Thomas Ian Griffith Almost Missed His Karate Kid Audition in The 80s

Credit: Karate Kid

Anyone who grew up in the 80s knows Karate Kid. It’s a cult classic, and the characters and their lines from the movie border on iconic. One such character is Terry Silver. Silver made his first appearance in the third installment of the Karate Kid franchise, and he’s been a well-known figure since. The character of Terry Silver is not played by a man of the same name, though. The actor who portrays the role is Thomas Ian Griffith. He took on the role of Terry Silver in 1989 for the third Karate Kid movie, and he reprised his role when the movie was brought to television in the 2020s by way of Cobra Kai. Now, fans want to know all there is to know about Thomas Ian Griffith.

Is Thomas Ian Griffith Really A Martial Artist?

In fact, Thomas Ian Griffith is much like Terry Silver in this aspect. He wasn’t simply playing a role. He’s a martial artist who’s trained most of his life. It was during his time in high school that Thomas Ian Griffith discovered his love for Tae Kwon Do. He began practicing, and he was good. He was good enough to earn his black belt by the time he reached his 18th birthday. His love of martial arts continued, and he’s practiced since. He’s also received his blackbelt in another form of karate called kemp karate.

“The instructors and the masters spoke very little English, but they were just incredible teachers, and I begged my parents, saying, ‘please just let me go there.’ So I started just right before high school there. It was my life through high school; it was my sport through high school. I just loved it. And it gave me a sense of purpose and a place to go after school, and like I said, I owe so much to the whole training and the whole world that I think taught me so many things I still, you know, value in my life today,” said Thomas Ian Griffith of his time as a karate student. He was the only person in the movie to have a real knowledge of the arts.

Credit: @thomasiangriffith

Is Thomas Ian Griffith Married?

He is married. He married an actress in 1991, only two years after he took on the role of Terry Silver in the third Karate Kid movie. Her name is Mary Page Keller. They worked together on a soap opera called Another World. He was part of the soap for three years in the 1980s. He began playing the role of Catlin Ewing in 1984 and didn’t leave the show until 1987. Griffith and his wife also share two sons of their own.

He Almost Missed His Karate Kid Audition

Imagine being out and about with your wife, to whom he was dating but not yet married at the time. You’re Christmas shopping. Enjoying your day together. It’s the most beautiful season of the year, and you’re doing the things that are done that time of year. Enjoying the atmosphere and the weather, the delight of the holiday season, and suddenly you remember that you were supposed to be at an audition. That’s what happened to Thomas Ian Griffith the day he auditioned for Karate Kid.

Griffith was scheduled to appear at 5 – at the latest. He didn’t realize that he was late for the audition until 5:10 that evening. He left shopping with his wife and booked it for the audition. Griffith was late, and he knew that they might not see him, but he wanted to be part of this movie. He convinced those in charge that karate was his life and allowed him to audition. The rest, as they say, is history. He landed the role, and he landed it because karate was actually his life.

Credit: @thomasiangriffith

They Changed the Script for Thomas Ian Griffith

Griffith was so good at karate that the original Karate Kid script didn’t allow much of a karate theme for the role of Terry Silver. In fact, he did not do much beyond the basics that could be quickly taught for the role. Once the team working on the movie realized just how good Griffith was at karate and the martial arts game, they changed the original script to allow the character to take on a much more prominent role as a martial artist. And that is the story of how Terry Silver was born and became a prominent figure in the Karate Kid legacy. It’s so funny to hear stories like this one.

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