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Birthplace: Isleton, California, USA
Noriyuki "Pat" Morita (June 28, 1932 - November 24, 2005) was a Japanese American actor who is probably best known for playing the roles of Arnold on the TV show Happy Days and Mr. Miyagi in the movie The Karate Kid, for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1984.His first movie role was as a stereotypical henchman in Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967). Later, a recurring role as a Korean Captain Sam Pak on the sitcom M*A*S*H helped advance the comedian's acting career.He had a recurring role on the show Happy Days as Mesuma "Arnold" Takahashi, owner of the diner Arnold's. After the first season (1975-1976), he left "Happy Days" to star as inventor Taro Takahashi in his own show, Mr. T and Tina, the first Asian American sitcom on network TV. The sitcom was placed on Saturday nights by ABC and was quickly cancelled after a month in the fall of 1976. In 1977 Morita starred in the short lived Blansky's Beauties as "Arnold". Morita eventually returned to Happy Days, reprising his role in the 1982-1983 season. He appeared in an episode of The Odd Couple, and also had a recurring role on the NBC sitcom Sanford and Son in the mid-1970s, playing a Japanese chef named Ah Chew. Morita gained worldwide fame playing wise karate teacher Keisuke Miyagi who taught young "Daniel-san" (Ralph Macchio) in The Karate Kid, a film that included the famous quote "Wax on, wax off". He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor as well as a Golden Globe and reprised his role as the sensei Mr. Miyagi in three sequels. Morita never formally practiced a martial art and most of his karate scenes were performed by a stunt double.Morita went on to star as the title character in the ABC detective show Ohara which aired in 1987 and ended a year later due to poor ratings. He then wrote and starred in the World War II romance film Captive Hearts (1987).Late in his career, Morita starred on the Nickelodeon television series The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo and a recurring role on the sitcom The Hughleys. He also starred the lead in the film-short, Talk To Taka, somewhat reprising his role of Arnold, as a Sushi Chef that doles out advice to anyone that will hear him. Morita also had a cameo appearance in the 2001 Alien Ant Farm music video "Movies." Morita's appearance in the video spoofed his role in The Karate Kid.One of Morita's last roles was as Master Udon on the SpongeBob SquarePants episode, Karate Island. The episode was dedicated to him after he died about six months after the episode's first run.
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The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
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