William Zabka was born on October 21st 1965 in New York City; both his parents worked in the film business. His mother Nancy was a business liaison, producer, and production assistant whilst his father Stanley William Zabka was a director, writer, and composer.
Zabka debuted in The Greatest American Hero in 1983 but would be forever defined by a role he would take the following year. As Johnny Lawrence in The Karate Kid, Zabka would bully his way onto the Cult Faction radar and remain there through its sequels. He noted that “prior to ‘The Karate Kid’, I did commercials – Kool-Aid, Pepsi, milk – and I had always been cast as the all-American nice guy“.
Zabka also made appearances in National Lampoon’s European Vacation, Back to School, Dreams of Gold: The Mel Fisher Story, A Tiger’s Tale, Protect and Surf, For Parents Only, Shootfighter: Fight to the Death, Unlawful Passage, The Power Within, Shootfighter II, Interceptor Force, Python and Python 2.
In 1985 Zabka joined the television series The Equaliser where he played Robert McCall’s (Edward Woodward) son Scott. He would stay with the series until it concluded in 1989.
In recent years Zabka has appeared in Hot Tub Time Machine, Mean Parents Suck, Robot Chicken, Psych, To Appomattox and Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street.
Zabka even got to play a version of himself in How I Met Your Mother:
In 2007, Zabka directed and starred in a music video for the band No More Kings entitled Sweep the Leg. The video stars Zabka as a caricature of himself, living in a trailer in the desert and obsessed with his role in The Karate Kid. The video includes cameos by several of the original Karate Kid cast members, including Martin Kove and Ralph Macchio. In 2010, Zabka directed Rascal Flatts in their music video for the song Why Wait. Zabka is currently directing commercials for clients including Little Tikes and Verizon at Heresy in Venice, California.