NORIYUKI 'PAT' MORITA

"Only in America could you get away with the kind of comedy I did."
"I never was able to do karate. That's calling me a good actor. I act like I can do anything."

"You walk left side of road - SAFE.. Eh?? You walk-a right side of road - SAFE..Eh?? You walk in middle - sooner or lator - quuuuesssh  Youe get da squish - just like-a grape!!  Invaluable lessons from Miyagi!!  Wax ooon, wax offf, leeefftt to riggghhht - breathe in, breathe out, and don't forget to breathe...very impo'tant."...Twas a classic 80s line - that was never written.  It was brought into the film, Karate Kid, thru Pat ad libbin!  No shat!!

What a guy. He withstood all odds to become what he became, not just as Mr. Miyagi - but as a person LOYALLY devoted to his fans, and actor in itself, and that's what Hollywood legends are made of! His story now begins... 

Morita was born June 28, 1932, in Isleton, California​.. A suburb of Sacramento - which is where the 1st theater EVER in Cali was built!!  Trouble struck him as a child when he was diagnosed with spinal tuberculosis as a child and was told that he would never walk. He overcame it... And it was be the first of many things he overcame.  No longer had he recovered from the spinal tuberculosis than he was sent to a Japanese-American internment camp in Arizona during World War II. 

"One day I was an invalid," he recalled in a 1989 AP interview. "The next day I was public enemy No. 1 being escorted to an internment camp by an FBI agent wearing a piece." 

Better a HAPPY Pat - than an ANGRY Pat, is MY motto, FOsho!​​  The tuttle doesn't EVEN want sum!!  Being that he knew NOTHING of Karate - rehearsals for The Karate Kid hadda be GRUELING on Pat.. 😂  Twas meticulous mutiny on the bounty and every move choreographed down to the THRILL (honnnk)!!  How many out there saw that scene ending like THIS?!? 😂
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The son of migrant fruit pickers, he was hard working, and knew full well the value of a dollar.. YET always enjoyed a laugh and making people laugh.  Chaplin said... 'to fully embrace comedy - you must be able to take your pain and play with it.'  Pat was a PRIMEoLA example of this!!  Lived here growing up.  At age 11, he had an operation that fused 4 of his vertebrae and was able to walk again... He was a "class clown" in school and went on to graduate from Armijo High School in Fairfield, California.

 

After the war, Morita's family tried to repair their finances by operating a Sacramento restaurant.  It was there that Morita first tried his comedy on patrons. Some got it, some didn't. Prospects for a Japanese-American standup comic seemed poor, Morita found steady work in computers at Aerojet General, but was bored there because he wanted to be in show business. But at age 30 he quit, and entered show business full time

He hit the door for Hollywood, working in stand-up comedy and having minor roles on-screen. He was a hit on a 'dating show.' The wheels REALLY started rolling when he was spotted one night, while performing stand-up at a club by comic legend Red Foxx. Red offered him a role as "Ah Chew," on his hit series Sanford and Son.   He did a pretty cool interview on playing "Ah Chew" on Sanford and Son - if you so desire to see!!  A comic legend was born, and proved that Japanese-Americans can stand their ground among ANY of the rest of the best comics in the world.  

He went on to a successful recurring role as Matsuo 'Arnold' Takahashi on Happy Days, followed by bigger roles in films, that led to his most known role, our beloved Mr. Kesuke Miyagi in The Karate Kid. (Admit it, everyone wanted a Miyagi in their life.)  His quotes from that film became affectionate everyday words of advice for the world.  An entrepreneur in EVERY sense!..  Post Karate Kid - he opened and ran a restaurant on Sunset Blvd, aptly named... Miyagi's.. 

Morita worked right up until the end, and was working on two projects when he passed away of natural causes (kidney failure) on November 24, 2005, at his home in Las Vegas, Nevada. He dedicated his life to family, comedy, and fans. R.I.P. Mr. Miyagi, you are missed!! Leave virtual flowers and a note here!  He was buried in Palm Green Valley Memorial Park, in Las Vegas, Nevada​​... (Both Red Foxx & Tony Curtis, are also planted there!)

A TOAST to the GREAT Pat!!  You forever be in Hollywood's heart!!  Thanks for the laughs!

TRIVIA

Papa-San: Pat Morita’s Daughter on the Waxing and Waning of Her Father’s Life {VERY cool interview with Pat's daughter on his life!}

Was a big fan of Green Bay Packers football team 

Was the first Asian-American nominated for an acting Oscar. It was for his role of Mr. Miyagi in The Karate Kid​.. Here is a cool bust of him from the film!!

Miyagi approve!!! 👍

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