Who Ralph Macchio Dated: Did He Date Elisabeth Shue in Real Life?

Ralph Macchio Elisabeth Shue


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Elisabeth Shue and Ralph Macchio star in ‘The Karate Kid.’

Despite Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) being married to Amanda (Courtney Henggeler) in Cobra Kai, he still has a fondness for his high school girlfriend, Dr. Ali Mills Schwarber (Elisabeth Shue). While discussing his past girlfriends with his daughter Samantha (Mary Mouser) in Season 2, Episode 1, he revealed that he believed what he had with Ali was “true love.” 

In the Season 3 finale, Daniel runs into the Colorado-based doctor during the Encino Oaks Country Club holiday party. Toward the event, the Miyagi-Do Karate owner attempts to apologize for how their relatively short relationship ended before Ali interrupts him. 

“We were so young. And the good times far outweighed the bad. And that is how I will always remember it,” says the pediatric surgeon. 

Even though more than 35 years have passed since The Karate Kid was released, the actors still had on-screen chemistry in Cobra Kai. This may have caused some fans to wonder if Macchio and Shue ever dated in real life. 


It Is Unlikely That the Co-Stars Were Ever in a Relationship

Ralph Macchio

GettyRalph Macchio talks during San Diego Comic-Con 2019: Day Two.

It does not appear that the actors were ever romantically involved. During the production of The Karate Kid, Macchio was already in a relationship with his now-wife, Phyllis Fierro. The couple first encountered each other when Macchio was in high school. In a January interview on  The Drew Barrymore Show, he revealed he felt an instant connection to Fierro.

“We met a wee bit back ago. We were teenagers, and we met at my grandmother’s house in her finished basement. It was my other cousin’s sweet 16 birthday party, and she came with a friend, and it was, you know, kind of infatuation and love at first sight. She has a great warmth about her,” recalled the 59-year-old. 

Like Macchio, Shue is also married. According to The Sun, the actress tied the knot with filmmaker Davis Guggenheim almost 27 years ago. 


Shue Recently Spoke About Starring Alongside Macchio and William Zabka

Elisabeth Shue

Getty ImagesElisabeth Shue is photographed at the American Express Gala.

While it is unlikely that the co-stars were ever in a relationship, they seem to have a strong bond. In a January Entertainment Weekly interview, the mother-of-three noted that she shared a connection to both Macchio and William Zabka, who plays Ali’s ex-boyfriend Johnny Lawrence, while filming Cobra Kai. She told the publication: 

It was so fun to realize that all of our chemistry was exactly the same. My chemistry with Ralph was the same, the same with Billy — it was odd! It was literally like a high school reunion; it felt like no time had passed. Like none at all. We kept reminiscing and laughing, constantly reliving the first Karate Kid every minute between takes. Nonstop reminiscing about our experience and laughing about what a great movie it turned out to be.

During the interview, she also noted that she unexpectedly experienced a strong “emotional” response while filming her final scene with Macchio the Season 3 Episode 10. 

“I was reflecting on it afterwards, and I was trying to figure out like, where did that come from? And I feel like in Ali, and maybe in me, it was this sense of saying goodbye to your childhood. I mean, that sounds pretty intense, but you know, your first crush, your first love — so to be able to experience the emotions that you felt for your first crush again… it really was a wonderful setup for these characters to be able to feel a loss of innocence and a reconnection and respect,” explained the actress. 

To see more of Macchio and Shue, be sure to watch Cobra Kai Season 3, available on Netflix. 

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