Bruce Malmuth (search), an actor and writer who directed such films as "Nighthawk" and "Hard to Kill" and played bit parts in "The Karate Kid" and other films, died Tuesday of esophageal cancer. He was 71.

Malmuth died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, said his brother, Daniel Malmuth.

Malmuth was best-known for directing Sylvester Stallone in the 1981 thrilled "Nighthawk (search)" and Steven Seagal in the 1990 political action film "Hard to Kill (search)," as well as "Where Are All The Children (search)," with Jill Clayburgh.

He also worked on documentaries, including "Baseballs or Switchblades? (search)" and the Emmy-winning "A Boy's Dream (search)," which featured Darryl Strawberry.

An avid sports fan, Malmuth played the role of ring announcer in 1984's "The Karate Kid (search)," among other small film roles.

Malmuth began making documentaries while serving in the Army, where he met baseball announcer Walter "Red" Barber. After his military career, Malmuth directed the New York Yankee games at WPIX radio in New York before entering the film and television industry.