Here’s a fact about Ralph Macchio’s age-defying looks that certainly will blow a mental fuse or two. Renee Handler, who plays Daniel LaRusso’s mother Lucille in The Karate Kid, was born in 1947. This means at the time of filming she was 37 years old.
Reasonable enough to be the mother of the then 16-year-old Daniel. But Ralph was actually going on 23 at the time of filming. Technically, then, Lucille LaRusso is only fourteen years older than her son!
Do You Know Where Your Kids Are?
One could forgive Daniel LaRusso’s mother for being somewhat distracted and distant. A single mother starting a new life in a different city with her son is, without a doubt, an unenviable challenge.
Even though LaRusso spends almost all of his free time with Mr. Miyagi, there is only one single scene in the movie that Daniel’s mother, Lucille LaRusso, has any conversation with Mr. Miyagi.
Daniel LaRusso is a real bonsai bozo when it comes to pronunciation. Fans might not quite have caught the subtle mispronunciation but there are a handful of times that Mr. Miyagi exclaims “banzai!” Banzai would be said in terms of a celebration, literally translating to ten thousand years.
The most notable time Mr. Miyagi says this is when mourning his wife on their anniversary, offering Daniel a drink and shouting “Banzai” and Daniel ignorantly smiles back saying “bonsai!”
Elisabeth Shue Makes It a Family Affair
No nepotism here. Perhaps just some cool celeb cred any sibling would be happy to cash in on. Elisabeth Shue had her brother play a small part in the movie. And when we say a small part we mean he pretty much just sat.
At the All-Valley tournament, Andrew is one of the contestants but it only goes as far as him scowling. 'The Karate Kid' may have been his entry into the showbiz world as he went on to play a feature role in 'Melrose Arch'.
Ralph’s Elusive Oscar
There could have been some curse to beating Johnny Lawrence and taking the championship title at the All Valley tournament for Daniel LaRusso. Ralph Macchio to date is the only main cast member of 'The Karate Kid' that has not won nor been nominated for an Academy Award.
Ironically, Pat Morita received an Oscar nod for his role as Mr. Miyagi. Elisabeth Shue won an Oscar for her role in 'Leaving Las Vegas' and William Zabka received a nomination with his directing partner for their 2003 short film 'Most'.