Pat Morita

Description   [from Freebase]

Noriyuki "Pat" Morita (森田 沢之 Morita Noriyuki) (June 28, 1932 – November 24, 2005) was an American actor of Japanese descent who was well known for playing the roles of Matsuo "Arnold" Takahashi on Happy Days and Mr. Miyagi in the The Karate Kid movie series, for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1984. Pat Morita was born in Isleton, California. He developed spinal tuberculosis at the age of two and spent the bulk of the next nine years in Northern Californian hospitals, including the Shriners Hospital in San Francisco. For long periods he was wrapped in a full-body cast and was told he would never walk. After a surgeon fused four vertebrae in his spine, Pat finally learned to walk again at the age of 11. When he walked out of the hospital, an FBI agent escorted him directly to his Japanese American family, which had been sent to an internment camp to be detained for the duration of World War II. He was transported from the hospital directly to the Gila River camp in Arizona to join them. It was at this time that he met a Catholic priest from whom he would later take his stage name, "Pat".

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