Martin Kove (born March 6, 1946) is an American film and television actor most recognized for his role as the sociopathic Cobra Kai sensei John Kreese in the Karate Kid film series and the television series Cobra Kai. He is also known for his work in films such as Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985) and on television series such as Cagney & Lacey as Victor Isbecki.
Martin Kove was born in Brooklyn, New York City to Jewish parents.
Kove appeared as Cully in the 1967–1969 CBS series, Gentle Ben, with Dennis Weaver and Clint Howard. He was cast as George Baker in the short-lived CBS series Code R (1977) about the emergency services (fire, police, and ocean rescue) in the California Channel Islands. His co-stars were James Houghton, Tom Simcox, and Joan Freeman.
He also starred in the short-lived science fiction series Hard Time on Planet Earth and made guest appearances on several television programs including Gunsmoke, Three for the Road, Kojak, Quincy, M. E., The Incredible Hulk, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, The Rockford Files, The Streets of San Francisco, and Black Scorpion.
Kove was a cast member on the 1982–1988 CBS television series Cagney & Lacey as Detective Victor Isbecki.
Kove appeared in the 1984 hit film The Karate Kid as Cobra Kai sensei John Kreese. After playing a traitorous helicopter pilot in the 1985 film Rambo: First Blood Part II, he appeared again as Kreese in the 1986 sequel The Karate Kid Part II (using footage cut from the first film) and the 1989 sequel The Karate Kid Part III. He studied Okinawa-te Karate under prominent black belt Gordon Doversola Shihan.
Kove appeared in Kung Fu: The Legend Continues as the Shadow Assassin in Episode 3, Season 1, "Shadow Assassin", which aired on 3 February 1993, and in Episode 23, Season 2, which aired on 26 January 1994.
He appeared in the 2007 music video for the song "Sweep the Leg" by No More Kings as a caricature of himself and John Kreese from The Karate Kid. He appeared on Tosh.0 as his character from The Karate Kid, John Kreese, where he spoofed the final fight on the "Board Breaker Web Redemption". At the end of the skit, Daniel Tosh, dressed as Mr. Miyagi, honks Kove's nose, a reference to Mr. Miyagi's action in the scene at the beginning of The Karate Kid, Part II.
In 2017, Kove parodied his Karate Kid character in the Season 4, Episode 17 episode of The Goldbergs.
In 2018, Kove returned to the character of John Kreese for the YouTube Premium web series, Cobra Kai, a sequel series of the Karate Kid franchise which is set 34 years after the 1984 film.
In 2019, Kove again parodied his Karate Kid character in an ad for QuickBooks, in which a kinder, gentler Kreese runs a "Koala Kai" dojo of preteen students who are encouraged to "support the leg" and to show "more mercy."
|Women in Revolt||Marty|
|The Last House on the Left||Deputy|
|1973||Cops and Robbers||Ambulance Attendant|
|1975||The Wild Party||Editor|
|Death Race 2000||Nero the Hero|
|White Line Fever||Clem|
|1976||The Four Deuces||Smokey Ross|
|1977||The White Buffalo||Jack McCall|
|1982||Cry For The Strangers||Jeff||Television film|
|Blood Tide||Neil Grice|
|1984||The Karate Kid||Sensei John Kreese|
|1985||Rambo: First Blood Part II||Michael Reed Ericson|
|1986||The Karate Kid Part II||Sensei John Kreese|
|1987||Steele Justice||John Steele|
|1989||The Karate Kid Part III||Sensei John Kreese|
|1991||White Light||Sean Craig|
|Shootfighter: Fight to the Death||Mr. Lee|
|1994||Wyatt Earp||Ed Ross|
|Cagney & Lacey: The Return||Victor Isbecki||Television film|
|1996||Timelock||Admiral Danny Teegs|
|2001||Under Heavy Fire||Father Brazinski||Television film|
|2002||Crocodile 2: Death Swamp||Roland|
|Curse of the Forty-Niner||Caleb|
|2003||Hard Ground||Floyd||Television film|
|Miracle at Sage Street||Jess|
|2006||Max Havoc: Ring of Fire||Lt. Reynolds|
|2007||The Dead Sleep Easy||Bob Depugh|
|2008||Chinaman's Chance: America's Other Slaves||Sheriff Jones|
|2009||War Wolves||Malick||Television film|
|Middle Men||US Senator|
|Eternity: The Movie||Barry Goldfield, Sr.|
|Tapped Out||Principal Vanhorne|
|The Extendables||Aye Lewis|
|2015||The Dog Who Saved Summer||Vernon|
|Jokers Wild||Graham Palace|
|2017||Bring Me A Dream||Sheriff Jack Miller|
|2018||Paint It Red||Scabs|
|2019||Once Upon a Time in Hollywood||Sherriff on Bounty Law|
|1974||Gunsmoke||Guthrie||"In Performance of Duty"|
|1975||Three for the Road||"The Rip-off"|
|1976||Kojak||Burl Stole||"Law Dance"|
|The Streets of San Francisco||Willis Hines||"The Drop"|
|1977||The Rockford Files||Harry Smick||"Dirty Money, Black Light"|
|Code R||George Baker||12 episodes|
|The San Pedro Beach Bums||Denny Evans||"The Shortest Yard"|
|1977–1978||We've Got Each Other||Ken Redford||5 episodes|
|1978||The Incredible Hulk||Henry "Rocky" Welsh||"Final Round"|
|1978–1979||Barnaby Jones||Greg Saunders, Stan Benson||2 episodes|
||"The Death Challenge"
|1982–1988||Cagney & Lacey||Victor Isbecki||113 episodes|
|1985||Murder, She Wrote||Dr. Ellison||"Armed Response"|
|1985||The Twilight Zone||Joe||"Opening Day"|
|1989||Hard Time on Planet Earth||Jess||13 episodes|
|1993||Renegade||Mitch Raines / Goliath||2 episodes|
|1993–1994||Kung Fu: The Legend Continues||Chi'Ru Master||2 episodes|
|1995||Walker, Texas Ranger||Fred Kimble||"Flashback"|
|Hercules: The Legendary Journeys||Demetrius||"The Mother of All Monsters"|
|1998–1999||Diagnosis: Murder||Captain Walter Newman||3 episodes|
|2001||Black Scorpion||James Ames / Firearm||"Armed and Dangerous"|
|2011||Tosh.0||John Kreese||"Broad Breaker"|
|2015||Criminal Minds||John Folkmore||"Scream"|
|2017||The Goldbergs||Master John||"The Kara-Te Kid"|
|2018–present||Cobra Kai||John Kreese||Guest season 1, main season 2|