10 Interesting Things About Martin Kove

10 Interesting Things About Martin Kove

credit: The Karate Kid

Martin Kove is one actor who has absolutely no problem playing the villain and bad guy in movies. He once noted that he loved the idea of being hated because of his film characters. If there’s a silver lining here, it shows how well the actor delivers superb movie performances.

Martin Kove is much more than his characters, and getting to know him makes him more human, who’s not just about “sweeping the leg” and “showing no mercy”. In this post, we take a look at 10 interesting things about Martin Kove that have made him an amazing actor.

1. Martin Kove’s Most Famous Character in Film

When the first installment of The Karate Kid was released, Martin Kove probably had little idea of how his character, Cobra Kai sensei John Kreese, would bring him fame. No other character in a film has had as much influence and impact on Kove’s career as John Kreese. His popular lines of “sweep the leg” and “no mercy” continue reverberating through movie history’s echoes.

2. Martin Kove Played an Uncredited Role in His First Film

Do not despise the days of little beginnings certainly holds true for Martin Kove. The actor played an unknown and uncredited role in Alan Arkin’s black comedy film Little Murders. The movie was not entirely what you’ll call a Box Office success, but it managed to break even with $1.5 million with a budget of $1.34 million.

3. He Has Starred in Over 80 Movies and Television Films

Martin Kove is not your everyday average Hollywood actor. He has put in talent and sweat in his over five-decade acting career. He’s been credited with having featured in about 50 films and an additional 41 television appearances in films and shows.

4. He No Longer Drinks Alcohol

This might be surprising if you watched Martin Kove and Fred Williamson’s King Cobra beer commercials of the 80s and 90s. Kove probably took the beer’s slogan, “Don’t let the smooth taste fool you,” a little too seriously and decided to quit alcohol for good. Definitely a smart choice for someone his age.

5. Martin Kove Has Three Black Belts in Three Different Martial Arts

Anyone that has seen Martin Kove’s movies should have guessed there’s a black belt hidden underneath all those moves. But Kove probably doesn’t like to be too predictable, so he upped the game and went ahead to get three black belts. The actor has black belts in Okinawa-te, Kendo, and Tiger Kenpo.

6. He Got Injured in a Fight Scene While Filming The Karate Kid Part II (1986)

10 Interesting Things About Martin Kove

credit: The Karate Kid Part II

In 1986 The Karate Kid Part II, in one of the film’s fight scenes, John Kreese faces off against Mr. Miyagi. However, during filming, the effect team missed their cue to shatter a car window. An unsuspecting Kove strikes the window with his fist and breaks it. Although he sustained injuries, he waved it off and continued filming. No one gets in the way of John Kreese, not even a prop car window!

7. Martin Kove’s Major Role in Television

10 Interesting Things About Martin Kove

credit: Cagney & Lacey

Kove first made an entry into television in 1974. He played the role of Guthrie in a single episode of Gunsmoke. Although he has starred in several television films and series, Cagney & Lacey (1982–1988) is the one for which he’s most remembered. He played the lead role with Victor Isbecki.

8. Martin Kove’s Family

The actor was once married to Vivienne Kove. The couple got married in 1981 and got divorced in 2005. The marriage produced two children, Jesse Kove and Rachel Kove.

9. He Offered His Voice in a Video Game

When a game is designed about Cobra Kai, it’s only befitting to have at least one of its iconic actors lend a voice. In Cobra Kai 2: Dojo Rising, Martin Kove did the voiceover for the game’s John Kreese character.

10. He was a Celebrity on Dancing with the Stars Season 30

10 Interesting Things About Martin Kove

credit: Dancing with the Stars

Kove joined the show’s 30th season paired with professional partner Britt Stewart. Unfortunately, the pair was the first to be eliminated, just seven days into the competition. Whoever thought it was a good idea to have Sensei John Kreese dancing around needs to be queried.

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