It would be mischievous to claim that the New York-born actor is the best of his kind just as it’d be outrageous to suggest his career hasn’t been a successful one. Back in 1985, Zabka was nominated for Young Artist Award under the category of Best Young Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture Musical, Comedy, Adventure or Drama; this was for his first movie role as Johnny Lawrence in The Karate Kid.
Beyond acting, William has spread his wings to producing movies and TV shows and has done well for himself thereof. It has become an additional source of income for the actor and his most popular projects in this capacity include Cobra Kai and Most, a 2003 Czech film he co-wrote and co-produced with Boddy Garabedian. The short film received multiple awards, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Live Action Short Film. All things being equal, William Zabka’s $3 million net worth is bound to increase in years to come as he remains active in the entertainment industry.
Paychecks From Roles in Movies Were The First Major Source of His Fortune
William Zabka has been making a living as a professional actor since he was 18. Born on the 20th of October 1965, he has been active in the movie industry since 1983 when he debuted as Clarence Mortner Jr. in an episode of the ABC comedy-drama superhero TV series, The Greatest American Hero. While his career began with a small screen project, Zabka first began making significant money from the big screen as he featured in multiple movies compared to television works.
His breakthrough in the competitive industry came with his first movie role, as Johnny Lawrence in The Karate Kid. The 1984 martial arts drama film grossed a massive $130.4 million from a budget of $8 million and was met with a gigantic favorable reception that ultimately birthed the Karate Kid franchise. What this meant for William was a massive exposure that earned him more movie roles through which he accumulated the bulk of his $3 million net worth.
Thus far, he has appeared in no fewer than 32 movies, including a reprise of the Johnny Lawrence character in The Karate Kid Part II (1986) and The Karate Kid Part III (1989). While it is hard to tell what he was paid for each of these movie roles, no one needs to be told the amounts involved were significant. Since 2016 when the actor played Kevin in The Man in the Silo, much hasn’t been heard from him in terms of playing movie roles; he has been busy with television projects.
Highest-Grossing Movies of The Actor
- The Karate Kid (1984)
- Budget: $8 million
- Box Office: $130.4 million
- National Lampoon’s European Vacation (1985)
- Budget: $17 million
- Box Office: $49.3 million
- The Karate Kid Part II (1986)
- Budget: $13 million
- Box Office: $130 million
- Back to School (1986)
- Budget: $11 million
- Box Office: $91.3 million
- The Karate Kid Part III (1989)
- Budget: $12.5 million
- Box Office: $39 million
- Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)
- Budget: $36 million
- Box Office: $64.6 million
William Zabka Pockets As Much As $100,000 Per Episode of Cobra Kia
Over the course of his career, The Karate Kid actor has been seen in multiple television productions. His first significant work here was between 1985 and 1989 when he played Scott McCall in nine episodes of the spy thriller series, The Equalizer. Before this, he had appeared in one episode each of Gimme a Break!, CBS Schoolbreak Special, and E/R. After the Scott McCall role, he featured in multiple television movies like To the Ends of Time (1996), Epoch (2000), Python (2000), and Python II (2002).
The following decade, Zabka voiced several characters in the adult animated comedy series, Robot Chicken, in 2013. Between that year and the following year, he guest-starred and held down a recurring role in the popular sitcom, How I Met Your Mother. His next television projects were in Psych (2014) and Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street (2015). A few years later, he landed his most significant and lucrative television gig thus far – Cobra Kia.
Cobra Kia is a Netflix series based on William Zabka’s first movie, The Karate Kid. The martial arts comedy-drama series started airing on YouTube Red in 2018. It has so far spewed 30 episodes across three seasons with its fourth in the pipeline. The series revolves around Zabka and Ralph Macchio who reprise their respective roles as Jonny Lawrence and Daniel LaRusso from the 1984 martial arts drama film. Reports have it that the actors earned as much as $100,000 per episode of the series in the first two seasons. As each of the seasons have 10 episodes, it means that William earned $2 million from the first and second seasons of the show.
The Actor Has Also Made Good Money From Producing Small and Big Screen Projects
Disregarding acting, William Zabka has also been making money from working in other capacities in the movie industry. For instance, he worked in the editorial department of the 2014 drama documentary, Never a Neverland. He also co-wrote the 2003 short film, Most, but has thrived more as a producer. His first work as a producer was also Most.
Many years later, he co-produced the 2010 documentary film, Mzungu (n.) White-Wanderer. His next project in this capacity was Never a Neverland, wherein he is credited as an executive producer. Zabka’s most significant project as a producer is, however, in Cobra Kai. Since the series began, he has worked as a co-executive producer in all of its seasons. What he makes from being a producer has never been disclosed but there is no doubt it’s a meaningful amount that has contributed to his $3 million net worth.
William Zabka Doesn’t Live a Lavish Lifestyle
With William Zabka’s net worth and the steady flow of income from his career, he can certainly afford some level of luxury but the famous actor is not known to indulge in such a lifestyle. He has kept things private and moderate all along.
The man has never been seen in any fancy car neither is he known to own an extravagant mansion. We can only tell that his wife, Stacie Zabka, and the two kids they have, are living comfortably and happily together in New York.