Pat Morita

Pat Morita


Isleton, California, USA

Birth Name

Noriyuki Morita



Also Known As

Noriyuki "Pat" Morita
out of 10
User Rating
35 votes



Pat Morita was born Noriyuki Morita on June 28, 1932, in Northern California to migrant farm workers. As an infant he developed spinal tuberculosis and spent nine years in hospitals, sometimes in a full-body cast. Doctors told the family that he would not recover, but at age 11…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

  • Quotes

    • Pat: Hip Nip just sounds groovy. A drummer laid it on me.

    • Pat: I became Arnold, the silly little guy who did off-the-wall kind of nonsense. People fell in love with it. When I joined them in their third year, they were number 17 in the ratings. They climbed steadily thereafter and became number one in the country.

    • Pat: Brazil is a huge country, but they get TV in the rain forests and the big cities.

    • Pat: I don't knock. That's not me. Let's just say I appreciate flower power, but I don't arrange.

    • Pat: I don't know of any other creature on earth other than man that will sit in a corner and cry because of some painful experience in the past.

    • Pat: Actors never know. We do the job. We don't know if it's going to come out, when it's going to come out, whether it's going to go straight to theaters or to HBO. We're always left in the dark.

    • Pat: I don't know of any other creature, outside of pure animal lust, that falls in love and has their heart broken and falls in love again.

    • Pat: I got a lifetime achievement award at the Lincoln Center. I was saluted by a whole new theatrical group in New York. I was brought on stage and introduced by Ralph Maccio.

    • Pat: A decade or two ago there was a big thing in Hollywood in terms of casting people of Japanese descent for Chinese roles and vice versa, and you couldn't play Koreans or whatever. But if you're a worthy enough actor, they overlook that.

    • Pat: About 12-15 years after I started in the business as a performer, the music changed. Everything became loudspeakers, rock and roll, packing arenas and ballparks. Nightclubs and supper clubs were closing up.

    • Pat: A comic always worked with a singer. If the singer didn't work, guys like Tony Bennett and Vic Damone, the comics didn't work.

    • Pat: I have a very lucky feather in my cap in that I was able to do comedy. A lot of Asians aren't necessarily from an acting standpoint very strong in having a comedy background.

    • Pat: I know there are a lot of Texans here, there always are. I worked in Texas and found out the letters LBJ really mean: let's buy Japanese.

    • Pat: I never was able to do karate. That's calling me a good actor. I act like I can do anything.

    • Pat: I seldom have to actually read. And when I do, the casting people, creative people pretty much know I'm the guy they want anyway.

    • Pat: I still have a young attitude. Hey, I hit 72 this year.

    • Pat: I was living in Hawaii prior to moving to Vegas. Fell in love with my current wife and came to live here.

    • Pat: I loved working with Ralphie of course. We still keep in touch with each other several times a year just to say hi.

    • Pat: I was never intimidated by the camera because I learned to re-focus my attention from talking to people as an audience to performing for the camera.

    • Pat: I was very pleased that so many of us got work on a singular project that wasn't a war movie.

    • Pat: I'm glad I got started because it enabled me to evolve with the acting game, quite by necessity more than anything.

    • Pat: I'm neither angry nor sick. But sometimes the people in my audience become both-that's when the waiter gives them the check.

    • Pat: I'm in semi-retirement, but what am I going to retire to? I don't ride horses, I don't golf anymore. I shoot a game of pool every now and then.

    • Pat: I'm not ever comfortable, and never have been, talking about myself.

    • Pat: I've also played some bad guys. Not killer types, but mob boss types that pushes the buttons. I had a nice role on an Australian movie that was kind of a kick.

    • Pat: I've been at it 40 years in show business.

    • Pat: I've been touched twice... with Happy Days and Karate Kid.

    • Pat: I've been working on my autobiography, just pecking away in longhand. The more you write, the more you remember. The more you remember, the more detail you recall. It's not all pleasant!

    • Pat: It takes a long time to develop a movie but, knock on wood, I seem to have gotten closer than I've ever been to it finally coming to fruition.

    • Pat: It was absolutely nutty, against the grain of the family, every wrong you could have picked, to be a comedian.

    • Pat: It was tough to find a style and develop material for myself.

    • Pat: It's amazing how the camera can fool the public eye. They built the exteriors for Arnold's on Paramount Studio's lot and put the rotating A sign on top. Then, cut to the interiors. They did the same thing with the Cunningham house.

    • Pat: It's been a career filled with very low valleys and some wonderful, high peaks.

    • Pat: It's still a wonder to me, the power of TV and movies.

