‘Cobra Kai’ Season 4: Terry Silver Actor Thomas Ian Griffith Had Retired From Acting Before Reprising His Role

Thomas Ian Griffith will return as Terry Silver on Cobra Kai Season 4. Not only will it be his first time playing the character since 1989’s The Karate Kid Part III, but it will be his first acting role since 2007. Griffith hadn’t retired completely from Hollywood. Here’s what he’s been doing instead. 

Thomas Ian Griffith arrives at the Vampires premiere
Thomas Ian Griffith | Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Griffith was a guest on the Cobra Kai Kompanion podcast on July 30. Previewing his role in Season 4 of Cobra Kai, Griffith explained why he came out of acting retirement. Cobra Kai Season 4 premieres on Netflix this December

Between ‘Karate Kid III’ and ‘Cobra Kai,’ Thomas Ian Griffith became a screenwriter

After The Karate Kid Part III, Griffith began writing. He wrote scripts for some of his own movie vehicles, and others in which he did not star. Griffith was a writer on the TV series Grimm. His wife is actor Mary Page Keller who also divides her time between acting and writing.

Terry Silver actor Thomas Ian Griffith and wife Mary Page Keller at the Commander in Chief inaugural ball
Thomas Ian Griffith and Mary Page Keller | Vince Bucci/Getty Images for ABC

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“The irony that I go back to, I keep saying to Mary, she’s so picky but she’s done a few things,” Griffith said. “She did a film Beginners that she’s so wonderful in. I’m like, ‘You gotta keep acting.’ She was like, ‘You know what? I enjoy the writing too.’ So she’s gone back and forth a little more than I have but she always says, ‘You’re going to go back, you’re going to go back. It’s like, ‘Nah, I’m happy with what I’m doing.’”

‘Cobra Kai’ Season 4 was an offer Thomas Ian Griffith couldn’t refuse

Griffith was planning to continue his writing career. That’s when Cobra Kai creators Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg told him they wanted Terry Silver back in season 4.

“Then this came along when the guys called about Cobra Kai saying they’re bringing back Terry Silver,” Griffith said. “At first, it was like what’s Terry Silver been up to for the last 30 years? Then when they mapped out their plan, oh my God, I cannot say no to that. That sounds incredible. So I jumped on. That’s what I love about those guys. When they decide they’re going to do something, they do it and they do it so well.”

Thomas Ian Griffith had to fit the show in between writing assignments 

Since Grimm ended, Griffith has continued writing. He and Kellar wrote Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings and they were busy up until Cobra Kai Season 4 needed him.

Cobra Kai: Daniel fights Kreese in the dojo
L-R: Ralph Macchio and Martin Kove | Curtis Bonds Baker/Netflix

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“There was rumors, I had a conversation but then I think dates got pushed,” Griffith said. “Mary and I had a deal at Warner Bros. We were writing something for them. The timing just worked out. It happened so fast. It was like in December and they said, ‘You’re going to be in Atlanta working mid January,’ whatever it was. So it didn’t give me too much time to think about it.”

Source: Cobra Kai Kompanion podcast