Saturday, November 26, 2005

THE HAT SQUAD: PAT MORITA

Pat Morita passed away at the age of 73 on Thanksgiving Day. Once again, here is proof that 2005 will be noted as a year in which so many great TV characters were forever lost to us because of the deaths of the actors who played them.

I think I could argue successfully for the inclusion of his 'Happy Days' character of Arnold in the TV Crossover Hall of Fame - on the Birthday Honors list at least. That would be taking into account the character he played in his own show, 'Mr. T. And Tina'.

TV SERIES
"Adventures with Kanga Roddy" (1998) TV Series .... Uncle Pat
"The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo" (1996) TV Series .... Mike 'Grandpa' Woo
"Ohara" (1987) TV Series .... Lt. Ohara (1987-1988)
[In the movie "Savannah Smiles" (1982), Morita played Father Ohara. A televisiologist could argue that Lt. Ohara and Father Ohara were the same man, but seen in two different universes - Earth Prime-Time and the Cineverse, respectively. Unseen circumstances (rather than the unforeseen kind) would have been the reason as to why he chose different career paths in each universe.]
"Blansky's Beauties" (1977) TV Series .... Arnold
"Mr. T and Tina" (1976) TV Series .... Taro Takahashi
"Happy Days" (1974) TV Series .... Matsuo 'Arnold' Takahashi (1975-1976, 1982-1983)
[I don't think this was officially established, but Matsuo and Taro were probably twin brothers, even with the difference in the time periods in which the shows were set. As "Arnold" proved once he showed up as a regular on 'Blansky's Beauties', they both were able to hang onto their "youthful" appearances. This is probably thanks to that pearl cream that used to be hawked in commercials by Nancy Kwan.]
"The Queen and I" (1969) TV Series .... Barney Cook

TV RECURRING ROLES
"Baywatch" playing "Hideki Tanaka"
in episode: "Rescue Me" (episode # 11.22) 14 May 2001
in episode: "Father Faust" (episode # 11.14) 12 February 2001
in episode: "The Ex-Files" (episode # 11.12) 29 January 2001
in episode: "Broken Promises" (episode # 11.6) 6 November 2000
in episode: "Dangerous Games" (episode # 11.4) 23 October 2000

"The Hughleys" playing "Mr. Park"
in episode: "His Park Is Worse Than His Bite" (episode # 3.10) 27 November 2000
in episode: "Guess Who's Coming Out for Dinner?" (episode # 3.2) 18 September 2000
in episode: "Seoul Brother Next Door" (episode # 2.12) 7 January 2000

"Sanford and Son" playing "Ah Chew"
in episode: "Sanford and Rising Son" (episode # 5.10) 21 November 1975
in episode: "The Over Hill Gag" (episode # 4.24) 14 March 1975
in episode: "The Masquerade Party" (episode # 4.18) 31 January 1975
in episode: "Strange Bedfellows" (episode # 4.17) 24 January 1975
in episode: "Going Out of Business" (episode # 4.6) 18 October 1974
in episode: "There'll Be Some Changes Made" (episode # 4.5) 11 October 1974
[After all those appearances, Morita then returned to the show one last time to play a new character.......
"Sanford and Son" playing "Colonel Hiakowa" in episode: "Sergeant Gork" (episode # 5.23) 12 March 1976
I'd have to investigate further, waiting to see it on TV Land or checking episode guides, but it could be that they were one and the same character. "Ah Chew" was just an obvious alias
.]

"M*A*S*H" playing "Capt. Sam Pak"
in episode: "The Chosen People" (episode # 2.19) 26 January 1974
in episode: "Deal Me Out" (episode # 2.13) 8 December 1973

TV CROSSOVERS
"Blansky's Beauties" (1977) TV Series .... Arnold (1977)
&
"Happy Days" (1974) TV Series .... Matsuo 'Arnold' Takahashi (1975-1976, 1982-1983)

"Mr. T and Tina" (1976) TV Series .... Taro Takahashi
&
"Welcome Back, Kotter" playing "Mr. Takahashi" in episode: "Career Day" (episode # 2.1) 23 September 1976

TV MOVIES
Gone to Maui (1999) (TV) .... Mr Ono
Singapore Sling: Road to Mandalay (1995) (TV) .... Y.C. Kung
Greyhounds (1994) (TV) .... Akira Mochizuki
Extralarge: Ninja Shadow (1993) (TV)
Choose Your Own Adventure: The Case of the Silk King (1992) (TV)
Mastergate (1992) (TV) .... Kevin Naito
Hiroshima: Out of the Ashes (1990) (TV) .... Yoodo Toda
Babes in Toyland (1986) (TV) .... The Toymaster
What Has Four Wheels and Flies (1986) (TV)
Alice in Wonderland (1985) (TV) .... Horse
Amos (1985) (TV) .... Tommy Tanaka
Blind Alleys (1985) (TV) .... Kenji Sato
The Vegas Strip War (1984) (TV) .... Yip Tak
For the Love of It (1980) (TV) .... Ishihara
Human Feelings (1978) (TV) .... Waiter
Farewell to Manzanar (1976) (TV) .... Zenahiro

