William Zabka Biography: Wife, Parents, Children, Net Worth, Awards, Filmography

May 19, 2024 0 Posted By Haruna Ayuba

William Michael Zabka, born on October 20, 1965, is a well-known American actor. He gained fame for portraying Johnny Lawrence in The Karate Kid (1984), The Karate Kid Part II (1986), and the TV show Cobra Kai (2018–present). Additionally, in 2004, he received an Academy Award nomination for his work co-writing and producing the short film.


  • Full Name: William Michael Zabka
  • Date of Birth: October 20, 1965
  • Age: 58 years old
  • Gender: Male
  • Place of Birth: New York City, New York, USA
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Actor, Screenwriter, Director, Producer
  • Height: 6 feet 1 inch (1.85 meters)
  • Parents: Stanley William Zabka (Father), Nancy Zabka (Mother)
  • Siblings: Guy Zabka (Brother)
  • Spouse: Stacie Zabka
  • Children: Michael William, Noah Anthony William, and Julia William
  • Relationship Status: Married
  • Net Worth: $12 million

Early Life and Education

William Michael Zabka, now 58, was born on October 20, 1965, in New York City, New York. He was raised by his parents, Stanley William Zabka and Nancy Zabka, alongside his brother Guy Zabka

His mother, Nancy, worked as a business liaison, producer, and production assistant, and Stan Zabka was a director, writer, and composer. His father, of Czech descent, was born in Des Moines, Iowa. He was a production manager on several movies, including the Chuck Norris film Forced Vengeance (1982).

Zabka graduated from El Camino Real Charter High School in Los Angeles in 1983 and later attended California State University, Northridge, to study film.

Personal Life

William Zabka found companionship in Stacie Zabka, whom he met and fell in love with during his journey in the entertainment industry. Their bond deepened over time, leading to a joyous union in marriage.

The couple shares the joys and responsibilities of parenthood, blessed with three children, Michael William, Noah Anthony William, and Julia William. Despite life’s challenges, their commitment to each other remains steadfast.


Zabka’s breakthrough role came in his debut film, The Karate Kid (1984), where he portrayed Johnny Lawrence, the main adversary to the protagonist played by Ralph Macchio.

Despite having no prior training in karate, he was a skilled wrestler. His involvement in the movie motivated him to learn Tang Soo Do, eventually earning a second-degree green belt. 

Throughout the 1980s, Zabka appeared in comedy films such as Just One of the Guys (1985) and Back to School (1986). He also co-starred on the CBS series The Equalizer as the son of the title character (1986–89).

He played a jock boyfriend in National Lampoon’s European Vacation (1985). Despite being typecast as a bully, Zabka expressed frustration with being associated with villainous characters.

During the 1990s and 2000s, he focused on independent films while pursuing filmmaking studies. In 2003, he wrote and produced the short film Most (aka The Bridge) shot in the Czech Republic and Poland.

The film received critical acclaim and won awards at prestigious film festivals. Zabka was nominated for an Academy Award for Most in the Live Action Short Film category 2004.

In 2007, Zabka directed and starred in a music video for No More Kings’ “Sweep the Leg,” featuring appearances from original Karate Kid cast members. He continued his directing career by working on music videos for Rascal Flatts in 2010 and 2017.


  • MTV Movie Award for Best Villain (1984) – “The Karate Kid”
  • Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film (2004) – “Most”

Net Worth

William Zabka has amassed substantial wealth throughout his successful career, estimated at around $12 million.

Social Media

  • Instagram: @william_zabka
  • Twitter: @WilliamZabka


  • The Karate Kid
  • Back to School
  • Just One of the Guys
  • Hot Tub Time Machine

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