Pat Morita is best known for his role as Mr. Miyagi in the film franchise “The Karate Kid.”
The classic ’80s series featured Pat Morita in the role of mentor to Daniel LaRusso. He then reappeared in his iconic role as a mentor to the next generation of karate students, this time it was Julie Pierce.
On set, her classmates referred to Morita as Noriyuki “Pat” Morita because the director wanted her to look more authentic.
With the return of the Karate Kid franchise in TV series format, “Cobra Kai” has led many fans to wonder what happened not only with the character of Mr. Miyagi, but also with the man who played the endearing character for more of 10 years.
Pat Morita Died of Kidney Failure After Struggle with Alcoholism
Morita passed away from kidney failure at the age of 73.
Unfortunately, Morita’s life was not without pain. The actor was diagnosed with a rare spinal disease at a young age, so his doctors feared he could never learn to walk. The diagnosis was Pott’s disease, which is often described as tuberculosis of the spine. Morita was sent to a center for people with tuberculosis from 1934 to 1943, but it was not until her transfer to the San Francisco Shriners Hospital that she underwent an experimental bone graft treatment that allowed her spine to heal, which was healed by full.
Morita attributed the development of his sense of humor and creativity to that time, and even referred to illness as the reason he became an actor.
“If it hadn’t been for my illness, I wouldn’t be here today,” Morita said before her death.
However, that was not the end of a painful journey for Morita. By the time he was cured and back with his family, the United States was at war with Japan, and Morita and her family were sent to the Gila River Relocation Center in Arizona and then to the Tule Lake Relocation Center in California.
“Uncle Sam and we Americans like to use euphemisms or make up words if we think other words are too harsh. So they called them ‘relocation centers’, but they were the American version of concentration camps, “he said in an interview with Television Academy.
After suffering from alcoholism all her life, Morita passed away from kidney failure, followed by a urinary tract and gallbladder infection in 2005.
Ralph Macchio was in charge of the elegy at the funeral of Mr. Miyagi
You can’t think of Ralph Macchio without remembering his iconic character, Daniel LaRusso. Just as it is not possible to think of LaRusso without remembering Mr. Miyagi, so the fact that Macchio pronounced the elegy at Morita’s funeral makes perfect sense.
“Pat Morita was a truly generous actor, a talented comedian, and an even greater friend. It has been an honor and a privilege for me to work with him and create a little film magic together. My life is much richer for having known him. I will miss their genuine friendship. Forever my Sensei ”, expressed Macchio.
As for the fictional character, Mr. Miyagi died on November 15, 2011.
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