Pat Morita Biography

(Actor and Comedian Known for His Role as ‘Miyagi’ in ‘The Karate Kid’ Film Series)

Birthday: June 28, 1932 (Cancer)

Born In: Isleton, California, United States

Pat Morita, born as Noriyuki Morita, was an American actor and comedian. He became an on-screen hero to thousands of kids and adults alike after playing Mr. Miyagi in the flick ‘The Karate Kid’. His stardom reached new heights after he reprised this role in ‘The Karate Kid Part II’, ‘The Karate Kid Part III’ and ‘The Next Karate Kid’. Putting this film series aside, Morita also gained much popularity as a stand-up comedian. He first came into the limelight after playing the roles of Ah Chew in the drama series ‘Sanford and Son’ and Matsuo "Arnold" Takahashi in the series ‘Happy Days’. His additional notable works include the television programs ‘M*A*S*H’, ‘Mr. T and Tina’ and ‘Ohara’ and the Disney animated flick ‘Mulan’. The much adored Asian-American actor is also known for starring in the TV movie ‘Amos’ for which he received both a Primetime Emmy Award nomination and a Golden Globe Award nomination. Most of Morita’s fans are also aware of the fact that he suffered from spinal tuberculosis as a young child and had to spend most of his early years in several hospitals. After entertaining his fans for several years, the actor died due to kidney failure at the age of 73.

Quick Facts

Also Known As: Noriyuki Morita

Died At Age: 73


Spouse/Ex-: Evelyn Guerrero (m. 1994–2005), Kathleen Yamachi (m. 1953–1967), Yukiye Kitahara (m. 1970–1989)

father: Tamaru

mother: Momoe

siblings: Hideo (older brother)

children: Aly Morita, Erin Morita, Tia Morita

Born Country: United States

Actors Comedians

Height: 5'3" (160 cm), 5'3" Males

Died on: November 24, 2005

place of death: Las Vegas, Nevada, United States

Cause of Death: Kidney Failure

Diseases & Disabilities: Gallbladder Problems

Ancestry: Japanese American

Notable Alumni: Armijo High School

U.S. State: California

More Facts

education: Armijo High School

Pat Morita's first film roles were in ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie’ and ‘The Shakiest Gun in the West.’ He then appeared in the flick ‘Evil Roy Slade’ and in the drama series ‘Columbo’ in 1972. A year later, he was cast as Captain Sam Pak in the series ‘M*A*S*H’. After this, he had the recurring role of Matsuo "Arnold" Takahashi on the series ‘Happy Days’.
Morita then did the war film ‘Midway’ in 1976. After doing a few other movies, he then played Mr. Kesuke Miyagi in the movie ‘The Karate Kid’ in 1984. Soon after this, the actor got the opportunity to act in the films ‘Alice in Wonderland’, ‘The Karate Kid Part II’, ‘Babes In Toyland’, ‘Captive Hearts’, ‘The Karate Kid Part III’ and ‘Collision Course’. In 1991, Morita played Masakana 'Kane' Kaneshiro in the film ‘Do or Die’.
The following year, he acted in the movie ‘Miracle Beach’. From 1993 to 2000, he did a number of small and big screen projects, including ‘American Ninja V’, ‘Even Cowgirls Get the Blues’, ‘The Next Karate Kid’, ‘Murder She Wrote’, ‘Bloodsport II: The Next Kumite’, ‘Mulan’, ‘Bloodsport III’, ‘King Cobra’ and ‘I'll Remember April’ to name a few. Then in 2005, Morita did the animated flick ‘Robot Chicken’. The same year, he played the role of Ono Yakimoto in the comedy movie ‘Down and Derby’.
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Personal Life
Pat Morita was born as Noriyuki "Pat" Morita on June 28, 1932, in Isleton, California, USA, to Momoe and Tamaru. He had an older brother, named Hideo. Morita graduated from the Armijo High School.
He married his first wife Kathleen Yamachi in 1953. After separating from her in 1967, he moved on to marry his second wife, Yukiye Kitahara in 1970. However, Morita divorced his second wife as well. He eventually married his third wife Evelyn Guerrero in 1994 who remained by his side until his death. Morita died on November 24, 2005 in Las Vegas due to kidney failure at the age of 73.

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