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Who Plays Vanessa LaRusso In Cobra Kai Season 4?

Late in Season 4, "Cobra Kai" introduces audience members to another cousin of Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio), a new character named Vanessa, who is also a sister of Louie LaRusso, Jr. (Bret Ernst). Throughout the three "Karate Kid" films and four seasons of "Cobra Kai," we've met many members of the LaRusso family, but this is Vanessa's first appearance. In Vanessa's first scene, Amanda LaRusso (Courtney Henggeler) says she is "more Louie than Louie," referring to Daniel's cousin's occasionally antagonistic personality.

In addition to hiring her as a photographer, Daniel and Amanda also consult with Vanessa over how to solve the bullying problems faced by Anthony LaRusso (Griffin Santopietro). While Daniel is often portrayed as the victim of other bullies, namely Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka), the latest season of "Cobra Kai" sees the youngest LaRusso dishing out the bullying, rather than receiving it. Daniel and Amanda are initially unsure how to respond to such bad actions. Out of desperation, Daniel explains his problems to Louie who in turn suggests that the two talk with Vanessa. Louie insists that she is "really good" and "in her second year of grad school for child psychology." The LaRusso parents are initially reluctant to talk about such issues with Vanessa, with Amanda even referring to her as "Marisa Tomei, Jr.," in an amusing reference to Macchio's Oscar-winning co-star in "My Cousin Vinny." 

However, the two eventually relent and talk with Vanessa about Anthony, resulting in a scene that doesn't go great for the parents or Vanessa. Vanessa may look familiar to longtime fans of "Cobra Kai" and especially superfans of the young man at the center of "The Karate Kid." Perhaps you noticed a certain familial resemblance to another LaRusso?

Vanessa LaRusso is played by Julia Macchio

The actress who plays Vanessa LaRusso in Season 4, Episode 8 of "Cobra Kai" is none other than Julia Macchio, the daughter of Daniel LaRusso actor Ralph Macchio and his wife, Phyllis. This appearance marks Julia's first television role and her first venture into the so-called "Miyagi-verse," but it's not her first on-screen role.

Julia Macchio made her acting debut in a 2012 film called "Girl Most Likely," in which she plays a character named Lucy. One year later, she appeared as a character credited as Voice Student in a film called "Across Grace Alley." After this role, she looks to have taken a five-year break from acting and did not appear in any other productions until 2018 when she starred in two feature films, one called "Wholly Broken" and another called "Stella's Last Weekend." In addition to her work in front of the camera, IMDb reports that Julia Macchio also worked as a choreographer on a short 2019 film called "The Rest of My Life."

It doesn't take much looking at Julia Macchio's social media profile to figure out that she is very close with her famous dad (via Instagram) and the rest of the Macchio family. Julia's younger brother, Daniel, is a composer and has also appeared in a handful of small film roles (via IMDb). We have to wonder if Daniel Macchio or any other members of the Macchio family will appear as LaRusso cousins at some point in the future? They wouldn't be the first family members of "Cobra Kai" stars to appear in unexpected roles in the series.

Lucky for "Cobra Kai" family members and fans alike, plans for a fifth season are already being set in motion.