Tribute: Pat Morita

85119__morita_lWhen pretty much every movie fan in America can identify you based on only four words of dialogue, you know you’ve got a lasting place in pop-culture history. Yet Pat Morita, who died on Thanksgiving in Los Angeles at age 73, will be remembered for more than his famous ”Wax on, wax off” line from 1984’s The Karate Kid. Morita was the first Asian-American actor nominated for an Oscar (for his portrayal of Mr. Miyagi, a role he would reprise in three Karate Kid sequels), had a regular role on Happy Days in the 1970s, headlined the short-lived 1987 detective series Ohara, and appeared in films such as Honeymoon in Vegas, Spy Hard, and Even Cowgirls Get the Blues.

addCredit(“Karate Kid: Photofest”)


Comments (13 total) Add your comment
  • Steve

    I think it’s kind of disrespectful for you to write “Let’s remember Pat Morita, grasshopper” when anyone who claims to know pop culture knows that “grasshopper” is from Kung Fu the series, and was NEVER spoken by Pat Morita. Just lumping them all Asian themed series or movies together is disrespectful.

  • brandonk

    I was surprised and saddened to hear of Pat Morita’s death. Not that I’ve seen him in anything since that commercial he did with some other stars of the 70s and 80s, but it’s comforting to know some people are out there somewhere, and he was one of those.

  • Steve

    Thanks for changing it.

  • Jeff

    It was indeed sad to hear of Pat Morita’s death. While it is obvious that he will always be remembered as a hero by his role as Mr. Miyagi, He also made Arnold’s a nice place to hang out. We will remember him.

  • Billy

    I was deeply saddened upon hearing the news of Pat Morita’s death. It is, coincidentally, almost surreal that I have learned of this news while I am currently visiting Japan, for the first time.
    I was a very big fan of his character “Mr. Miyagi”. Having seen all the “Karate Kid” films, his wisdom, patience, and genuine kindeness, even if only in the movie, truly reflect the Japanese people and their culture I have experienced during my visit.
    I never knew or had the opportunity to meet him, but he touched my heart and I will truly miss him.
    Watching the “Karate Kid” films now, will never be the same again, but he lives in our hearts.
    Thank You, Noriyuki “Pat” Morita, for the wonderful memories over the years.

  • DJ

    I keep hearing that his cause of death was Alcohol related….I find this hard to believe and have searched the internet…..I have a very important personal reason to know if there is any truth to this.

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  • Daniel LaRusso

    Mr. Miyagi sucks cocks in hell!

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