'Cobra Kai' Star Sean Kanan Nearly Died on 'Karate Kid' Set: 'They Didn't Know If I Could Live'

The actor revealed Wednesday that he was bleeding internally after a karate fight scene

Cobra Kai. (L to R) Sean Kanan as Mike Barnes, Ralph Macchio as Daniel LaRusso in episode 503 of Cobra Kai. Cr. Curtis Bonds Baker/Netflix © 2022
sean Kanan. Photo: Curtis Bonds Baker/Netflix

Sean Kanan almost died on the set of Karate Kid Part III, but that didn't stop him from returning to the role that made him famous in Cobra Kai.

The 55-year-old actor recently recounted the scary incident that almost cost him his life. After shooting for the movie had paused for the holidays, he and a friend headed to Las Vegas, even though he had some leg pain from a fight scene shot earlier.

"I passed out in the Dunes Casino and it turned out that the pain in my leg was internal bleeding and it was the blood dripping down on my femoral artery," Kanan shared in an interview with the Daily Mail published Wednesday.

"I'd been bleeding for a day and so they rushed me to the hospital.

"They said, 'We don't know if we can save your life - we're going to try,'" he remembered. "It was the scariest thing that's ever happened to me in my life."

Kanan admits that even though he was close to death, his biggest concern was keeping his role in the third film of the beloved franchise.

"They obviously saved my life. And, I got a call from the studio –– no flowers, no balloons –– just you need to be back at work in, I think it was like, 12 days or something or we're going to recast," the General Hospital actor recounted to the Mail. "I was crushed and then I went from being crushed to being really f------ angry."

However, the actor told the outlet did find a silver lining.

"As terrible an experience as it was at the time, I wouldn't trade it because it was one of the most defining experiences of my life. And it's a hell of a story."

RELATED VIDEO: Ralph Macchio Says Nostalgia for 'Karate Kid' Has Never Gone Away: "It's Just Incredible"

After starring in the martial arts film, Kanan made his name in daytime television where he landed starring roles on General Hospital, The Young and the Restless, and The Bold and the Beautiful.

When Cobra Kai made its debut in 2018 on YouTube and then moved to Netflix, Kanan hoped he'd be asked to join the show. "Once I learned that Cobra Kai was happening, I hoped that it was a matter of time before I would be able to participate."

And it finally happened for season five. "Five years was a long time to wait! I'm not going to lie," he told the outlet.

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Kanan will reprise his Karate Kid: Part III role as Mike, who is perhaps the franchise's most dangerous villain.

In the 1989 film, Mike was the "new bad boy of Karate" and a student of Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith). The pair, along with John Kreese (Martin Kove), tormented Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and demanded he fight in the All Valley Karate Championship.

The first four seasons of Cobra Kai are streaming now on Netflix. Season 5 kicked off on Sept. 9.

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