Pat Morita

Actor


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his nearly three-and-a-half hour Archive interview, Pat Morita (1932-2005) talks about his early years, including his childhood internment in a camp in California for Japanese-Americans during World War II. Mr. Morita discusses how he turned to comedy performance at the age of 30, and quickly rose to his television debut on Hollywood Palace. After performing on stage and television, he landed a regular role on Happy Days as Arnold. He talks about appearing on Sanford and Son and speaks fondly of his mentor, the late Redd Foxx. He also recalls his work on the "Karate Kid" feature films and his current life and career. Karen Herman conducted the interview in Las Vegas, NV on October 13, 2000.

"But quote unquote 'Japs ain't funny.' So how am I going to get work as a comedian if 'Japs ain't funny'? I gotta be funny first, but might happen to look like a Japanese guy....I think the best things in life begin from sometimes the worst things in life -- but not without effort, not without hopes and dreams."

Highlights
On his early comedy career including guesting on Hollywood Palace; on transitioning to acting and guesting on TV series including M*A*S*H; Love, American Style
Pat Morita on being a regular (as "Arnold") on Happy Days
29:34
On starring in The Karate Kid feature films
09:54
Pat Morita on his longtime friendship with Redd Foxx; and on appearing as a regular on Sanford and Son
15:11
Pat Morita on appearing in the 1976 TV movie Farewell to Manzanar
07:20
Full Interview

Chapter 1

Introduction
00:13
On his early years (and how he got the name "Pat"; on being hospitalized as a child; on his life in a Japanese internment camp during World War II

Chapter 2

On his education and his aspirations; on working in an office job at an aeronautics company
17:08
On making the decision to be a stand-up comic and beginning to pursue his dream

Chapter 3

On his early comedy career including guesting on Hollywood Palace; on transitioning to acting and guesting on TV series including M*A*S*H; Love, American Style

Chapter 4

On being a regular (as "Arnold") on Happy Days

Chapter 5

On being a regular (as "Arnold") on Happy Days;  on some of his castmates
06:28
On starring in Mr. T. and Tina
07:04
On his longtime friendship with Redd Foxx; and on appearing as a regular on Sanford & Son
15:11

Chapter 6

On Redd Foxx (cont.); on appearing in Blansky's Beauties
04:33
On appearing in the 1976 TV movie Farewell to Manzanar
07:20
On starring in The Karate Kid feature films
09:54
On starring in the short-lived series Ohara
03:10

Chapter 7

On Amos, Babes in Toyland, Greyhounds, and other projects; on his advice to aspring actors; on how he would like to be remembered
Shows

Blansky's Beauties

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Pat Morita on appearing in Blansky's Beauties
02:46

Farewell to Manzanar

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Pat Morita on appearing in the 1976 TV movie Farewell to Manzanar
07:20

Happy Days

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Pat Morita on being a regular (as "Arnold") on Happy Days
29:34

Hiroshima

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Pat Morita on appearing in the TV movie Hiroshima
02:07

Hollywood Palace, The

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Pat Morita on his first national exposure on The Hollywood Palace

Love, American Style

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Pat Morita on his guest roles on Love, American Style
04:12

M*A*S*H

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Pat Morita on his guest role on M*A*S*H
01:32

Mr. T. & Tina

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Pat Morita on starring in the short-lived sitcom Mr. T. & Tina
05:22
Pat Morita on testing his Mr. T. & Tina  character Mr. Takahashi on an episode of Welcome Back, Kotter
01:35

Mystery Files of Shelby Woo, The

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Pat Morita on appearing in The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo

Ohara

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Pat Morita on starring in the short-lived series Ohara
03:10

Sanford and Son

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Pat Morita on his longtime friendship with Redd Foxx; and on appearing as a regular on Sanford and Son
15:12

Welcome Back, Kotter

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Pat Morita on testing his Mr. T. and Tina  character Mr. Takahashi on an episode of Welcome Back, Kotter
01:35
People

Redd Foxx

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Pat Morita on his longtime friendship with Redd Foxx; and on appearing as a regular on Sanford and Son
15:11
Pat Morita on his friendship with Redd Foxx (cont.)
04:33

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