) biggest tormentors. Rob was 24 years old when he played Tommy, and he got one of the best lines in the movie. He famously yells, “Get him a body bag! YEAH!” when it looks like Daniel’s about to be defeated in the karate championship. You can watch the iconic moment go down in the video above.
2. He reprised the role of Tommy on Cobra Kai. The Youtube series Cobra Kai is a sequel of sorts to The Karate Kid films. Thirty-four years after the films, Johnny is the head of the Cobra Kai dojo, and is determined to redeem himself from his past. His feud with Daniel is, once again, alive and well. “Rob was a great person and ambassador to The Karate Kid legacy,” Rick Henriques, Garrison’s rep, said in a statement to CNN. “His performance in Season 2 of ‘Cobra Kai,’ being his last, was simply amazing and he stole the episode. He will be missed by me and everyone he encountered.”
3. His character recently died on Cobra Kai. During a season 2 episode of Cobra Kai, Johnny and two of his old buddies (Ron Thomas and Tony O’Dell) visit Tommy in the hospital, where he is being treated for cancer. After springing Tommy from the hospital, they take him camping at Big Bear Lake. Tommy passes away in his sleep. The actors “were thrilled to get the chance to put on the masks of these characters again,” executive producer Josh Heald told Entertainment Weekly. “It was just another layer to this show — all of a sudden, you’re in the woods with a bunch of grown men and you’re crying.”
4. He had small parts in a number of amazing projects. Over the years, you probably saw Rob in shows like Columbo, St. Elsewhere, or MacGyver, or in movies like Prom Night, and Iron Eagle.
5. He also wrote for the show The Littlest Hobo. While he was busy filming The Karate Kid in 1984, Rob wrote for the Canadian TV show, based on the 1950s movie of the same name. The show followed a German Shepherd who roamed from town to town, helping people in need — much like Lassie or Rin Tin Tin before him. The people he befriended included well-known celebrities like Leslie Nielsen and Mike Myers. Rob wrote 12 episodes in the show’s last season.