Rob Garrison was best known for his role as Tommy in both The Karate Kid and its 1986 sequel

By Ale Russian and Dave Quinn
September 27, 2019 05:31 PM
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Rob Garrison/Twitter

Rob Garrison, who starred as one of the Cobra Kai members in the hit 1984 film The Karate Kid, had died at 59, according to Entertainment Weekly.

The actor died Friday morning at a hospital in West Virginia after a month-long hospitalization due to kidney and liver failure, TMZ reported.

“This is a sad day for the Karate Kid / Cobra Kai family,” Karate Kid star Ralph Macchio says in a statement obtained by PEOPLE. “Rob Garrison was a kind gentleman from the first day I met him to the last day we spoke. I am so glad he had the opportunity to show his range and genuine heart with his performance last season on Cobra Kai. His campfire scene in Ep 206 was truly one of my favorites of Season 2. My thoughts are with his friends and family.”

In a joint statement obtained by PEOPLE, YouTube and Sony Pictures Television remembered the actor.

“We are saddened by the sudden passing of Rob Garrison, who delighted Karate Kid and Cobra Kai fans alike throughout the generations,” the statement read. “Our thoughts are with his family during this time.”

Rob Garrison in The Karate Kid
Columbia Pictures

Garrison was best known for his role as Tommy in both The Karate Kid and its 1986 sequel. He most recently reprised his role in a sweet storyline featured on the YouTube show Cobra Kai. The episode centered around a group of Cobras — including William Zabka’s Johnny Lawrence — finding out about Tommy’s terminal illness and breaking him out of the hospital to give him one last good day.

The actor tweeted about his appearance on the show in April where he thanked fans for the support.

“Thanks everyone for your wonderful comments on my appearance in COBRA KAI. Makes me feel great. Had a wonderful time doing it,” he wrote.

Garrison got his start as a child actor in the 1977 movie Starship Invasions. After booking the two Karate Kid movies, the actor went on to act on-and-off, appearing in series like The Munsters Today, Columbo, Coach, MacGyver and Homefront.

He is survived by his brother Peter and his sister-in-law Linda. His family is working on funeral arrangements, according to TMZ.