Kove also starred in ‘The Karate Kid’
Martin Kove, best known for playing John Kreese, the villain in The Karate Kid franchise, is among the 15 competitors taking part in season 30 of Dancing with the Stars.
Kove also reprised the role of Kreese for the popular sequel series, Cobra Kai, which also stars original film lead Ralph Macchio.
Born in New York to a Jewish family, Kove got his start in the entertainment industry through guest parts on various TV shows such as Gunsmoke and Kojak.
In the early 1970s, Kove also appeared in James Ivory’s Savages and horror classic, The Last House on the Left. He also picked up various supporting roles in B-movie action pictures produced by Roger Corman including Death Race 2000 and Capone.
Kove received his first regular TV role on Code R, a short-lived action series that also starred soap legend, James Haughton.
Kove had to wait until 1982 for his next main role on TV in hit show Cagney & Lacey in which he played Detective Victor Isbecki. He stayed with the show until it ended in 1988.
Whilst appearing on Cagney & Lacey, Kove also landed the role as the villainous Keese in the first Karate Kid movie, which became a huge pop culture phenomenon.
He reprised the role twice more in the 1980s but was absent from fourth installment, The Next Karate Kid, which was released in 1994.
Kove was also cast in a supporting role in Sylvester Stallone’s Rambo: First Blood Part II, which was also a worldwide commercial success.
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Following the end of Cagney & Lacey, Kove found roles in film and TV hard to come by. He had a minor role in the Kevin Costner western, Wyatt Earp, and was also the lead in sci-fi TV show, Hard Time on Planet Earth, but it was cancelled after 13 episodes.
Kove then appeared in mostly straight-to-DVD action movies and guest starred in various TV shows such as Walker, Texas Ranger, Criminal Minds and Diagnosis: Murder.
Kove’s career received a rebirth when Cobra Kai was commissioned by YouTube and developed a loyal fanbase. The show then moved to Netflix where it has become one of the streaming service’s most popular shows.
Kove has appeared in all three seasons of the show so far and is scheduled to appear in the upcoming fourth. Cobra Kai has already been renewed for a fifth season by Netflix.