Ralph Macchio's 2 Kids: All About Julia and Daniel

Cobra Kai star Ralph Macchio is dad to daughter Julia and son Daniel

Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan
Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan

Ralph Macchio is a Karate Dad ... and a proud one, too!

The actor, who shares children Julia and Daniel with his wife of nearly four decades, Phyllis Fierro, calls raising their family his "biggest accomplishment."

Macchio and Fierro grew up in neighboring Long Island towns and fell in love at first sight. The Karate Kid star met his future wife when he was just 15, long before he became a household name, at a cousin's birthday party in his grandmother's basement. Sparks flew, and Macchio later said he "just knew" she was the one for him immediately.

The couple wed in August 1987 and welcomed daughter Julia in 1992 and son Daniel — whom Macchio named after his Karate Kid character — in 1995.

Julia has followed Macchio's footsteps as an actress, even appearing alongside her father in seasons 4 and 5 of Cobra Kai.

And although the father-of-two's children are all grown up, he told PEOPLE in 2021 that he is still "learning all the time" about parenting. "Everything I do now, more often than 10, 15 years ago, I'm thinking of it for the sake of my children as they're getting older," he shared. "They're adults, but they're always your kids."

Roy Rochlin/Getty
Roy Rochlin/Getty

Here's everything to know about Ralph Macchio's kids, Julia and Daniel.

Julia, 31

Julia Macchio Instagram
Julia Macchio Instagram

Macchio and Fierro welcomed their first child, daughter Julia, on May 20, 1992. Speaking with Popternative in 2022, Julia revealed that she began singing and dancing at age 5, so it didn't take long for her to start dreaming of following in her dad's footsteps in the acting world.

"It's something that I have wanted to do since as long as I can remember," she told PEOPLE. "I don't think there was ever really a moment where I thought of doing anything else. I used to act out Disney movies in our house. It was something that was in my blood."

In 2013, her dreams came true when she was cast in the Kristen Wiig and Matt Dillon movie Girl Most Likely — and she did it without help from her dad. "She has a little part in the movie she got all by herself, not through me," Macchio told PEOPLE at the premiere.

The father and daughter duo eventually acted opposite each other for the first time in season 4 of Cobra Kai on Netflix, with Macchio returning as Daniel LaRusso and Julia starring as his cousin Vanessa LaRusso. Julia later made a second appearance in season 5.

"She knocked it out of the park," Macchio told PEOPLE, noting that having his daughter appear on the show was "certainly a highlight" for him and "just a joy."

Kevin Mazur/Getty
Kevin Mazur/Getty

And on her part, Julia had just as many nice things to say about her father and how "he's always been a great, wise resource to have because he's been involved in this business for so long" while remaining "grounded," which she found the most helpful.

She continued, "He never hesitated to give me advice, but has also always supported me having a career [of] my own."

To celebrate working together on Cobra Kai, which she said "could not have been a more fun experience," Julia posted photos of them on Instagram with the caption, "Before I started/After I wrapped with the best dad in the world."

Away from the TV cameras, she has dedicated her time to musical theater, starring in a few productions like Without You and Musicalized!: From Song to Stage. And when she's not busy portraying a character, she often shares adorable family moments on social media, from red carpets to throwback pictures.

Julia Macchio Instagram
Julia Macchio Instagram

2020 was a difficult year for Fierro, who worked as a nurse practitioner on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, so Julia celebrated her mother's birthday with a heartfelt Instagram post.

"You're a true hero ... You're the best of the entire universe. You're the first one at the stage door. You're the last one standing and cheering in the front row," she wrote. "You’re a gift to the world. So today and every day I celebrate you and could not be more grateful that you are in it."

Julia is also not shy about her special bond with her dad, whom she calls "the most loving family man, friend, (and) hard worker," and her brother Daniel, her "best friend" and "one of the greatest joys" of her life.

Daniel, 27

<p>Mike Coppola/Getty</p> Daniel Macchio and Ralph Macchio attend the Netflix's "Ozark" Season 4 Premiere in 2022

Mike Coppola/Getty

Daniel Macchio and Ralph Macchio attend the Netflix's "Ozark" Season 4 Premiere in 2022

Daniel "Dan" Macchio, the youngest member of the Macchio family, was born on Oct. 24, 1995.

Daniel's name has a unique meaning, as it's both the name of the Karate Kid character that shot Macchio to fame and the name of Fierro's cousin and best friend. "For me the name Daniel will always mean something special," Macchio told PEOPLE, which is why he wanted to keep it in the family and gave his son the honor.

But unlike his dad and sister, Dan hasn't ventured into the acting world and instead has pursued a sports career. He's currently a business intelligence and analytics manager for the New York Islanders and previously worked for Live Nation and the NHL, according to his LinkedIn. However, when he was younger, he wanted to be a pilot, and his supportive dad got him his first flight lesson for his birthday.

Jim Spellman/WireImage
Jim Spellman/WireImage

Today, the father-son duo remain close, with Dan calling Macchio "the best dad ever" and "the best one out there" on Instagram. What's more, he's a big fan of his dad's work — although he didn't always realize just how famous the Karate Kid was.

"When he was 5 years old, my mom must have sent over a bin full of teen magazines from back in the day," Macchio said on Good Morning America in October 2022. "And [Daniel] comes in the house not knowing what's going on. He's like, 'Dad was huge and we missed it!' "

The star went on to joke that his son is watching him on Cobra Kai and knows "Dad is quasi-huge," which is "so wonderful." Macchio wasn't expecting his kids to "champion the show" as much as they do or "take such pride in it," and called the surprise of seeing the project become "such a big part of their life" the most amazing reward.

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