Actor Pat Morita dies at 73

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The man who played the the wise and
dry-witted Mr. Miyagi in "The Karate Kid" has died.

Pat Morita passed away at his Las Vegas home yesterday. He was
73. His wife says he died of natural causes. Evelyn Morita issued a
statement saying her husband "dedicated his entire life to acting
and comedy."

In 1984, the Japanese-American appeared in the role that defined
his career. As Kesuke Miyagi he played mentor to Ralph Macchio's
"Daniel-san." Morita once said he was billed as Noriyuki "Pat"
Morita because the producer wanted him to sound more ethnic.

Morita's first breakthrough came in "Happy Days," and he
briefly had his own series, "Mr. T and Tina."

Morita was born in California to migrant fruit pickers but was
sent to a Japanese-American internment camp in Arizona during World
War Two.


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