    • Pat: Laverne and Shirley is also set in Milwaukee. Gary Marshall just had a Midas touch. All of these shows are in reruns 20 years later, and they're still funny.

    • Pat: Mostly, I've done comedic things over the years. And they can be either Chinese or Japanese or just good old American.

    • Pat: Mulan, being an animated feature and being Disney, was a big kick. It was a big thrill.

    • Pat: My project is a beautiful concept about a non-denominational man of the cloth who's comfortable in a temple, a church, a synagogue, wherever.

    • Pat: Myself is what you see on stage, on film or for the camera in some way, in commercials, or you-name-it. That's where I'm the most comfortable.

    • Pat: Of course, Karate Kid put me on the map internationally, but it's awesome to try to comprehend the number of lives you touch. I'll be on an airplane and people from Brazil come by and tell me they love my work.

    • Pat: One day I was an invalid. The next day I was public enemy No. 1 being escorted to an internment camp by an FBI agent wearing a piece.

    • Pat: Only in America could you get away with the kind of comedy I did. If I tried it in Japan before the war, it would have been considered blasphemy, and I would have ended in leg irons.

    • Pat: People just want to see what you look like physically. They know pretty much my performance capabilities.

    • Pat: San Francisco was a hotbed for young wannabe comedians. There was such a wide array of clubs. The more I saw, the more I began to drool.

    • Pat: Shows like MASH and I Love Lucy also come to mind. There aren't but a couple handfuls of memorable shows that people still laugh at and still love.

    • Pat: Surprisingly, one place I'm very hot today is Ireland. I did this series called Ohara. They kept re-running the show because they couldn't believe a little Japanese detective could beat up all of these fools!

    • Pat: Thanks to the Japanese and Geronimo, John Wayne became a millionaire.

    • Pat: The first Mulan took about four years from the time we first went in for a reading. It's a long process.

    • Pat: The idea of a Japanese comedian was not only a rarity, it was non-existent.

    • Pat: The Japanese couldn't have been all bad during World War II. Look at all the movies Hollywood was able to make on account of them. The Indians weren't the only bad guys.

    • Pat: The second Mulan project has been in the works for a couple of years now. I did some preliminary work for them, still playing the Emperor.

    • Pat: I've learned what it is funny and the first word of funny, is fun.

    • Pat: There's an old clich' which asks, How do you get to old age? My response is, Just keep breathing!

    • Pat: They don't really finalize the resolution of the picture until they're really down the home stretch.

    • Pat: We don't go to the strip very often. Usually when friends come in and they want to hang out, have a dinner, catch a show.

    • Pat: We have a tendency to put the bad stuff way in the back of our heads somewhere where we hope to forget it. But it's amazing how much you still retain.

    • Pat: What made it exceptionally tough for me was that I didn't know how to do comedy. I could barely talk in front of people. I began slowly.

    • Pat: When I was breaking into show business as a standup comic, I worked all the major hotels: the Tropicana, the Frontier, Caesar's, The Flamingo, the original Aladdin, on and on.

    • Pat: When you stop to think about it, 43 years is a long time to be doing almost anything, let alone manage a creative show business career.

    • Pat: You may have heard that back in the States there are some people who are smoking grass. I don't know how you feel, but it's sure easier than cutting the stuff.

  • Arnold, It’s time to lock up.

    Noriyuki "Pat" Morita

    1932-2005 To a generation he was Mr. Miyagi, Daniel-san’s (Ralph Macchio) mentor in the The Karate Kid movies, but to me he will always be Arnold from Happy Days.

    As a child Morita suffered from spinal tuberculosis and was told that he would never walk again. Thanks to an operation to fuse four vertebrae he was on his feet only to be sent with his family to a Japanese internment camp in Arizona during World War II. After all this hardship and suffering Pat Morita dedicated his life to making people laugh. After years of stand-up comedy in the early '60s known as "The Hip Nip" and roles in film and television Morita landed his breakthrough role as the 50's drive-in owner Matsuo "Arnold" Takahashi.

    I was trying to think of an Arnold quote, but Arnold’s best lines were either in Japanese or sound effects. To quote Pat Morita, "Only in America could you get away with the kind of comedy I did".

    Good Night Mr. Morita. I will always remember you as a source of laughter and inspiration.

    Stay Tuned

    Tony Figueroamoreless
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    Pat Morita is a classic actor best known for his roles as movies like "Karate Kid" the four of them, and movies like "Mulan" where most of the time he plays Chinese people. I really like his style, and though he did not have an extended variety of characters, he is still a classic actor. Really good actor.