Who is Rob Garrison? Some may be wondering that after watching the premiere episode of Cobra Kai season 3 on Netflix today.
While not everyone out there may immediately recognize the name, Garrison the performer is someone who are likely familiar with if you’ve been watching this series — or its origins all the way back in The Karate Kid. He played the character Tommy all the way back in the iconic original film, only to then reprise the role again for the sequel two years later. He then returned as Tommy for Cobra Kai, appearing in a 2019 episode. Over the course of his career, he also appeared in a number of other iconic TV series including Columbo, Coach, and the original MacGyver.
The tribute that Cobra Kai chose to air after the premiere showed Garrison, both in the original feature films and more recently, alongside the oh-so-memorable phrase “Cobra Kai” never died. The actor passed away back in 2019 at the age of 59 after a stay in the hospital due to kidney and liver failure. In a post on Instagram at the time of Rob’s passing, series star William Zabka did his best to pay tribute to the man, both as a performer and a friend:
Yesterday the world lost a beautiful soul and an incredibly gifted actor, and I lost one of my dearest friends — the one and only, Rob Garrison.
Rob and I met when we were auditioning for “Karate Kid.” We instantly connected and became friends while filming the movie. Our friendship grew stronger over the many years since then.
Rob was a true thespian — an “actors actor.” Working with him was always natural and effortless. He elevated every scene and moment inside of them. Outside of acting, he was one of the most selfless and wonderful human beings I’ve ever known and I will miss him immensely.
Thank you to all of his fans for the tremendous outpouring of love & respect he’s being shown. I know it means a lot to his family and friends.
You can see the love in Zabka’s statement, and in the attention given to him at the end of the Cobra Kai premiere. It’s abundantly clear just how beloved he was, and this tribute helps to ensure that Garrison’s work and his legacy is always remembered. These title cards are essential for that very reason, for healing and also to commemorate one’s work.
Our thoughts and sympathy continue to go out to Garrison’s friends and family. (Photo: Netflix.)