Friday, November 25, 2005

Mr. Miyagi dead at 73

Pat Morita seen here as Mr. Miyagi.By TIM MOLLOY, Associated Press Writer

LOS ANGELES - Actor Pat Morita, whose portrayal of the wise and dry-witted Mr. Miyagi in "The Karate Kid" earned him an Oscar nomination, has died. He was 73.

Morita died Thursday at his home in Las Vegas of natural causes, said his wife of 12 years, Evelyn. She said in a statement that her husband, who first rose to fame with a role on "Happy Days," had "dedicated his entire life to acting and comedy."

In 1984, he appeared in the role that would define his career and spawn countless affectionate imitations. As Kesuke Miyagi, the mentor to Ralph Macchio's "Daniel-san," he taught karate while trying to catch flies with chopsticks and offering such advice as "wax on, wax off" to guide Daniel through chores to improve his skills.

He lost the 1984 best supporting actor award to Haing S. Ngor, who appeared in "The Killing Fields."

"The Karate Kid," led to three sequels, the last of which, 1994's "The Next Karate Kid," paired him with a young Hilary Swank.

He is survived by his wife and three daughters from a previous marriage.

Ok, ok, you may be wondering what this article has to do with Costa Rica, and the answer is not much. But this was one of my favorite movies growing up, and in Costa Rica, as in many other countries, this flick was a success at the box office. This is for all the "80's kids" out there.

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