Mostly Credited As: Pat Morita
Birth Name: Noriyuki Morita
Date Of Birth: June 28, 1932 (Age 73)
Country Of Birth: USA
Birth Place: Isleton, California
Date Of Death: November 24, 2005
Cause Of Death: natural causes
Height: 5' 3" (1.6 m)
Abundantly busy, and much loved Asian-American actor who became an on-screen hero to millions of adults and kids alike as the wise and wonderful "Mr. Miyagi" in The Karate Kid. Sparkling Morita was back again dishing out Eastern philosophy & martial arts lessons for The Karate Kid, Part II and The Karate Kid, Part III and even for The Next Karate Kid.
However, putting all that karate aside, the diminutive Morita actually first started out as a stand up comedian known as "The Hip Nip" in nightclubs and bars, and made his first onscreen appearance in Thoroughly Modern Millie. He quickly adapted to the screen and showed up in small parts comedies including alongside Don Knotts in The Shakiest Gun in the West, and supporting John Astin in Evil Roy Slade, plus he was popular on TV Shows including "Sanford and Son" and "M*A*S*H". Morita got his next break playing the often perplexed restaurant owner "Arnold" in two stints on the hugely popular "Happy Days" between 1975-76 and again between 1982-83. Morita was quite in demand on the small screen and also scored the lead in his own cop show "Ohara", plus he has guest-starred on other high profile TV shows including "Magnum, P.I.", "Murder, She Wrote", "Baywatch" & "The Hughleys".
Although, most often used as a minor character actor, he remained consistently busy and additionally lent his vocal talents to animated features such as Mulan (1998), however his real strengths lie in portraying slighty oddball or unusual characters in offbeat films. He died of natural causes at his home in Las Vegas in November 2005, at the age of 73.