Mar. 6th, 1946
Brooklyn, New York, USA
Martin Kove's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
New York born, strong featured, narrow eyed actor who has portrayed a mixed bag of both good and bad guys! First turned up on screen in several minor roles, and got himself noticed as the villainous "Nero The Hero" in the low budget road race Death Race 2000 (1975), and then as "Clem" the sadistic rigger, breaking Jan-Michael Vincent's ribs in White Line Fever (1975). He cropped up in the hit TV series "Cagney & Lacey" (1982) as honest Police Detective Isbecki, and then got on the wrong side of rampaging Sylvester Stallone in Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985).
Kove probably scored his greatest visibility to the public ( in the hugely successful The Karate Kid (1984) in which he played "John Kreese", the head instructor of the Cobra Kai karate school, and he reprised the role in the two sequels, The Karate Kid, Part II (1986) and The Karate Kid, Part III (1989).
Kove has since kept consistently busy, primarily in the action / thriller film genre, and has notched up over 80 film appearances to date, as well as numerous TV guest roles.
- During the mid-to-late 1980s and early 1990s, Kove was a well-known TV-spokesman for King Cobra beer: "Don't let the smooth taste fool you." In more recent years, however, he has sworn off alcohol.
- He was a substitute match teacher at Ward Melville High School in New York.
- Has black belts in all of the following martial arts: Kendo; Okinawa-te; and Tiger Kenpo.
- Injured his hand during the fateful fight scene between his character, John Kreese, and Mr. Miyagi in The Karate Kid, Part II (1986). The effects team ill-timed one of the car window shattering shots, causing Kove to inadvertently break the prop window with his own fist. He sustained several injuries to his hand but continued filming.
- Has twins: son Jesse Morgan Kove; and daughter Rachel Olivia Kove. Jesse and Rachel were born November 2, 1990.
- Honorary marshal of Tarzana, California
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