Robert Garrison, who memorably played the character of Tommy in The Karate Kid franchise and the recent Cobra Kai series, has passed away at the age of 59. Garrison died Friday morning at a hospital in West Virginia according to his sister in law, who told TMZ that he had been in the hospital dealing with kidney and liver problems for over a month, and on Friday his organs shut down. The family is currently making funeral arrangements, and Garrison is survived by his brother Patrick and Patrick's wife Linda. Our thoughts are with them at this time.
The Tommy role is one that many remember because of his battle with Ralph Macchio during the tournament in the original film, though he would reprise the role in The Karate Kid Part II and then most recently in the revival series Cobra Kai. In addition to Karate Kid Garrison would appear in a series of other television shows, including Tour of Duty, MacGyver, St. Elsewhere, Columbo, and Coach.
As for The Karate Kid, the film has become a classic, and was equally well-received back during its original release in 1984, becoming one of the biggest hits of the year. The original would spawn the aforementioned sequel as well as The Karate Kid Part III.
In 1994 a different sort of sequel was made, putting Hillary Swank in the role of Miyagi's new student, though that didn't launch a new franchise. The same thing happened with The Karate Kid's 2010 incarnation with Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith.
Our thoughts are with Garrison's family and friends at this difficult time.