Monday, November 28, 2005

Wax On . . . Wax Off

I know that Maggie would be cross with me if I didn't mourn the passing of Pat Morita, the man who was Mr. Miyagi in The Karate Kid and Arnold in Happy Days. He appeared in over 200 film and television productions, and appears in three films yet to be released. He was 73.

Check out his bio at IMDB.

And a tribute from the New York Times:

Goodbye to Pat Morita, Best Supporting Asian

Pat Morita, the Japanese-American actor, died on Thanksgiving Day in Las Vegas. He was 73. News reports over the weekend were not specific about the cause of death or funeral details. Also not clear was what Hollywood would do now that Mr. Morita is gone.

The movie and TV industry has never had many roles for Asian-American men, and it seemed for a while that they all went to Mr. Morita. He made his debut as "Oriental No. 2" in "Thoroughly Modern Millie" in 1967 and never stopped working. He hit two peaks - as Arnold the diner owner on TV's "Happy Days" and the wise old Mr. Miyagi in the "Karate Kid" movies - and spent the rest of nearly 40 years roaming an endless forest of bit parts.

He was Mahi Mahi, the pidgin-talking cabby in "Honeymoon in Vegas," Lamont Sanford's friend Ah Chew in "Sanford and Son," Brian the waiter in "Spy Hard," Chin Li the Chinese herbalist in "The Karate Dog."

read the rest


Blogger mamagiglio said...

oh, how sad for us...

It's amazing how he persevered in his career when so many of the parts he played were caricatures of asian men. Ah Chew? come on!

1:04 PM  
Blogger angelmeg said...

My husband told me he had died. How sad, another of your icons gone.

I loved him as Arnold on Happy Days.


6:50 PM  

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