Carrissa Fortner

Carrissa Fortner

Published: 21 Oct 2023


Pat Morita was a beloved actor who left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. Known for his iconic role as Mr. Miyagi in the “Karate Kid” series, Morita’s talent and charisma made him a household name. However, there’s much more to this legendary actor than meets the eye. From his humble beginnings to his inspiring journey to stardom, Pat Morita’s story is filled with incredible facts that will astonish even his most die-hard fans. In this article, we’ll delve into eight unbelievable facts about Pat Morita that showcase his talent, resilience, and the extraordinary achievements he accomplished throughout his career. So, get ready to discover some remarkable insights into the life of this iconic celebrity.

Table of Contents

Pat Morita was the iconic Mr. Miyagi in “The Karate Kid” franchise.

When you think of Pat Morita, one role that instantly comes to mind is that of Mr. Miyagi, the wise and skilled karate master in “The Karate Kid” movies. With his memorable performance, Morita brought the character to life, teaching us valuable lessons about discipline, perseverance, and inner strength.

Pat Morita overcame a difficult childhood.

Behind the success and fame, Pat Morita had a challenging upbringing. Born in 1932 in California, he was stricken with spinal tuberculosis at a young age, which confined him to a hospital bed for nine years. However, this did not deter him from pursuing his dreams of becoming an actor.

Pat Morita started his career as a stand-up comedian.

Before stepping into the world of acting, Morita made a name for himself as a stand-up comedian. He honed his comedy skills in nightclubs, incorporating his experiences as a Japanese-American into his routines. His unique blend of humor and storytelling soon caught the attention of Hollywood.

Pat Morita was nominated for an Academy Award.

In 1985, Morita received critical acclaim for his role as Mr. Miyagi in “The Karate Kid” and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. This recognition solidified his status as a talented and respected actor in the industry.

Pat Morita appeared in over 80 films and television shows throughout his career.

Morita had an impressive filmography, starring in a diverse range of projects. Apart from “The Karate Kid” series, he appeared in films like “Pat Morita: Long Story Short” and “Honeymoon in Vegas,” showcasing his versatility as an actor.

Pat Morita was a trailblazer for Asian-American actors.

Morita’s portrayal of Mr. Miyagi broke barriers and paved the way for better representation of Asian-Americans in Hollywood. He shattered stereotypes with his nuanced performance and inspired generations of aspiring actors of Asian descent.

Pat Morita received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In 1994, Morita was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contributions to the entertainment industry. This recognition highlighted his impact and illustrious career.

Pat Morita’s legacy continues to inspire.

Even after his passing in 2005, Pat Morita’s influence and legacy live on. His iconic roles, timeless wisdom, and remarkable journey continue to inspire and captivate audiences around the world.

With these 8 unbelievable facts about Pat Morita, it becomes evident that he was not only a talented actor but also a trailblazer, an inspiration, and a true legend in the entertainment industry.


Pat Morita was a legendary actor who left an indelible mark on the entertainment industry. From his iconic role as Mr. Miyagi in “The Karate Kid” to his numerous other film and television appearances, Morita’s talent and charisma captivated audiences around the world.

Throughout his career, Morita faced many challenges and obstacles, but he never let them define him. His determination, resilience, and dedication to his craft made him a beloved figure in Hollywood. Although he is no longer with us, his legacy continues to inspire and entertain us.

These 8 unbelievable facts about Pat Morita only scratch the surface of his incredible life and career. From his early struggles to his rise to international fame, Morita’s journey is one that will be remembered for generations to come.


Q: How did Pat Morita get his start in acting?

A: Pat Morita began his acting career in the late 1960s, appearing in small roles in various television shows and films. His breakthrough role came in 1976 when he portrayed Arnold, a wise-cracking restaurant owner, in the popular sitcom “Happy Days.”

Q: What was Pat Morita’s most famous role?

A: Pat Morita is best known for his portrayal of Mr. Miyagi in “The Karate Kid” film series. His performance as the wise and patient martial arts instructor earned him critical acclaim and made him an international star.

Q: Did Pat Morita win any awards for his acting?

A: Yes, Pat Morita received numerous awards and nominations throughout his career. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in “The Karate Kid.” He also won a Primetime Emmy Award for his guest appearance on the television show “Happy Days.”

Q: Was Pat Morita a trained martial artist?

A: No, Pat Morita did not have any martial arts training prior to taking on the role of Mr. Miyagi in “The Karate Kid.” However, he underwent extensive training for the role and worked closely with stunt coordinators to successfully portray the character.

Q: What other movies did Pat Morita appear in besides “The Karate Kid”?

A: Throughout his career, Pat Morita appeared in numerous films, including “The Karate Kid Part II,” “The Karate Kid Part III,” “The Next Karate Kid,” “Spy Hard,” “Honeymoon in Vegas,” and “Collision Course,” among others.

Q: Did Pat Morita have any other notable television roles?

A: In addition to his role in “Happy Days,” Pat Morita also starred in his own television sitcom called “Mr. T and Tina.” He also made appearances on popular shows such as “M*A*S*H,” “Baywatch,” and “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”

Q: Did Pat Morita write any books?

A: Yes, Pat Morita wrote an autobiography titled “Pat Morita: The Karate Kid’s Action Packed Autobiography.” In the book, he shared insights about his career, personal life, and struggles with addiction.

Q: What is Pat Morita’s legacy?

A: Pat Morita’s legacy is one of inspiration, talent, and perseverance. He broke barriers as an Asian-American actor and paved the way for future generations. His memorable performances and positive influence continue to resonate with audiences worldwide.