Long before Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith starred in the 2010 film, The Karate Kid, William Zabka along with a few other actors, had made a name for themselves in the original version of the movie that was released in 1984. Zabka, in particular, was propelled to greater heights as he appeared in a number of iconic 80s movies before becoming a screenwriter, director, and producer.
Here is a look at Zabka’s career beginnings, achievements, family, and other endeavors that include him being a second-degree martial arts green belt holder.
On the 20th of October, 1965, in New York City, New York, Nancy (Heimert) and her husband Stanley William Zabka welcomed their son, William Michael Zabka. Zabka’s mother was a business liaison, producer, and production assistant, while his father was a director who famously worked for a period of time as an assistant director of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson before moving to production management, writing and composing.
From a very young age, due to his parents work, Zabka studied to become an actor. When the family relocated to California, he attended California State University as he made his acting debut at the age of 18 in an episode of The Greatest American Hero (1983). A year later, he caught his big break as he played the main antagonist role of Johnny Lawrence in The Karate Kid (1984). his performance in the movie propelled him to great heights as he was nominated for the Best Young Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture Musical, Comedy, Adventure or Drama at the 985 Young Artist Award.
In the coming years, Zabka grew a reputation for playing antagonist/class bully roles as he starred in movies like Just One of the Guys (1985), National Lampoon’s European Vacation (1985), Back to School (1986), and the sequel to his first hit film, The Karate Kid part II (1986). By the late 80s and early 90s, Zabka publicly spoke about how the characters he was portraying in the movies was affecting his day to day life, as he was sometimes hassled by random people in public. Because of this, he took a step back from taking such roles while he went back to school to study filmmaking, following in the footsteps of his father.
After appearing in mostly independent films all through the 90s and early 2000s, William Zabka made his filmmaking debut in 2003, writing and producing the short film Most (Alternative Title: The Bridge). The film was a huge success as it made its world premiere at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival. It further won a number of awards at prestigious film festivals across the world, such as at the 2003 Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films where it won the Best of Festival award. In 2004, the film earned Zabka an Academy Award nomination as it was nominated in the category of Best Short Film, Live Action.
Following the success of Most, Zabka took a break from acting but later returned to appear in films like Hot Tub Time Machine (2010), Where Hope Grows (2014) and the television series How I Met Your Mother (2013-2014). In recent times, Zabka can be seen reprising his role of Johnny Lawrence in the remake of the Karate Kid movie titled Cobra Kai (2018-present).
William Zabka’s Net Worth
According to the popular Celebrity Net Worth website, William Zabka has a net worth that is estimated to be around $1.5 million. The actor turned filmmaker was able to amass his wealth through his career in front and behind the camera. In addition to directing films, Zabka directed a good number of music videos, most notably the song “Sweep the Leg” by the band No More Kings and “Why Wait” by Rascal Flatts, among many others.
Family – Wife
William Zabka has since 2008 been happily married to his wife, Stacie Lynn Doss-Zabka. It is not clear when exactly the couple met each other or began dating as nothing was known about Stacie before she and William tied the knot. The couple has since that time lived a private life as they allow very little details about their marriage get put out to the public.
What is, however, known is that the two have a son together. The boy’s name and date of birth are not known.
William Zabka has two siblings; Guy Mathew Zabka and Judith Marie Zabka, who are both said to be singers, songwriters, and composers. Not much is, however, known about Marie’s work, but Guy, on the other hand, has written songs that were recorded by artists like Aaron Geoffrey, Kenny Rodgers, Joy Williams, and Natalie Grant, among others.
With a height of 6 feet and a half inch (1.84m), William Zabka is among the taller male population in America where the average height of men is 5 feet 9 inches. He further weighs about 74 kg (163 lbs).