Pat Morita, who died, was best known for playing the wise Mr. Miyagi in “The Karate Kid.” He was 73.
There were different stories about what killed the person. His daughter, Aly Morita, said he died Thursday in a Las Vegas hospital of heart failure. His longtime manager, Arnold Soloway, said the actor died in a hospital of kidney failure while waiting for a transplant.
Evelyn, his wife of 12 years, said in a statement that her husband, who became famous for playing the grumpy Arnold on “Happy Days,” had “devoted his entire life to acting and comedy.” When he died, his estimated net worth was $5 million.
About the Pat Mortia
oriyuki “Pat” Morita was an American actor and comic who was born on June 28, 1932 and died on November 24, 2005. He was known for playing Matsuo “Arnold” Takahashi on Happy Days, Mr. Miyagi in the Karate Kid movies, Captain Sam Pak on M*A*S*H, Ah Chew in Sanford and Son, Mike Woo in The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo, and the Emperor of China in Mulan and Mulan II.
He was the main actor on the TV shows Mr. T and Tina and Ohara, which was about the police. The two shows made history because they were some of the few on TV with Asian-American main characters.
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Morita was nominated for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 1985 for his role as Mr. Miyagi in The Karate Kid. This was the first in a series of movies and TV shows in which Morita was the main character.
Career of Part Mortia
His career was made by the part he played in the 1984 movie. Daniel-san’s teacher, Keisuke Miyagi, played by Ralph Macchio, he taught him karate while trying to catch flies with chopsticks and giving him tips like “wax on, wax off” to help him improve his hand movements.
Young fans tried to copy Morita’s famous “crane kick” move from the end of the movie, which surprised many by making $91 million and starting a popular series.
Morita was nominated for an Oscar as a supporting actor for the part, but he lost to Haing S. Ngor, who was in “The Killing Fields.”
In an interview with the Associated Press in 1986, Morita said that he was called Noriyuki (Pat) Morita in the movie because the producer Jerry Weintraub wanted him to sound more Asian. He said that he used the name Billing because it was “the only name my parents gave me.”
Morita had small parts in movies and TV shows like “Thoroughly Modern Millie” “The Odd Couple” and “Green Acres” for a long time. Sometimes these parts were even demeaning. “Happy Days” was his first big break, and then he had his own short-lived show, “Mr. T and Tina.”
There were three sequels to “The Karate Kid.” The last one, “The Next Karate Kid,” starred a young Hilary Swank.
Morita did a lot of work outside of the “Karate Kid” series. He was in “Honeymoon in Vegas,” “Spy Hard,” “Even Cowgirls Get the Blues,” and “The Center of the World.” In the 1998 Disney movie “Mulan,” he also voices one of the characters.
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Morita was born in northern California to parents who moved around to pick fruit. He spent most of his childhood in the hospital because he had spinal tuberculosis. After he got better, he was sent to a camp for Japanese-Americans in Arizona during World War II.
Morita’s family tried to get back on their feet after the war by running a restaurant in Sacramento. There, Morita first tried to make people laugh with his jokes.
Because it didn’t look like there was much of a future for a Japanese-American stand-up comedian, Morita got a steady job at Aerojet General working with computers. But when he was 30, he went into show business for good.
Morita’s wife and three daughters from a previous marriage are the only people who will remember him.