Some days ago, Netflix released the first trailer for “Cobra Kai”, the series that brought back Ralph Macchio in the role of the iconic Daniel Larusso. With the actor again in the universe of martial arts, thousands of fans constantly remember the beloved Mr. Miyagi. Although the wise teacher left valuable lessons to more than a generation of viewers, the life of his interpreter off camera was a real drama.
Who was Mr. Miyagi?
Who gave life to Mr. Miyagi was Pat Morita, an American artist of Japanese descent. Born in 1932, his career rocketed to fame when he got the chance to join the cast of “Karate Kid”, despite being unrelated to sports discipline.
Thanks to his participation in the film, the Academy nominated him for the 1984 Oscars, in the category of Best Supporting Actor. Although he lost to Haing S. Ngor, this award reaffirmed his new star status in Hollywood.
Unfortunately, this event, and his nomination for the Golden Globes in the same year for the same film, were the only time he came close to true recognition in the industry.
A tragic past for a rising icon
According to Infobae, with only two years of age he was diagnosed with the Pott’s disease, a type of tuberculosis that kept him seriously ill for more than eight years in a hospital. When he was released, the doctors did not believe that he would recover.
However, a doctor opted to try a new surgical technique on him and, as if it were a miracle of science, he regained mobility in his body and managed to overcome it.
Shortly after, his family opened an Asian restaurant, where Pat tried his hand at comedy sequences for diners. Thus was born the artistic spark that would soon lead him to be an icon of popular culture.
He moved to Los Angeles and everything was smooth sailing: he appeared on TV shows and his first big role was in “Mash”. After that, she was in the sitcom “Mr. T and Tina”. Until she got in his way “Karate Kid”.
A star that hardly shines and a sad outcome
According to Infobae, the production of “Karate Kid” had Toshiro Mifune in mind for the role of Miyagi, but the actor rejected it. Pat Morita auditioned up to five times, because his past as a comedian did not give the casting directors a good feeling.
Ultimately, however, they decided to give it a try and boy was it a boom. It was done: blueberry he had thousands of fans and had become an icon of martial arts cinema.
However, the fame faded shortly after. The actor tried but failed to replicate the success he had achieved with the action saga. Thus, in his last decades he battled his declining career and his addiction to alcohol.
For the 24 of name of 2005, his sad death was communicated. At 73 years old, natural causes marked the end of the life of the eternal Mr Miyagiwho you will probably remember for his iconic phrases: “Sand, polish, wax”, “Paint the fence, top, bottom”, “Paint the house, side to side”.
How many Karate Kid movies are there?
In total, there are 5 movies in the “Karate Kid” saga. Only the one starring Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith is the only one that is not linked to the universe of the “Cobra Kai” series.
- Karate Kid (1984)
- The Karate Kid Part II (1986)
- The Karate Kid Part III (1989)
- The New Karate Kid (1994)
- Karate Kid (2010)
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