Richest CelebritiesActors
Net Worth:
$2.5 Million
Jun 28, 1932 - Nov 24, 2005 (73 years old)
5 ft 2 in (1.6 m)
Actor, Voice Actor
United States of America
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What is Pat Morita's Net Worth?

Pat Morita was a Japanese-American actor who had a net worth of $2.5 million at the time of his death in 2005. Pat Morita was best known for his role as "Arnold" Takahashi on the wildly popular sitcom "Happy Days" (1974-1984) and Mr. Kesuke Miyagi in "The Karate Kid" movie franchise, for which he was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award in 1984. He is also known for appearing in the series "M*A*S*H," "Sanford and Son," "Mr. T and Tina" and "Ohara." Pat died on November 24, 2005, of liver failure at his home in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was 73.

Early Life

Pat Morita was born as Noriyuki Morita on June 28, 1932 in Isleton, California to Japanese immigrant parents Tamaru and Momoe. He had an older brother named Hideo. When he was two years old, Morita developed spinal tuberculosis; he spent the majority of the next nine years at the Weimar Institute, and after that at Shriners Hospital. He was finally released from the hospital at the age of 11 after undergoing extensive surgery and rehabilitation. Immediately upon his release, Morita was transported to the Gila River War Relocation Center in Arizona, where his family was interned. He was later transferred to the Tule Lake War Relocation Center in California. Following the end of World War II, Morita moved to the Bay Area and graduated from Armijo High School in Fairfield.

Career Beginnings

In Sacramento, Morita's family operated a Chinese restaurant for a while. After his father was killed in a hit-and-run in 1956, Morita helped run the restaurant with his mother. In the early 60s, he worked as a data processor for the Department of Motor Vehicles and other state agencies. Morita went on to become a department head at Lockheed. Suffering from occupational burnout, he eventually decided to quit the job and venture into show business. Morita started working as a stand-up comic at clubs in Sacramento and San Francisco, but found little success. He had better luck after moving to Los Angeles, where Lenny Bruce's mother Sally served as his agent and manager.

Television Career

Morita had his first significant role on television in 1973 when he played Captain Sam Pak in an episode of the CBS series "M*A*S*H." He returned to the show in 1974 in the same role. Also in 1974, Morita began playing the recurring role of Ah Chew on the NBC sitcom "Sanford and Son," and appeared in the NBC television film "Punch and Jody." He had his biggest television role from 1975 to 1983, playing Matsuo "Arnold" Takahashi on the ABC sitcom "Happy Days." Introduced in season three, his character was the new owner of Arnold's Drive-In, and moonlighted as a martial arts instructor during afterhours. Morita would reprise the role on the short-lived sitcom "Blansky's Beauties" in 1977. The year before that, he starred as inventor Taro Takahashi on the short-lived sitcom "Mr. T and Tina," a spinoff of "Welcome Back, Kotter."

Morita had some major television roles in the 80s. In 1986, he played the Toymaster in the Christmas musical television film "Babes in Toyland," and appeared alongside Kirk Douglas in the television film "Amos." For the latter, he earned Emmy and Golden Globe Award nominations. Morita went on to star as the titular character on the ABC police procedural series "Ohara" from 1987 to 1988. Early the next decade, he appeared in the television film "Hiroshima: Out of the Ashes" and in an episode of the sitcom "Harry and the Hendersons." His other credits in the 90s include episodes of "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," "Murder, She Wrote," and "Boy Meets World." Morita also had a starring role on the Nickelodeon children's series "The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo," playing the grandfather of the title character. Among his notable credits in the 21st century is "Baywatch: Hawaii."


Film Career

Morita debuted on the big screen with a small part in the 1967 film "Thoroughly Modern Millie." He had another small role the next year in "The Shakiest Gun in the West." In the early 70s, Morita appeared in the comedy films "Every Little Crook and Nanny," "Where Does it Hurt?," and "Cancel My Reservation." Transitioning to drama, he played a rear admiral in the 1976 war film "Midway." Morita commenced the 80s with roles in the disaster film "When Time Ran Out" and the horror comedy "Full Moon High." He was subsequently in "Savannah Smiles," "Jimmy the Kid," and "Slapstick of Another Kind." In 1984, Morita debuted his most famous role: karate master Mr. Miyagi in "The Karate Kid." For his performance, he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Morita later reprised his role as Mr. Miyagi in "The Karate Kid Part II," "The Karate Kid Part III," and "The Next Karate Kid."

Morita has a number of other notable film credits. In 1987, he starred in the drama "Captive Hearts," which he also co-wrote, and in 1989 starred opposite Jay Leno in the buddy cop action comedy "Collision Course." In the early 90s, he starred in "Do or Die," "Miracle Beach," "Auntie Lee's Meat Pies," and "American Ninja V," and had supporting roles in "Honeymoon in Vegas" and "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues." Later in the decade, Morita starred in "Timemaster" and "Inferno" and voiced the Emperor of China in the Disney animated film "Mulan." Kicking off the 21st century, he starred in "I'll Remember April." Morita went on to appear in such films as "The Center of the World," "Shadow Fury," "The Biggest Fan," "High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story," and "Down and Derby." He also has multiple posthumous credits, including "Spymate," "Only the Brave," "18 Fingers of Death!," and "Royal Kill."

Personal Life and Death

Morita was married three times. His first wife was Kathleen Yamachi, to whom he was wed from 1953 until their divorce in 1967. He was subsequently married to Yukiye Kitahara from 1970 until their divorce in 1989. Morita's third and final wife was actress Evelyn Guerrero, to whom he was married from 1994 until his passing. He had three children from his marriages.

On November 24, 2005, Morita died from kidney failure at his home in Las Vegas. He had struggled with alcoholism for much of his life. Morita was 73 years of age.

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