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Pat Morita

Pat Morita

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Also Known As: Noriyuki Morita, Noriyuki Morita (Pat) Died: November 24, 2005
Born: June 28, 1930 Cause of Death: Natural causes
Birth Place: Isleton, California, USA Profession: actor, comic, department head at an aerospace firm, data processor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Best remembered for his portrayal of martial arts sage Mr. Miyagi in the enduring "Karate Kid" films, actor and comedian Pat Morita persevered through a childhood filled with adversity to ultimately realize his dream of becoming a successful performer. At the age of 30, Morita began to pursue stand-up comedy in earnest, and within a short number of years was performing his act at clubs around the country and on various television variety shows. He made his film debut in the musical comedy "Thoroughly Modern Millie" (1967), and later appeared on dozens of television shows, such as "Sanford & Son" (NBC, 1971-77). Morita's big break came when professional acquaintance Garry Marshall cast him in the role of malt shop owner Matsuo "Arnold" Takahashi on the long-running sitcom "Happy Days" (ABC, 1973-1984). The role of Arnold was a supporting one, but Morita stole nearly every scene he appeared in, and was soon lured away to star in his own sitcom after just one season on the popular show. It proved to be a bad decision, as the comedy series, "Mr. T and Tina" (ABC, 1976-77) was shelved after only a handful of episodes. Morita continued to work, but it was looking as if he had let a good thing get away when...

Best remembered for his portrayal of martial arts sage Mr. Miyagi in the enduring "Karate Kid" films, actor and comedian Pat Morita persevered through a childhood filled with adversity to ultimately realize his dream of becoming a successful performer. At the age of 30, Morita began to pursue stand-up comedy in earnest, and within a short number of years was performing his act at clubs around the country and on various television variety shows. He made his film debut in the musical comedy "Thoroughly Modern Millie" (1967), and later appeared on dozens of television shows, such as "Sanford & Son" (NBC, 1971-77). Morita's big break came when professional acquaintance Garry Marshall cast him in the role of malt shop owner Matsuo "Arnold" Takahashi on the long-running sitcom "Happy Days" (ABC, 1973-1984). The role of Arnold was a supporting one, but Morita stole nearly every scene he appeared in, and was soon lured away to star in his own sitcom after just one season on the popular show. It proved to be a bad decision, as the comedy series, "Mr. T and Tina" (ABC, 1976-77) was shelved after only a handful of episodes. Morita continued to work, but it was looking as if he had let a good thing get away when he landed the role of a lifetime as Mr. Miyagi in the hit film "The Karate Kid" (1984). As the patient sensei to a bullied teen (Ralph Macchio), Morita was instrumental in launching a hugely successful film franchise, and in doing so would earn himself an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor and secure a place for himself in the pantheon of screen icons. Although his post-Miyagi roles never approached the notoriety he experienced with "The Karate Kid," Morita continued to work steadily in film and on television for the remainder of his life, bringing a welcome sense of familiarity and fun to each and every role.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 American Fusion (2007)
2.
 Last Shot, The (2004) Himself
3.
 Volcano High (2003)
4.
 Center of the World, The (2001) Taxi Driver
5.
 House of Luk (2001) Kwang Luk
6.
 I'll Remember April (2000) Abe Tanaka
7.
 Los Gringos (1999) Voice Of Samurai
8.
9.
 King Cobra (1999) Nick Hasimoto
10.
 Desert Heat (1999)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Spent from two to nine years of age hospitalized with spinal tuberculosis
:
Spent adolescence in WWII Japanese internment camp
:
Began career as nightclub comedian opening for such acts as Ella Fitzgerald, Johnny Mathis, Diana Ross and the Supremes
:
Became headliner in Las Vegas showrooms and Playboy Clubs
1967:
Feature debut, "Thoroughly Modern Milie"
1969:
TV debut as series regular, "The Queen and I"
1972:
TV-movie debut, "A Very Missing Person"
1974:
Regular in NBC TV sitcom, "Sanford and Son" playing a Japanese chef named Ah Chew
1975:
Had a recurring role on the first season of the ABC sitcom, "Happy Days" as Mesuma "Arnold" Takahashi, owner of the diner; reprised his role in the 1982-1983 season
1976:
Left "Happy Days" to star as inventor Taro Takahashi in the short-lived ABC sitcom, "Mr. T and Tina"
1984:
Gained worldwide fame playing wise karate teacher Mr. Miyagi in "The Karate Kid"; earned an Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for Best Supporting Actor
1985:
Debut in a TV miniseries, "Alice in Wonderland"
1986:
Reprised the role of karate teacher Mr. Miyagi for "The Karate Kid, Part II"
1987:
Cast as the title character in the ABC detective show "Ohara"
1989:
Again reprised his role for "The Karate Kid, Part III"
1992:
Had a supporting role in the comedy "Honeymoon in Vegas"
1994:
Reprised the role of Mr. Miyagi for "The Next Karate Kid" co-starring Hilary Swank
1995:
Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
1996:
Starred on the Nickelodeon television series "The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo"
1998:
Lent his voice to the animated feature, "Mulan"
2000:
Had a recurring role on the ABC sitcom "The Hughleys"
2001:
Had a cameo appearance in the Alien Ant Farm music video "Movies"
2005:
Cast in the film, "American Fusion"
2006:
Played Master Udon on Nickelodeon's "SpongeBob SquarePants" in the episode, "Karate Island"
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Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Evelyn Guerrero. Actor. Married in 1995.

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