TV SPECIALS
Happy Days: 30th Anniversary Reunion (2005) (TV) .... Himself/Matsuo 'Arnold' Takahashi
Reflections on Ice: Michelle Kwan Skates to the Music of Disney's 'Mulan' (1998) (TV) .... Emperor/Narrator
Lamb Chop's Special Chanukah (1995) (TV) .... Pat
[This marks the second death this year of an actor who appeared in this special; the first being Lloyd Bochner.]
Happy Days Reunion Special (1992) (TV) .... Himself
The Barbara Eden Show (1973) (TV)

TV NARRATION
Beyond Barbed Wire (1997) (as Noriyuki 'Pat' Morita) .... Narrator
Big Bird in Japan (1991) (TV) .... Narrator (Bamboo Princess story)

TV PILOTS
Punch and Jody (1974) (TV) .... Takahasi
[That name is not a mis-print; I found it spelled like that in two different sources. So I can't finagle a connection to either 'Happy Days' or 'Mr. T. And Tina'. Unless I argue for mis-spelling on immigration forms and/or birth certificates.]
Cops (1973) (TV) .... Captain Irving Ho
Brock's Last Case (1973) (TV) .... Sam Wong
A Very Missing Person (1972) (TV) .... Delmar Faulkenstein
Evil Roy Slade (1972) (TV) .... Turhan

TV GUEST APPEARANCES
"Robot Chicken" playing "Himself" (voice) in episode: "S&M Present" (episode # 1.9) 17 April 2005
"Yes, Dear" playing "Trainer" in episode: "When Jimmy Met Greggy" (episode # 3.24) 19 May 2003
"Body & Soul" in episode: "Yes Master" (episode # 1.6) 5 November 2002
"Spy TV" playing "Himself" (episode # 2.12) 23 July 2002
"Son of the Beach" playing "King Kumonya" in episode: "B.J. Blue Hawaii" (episode # 2.1) 13 March 2001
"First Years" (as Noriyuki Morita) in episode: "Touched by a Reindeer" (episode # 1.5)
"Caroline in the City" playing "Mr. Chu" in episode: "Caroline and the Ultimatum" (episode # 4.20) 5 April 1999
"Diagnosis Murder" playing "Martin Gaylord" in episode: "Food Fight" (episode # 5.23) 30 April 1998
"The Outer Limits" playing "Michael Chen" in episode: "In the Zone" (episode # 4.5) 20 February 1998
"Family Matters" playing "Mr. Tanaka" in episode: "Grill of My Dreams" (episode # 9.12) 9 January 1998
"Boy Meets World" playing "Wise Man" in episode: "I Was a Teenage Spy" (episode # 3.19) 26 April 1996
"Married... with Children" playing "Mr. Shimokawa" in episode: "Turning Japanese" (episode # 10.21) 17 March 1996
"One West Waikiki" playing "Judge" in episode: "Kingmare on Night Street" (episode # 2.11) 2 March 1996
"Murder, She Wrote" playing "Akira Hitaki" in episode: "Kendo Killing" (episode # 12.12) 4 January 1996
Hart to Hart: Secrets of the Hart (1995) (TV) .... Ling Goldberg
"Burke's Law" playing "Boots McKay" in episode: "Who Killed the Motor Car Maverick?" (episode # 2.2) 14 April 1995
"The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" playing "Mr. Yoshi" in episode: "Love Hurts" (episode # 5.9) 14 November 1994
"Dave's World" playing "Hardware Store Owner" in episode: "Exorcising with Dave Barry" (episode # 1.12) 29 November 1993
"Space Rangers" playing "Nazzer" in episode: "Fort Hope" (episode # 1.1) 27 January 1993
"Good Grief" playing "Chip" in episode: "Mooses, Masons, and the Secret Life of Trees" (episode # 1.5) 28 October 1990
"What a Dummy" in episode: "The Contractor From Hell" (episode # 1.3) 14 October 1990
"Pryor's Place" playing "Joe" in episode: "Voyage to the Planet of the Dumb" (episode # 1.4) 13 October 1984
"Lou Grant" playing "Ike Tatsumi" in episode: "Recovery" (episode # 5.15) 8 March 1982
"Magnum, P.I." playing "Jack Metro" in episode: "One More Summer" (episode # 2.16) 11 February 1982
"Laverne & Shirley" playing "Mr. Wong" in episode: "Separate Tables" (episode # 5.26) 13 May 1980
"The Incredible Hulk" playing "Fred" in episode: "Stop the Presses" (episode # 2.10) 24 November 1978
"The Love Boat" playing "Tycoon" in episode: "Gopher the Rebel/Cabin Fever/Pacific Princess Overture" (episode # 1.25) 20 May 1978
"The Love Boat" playing "Vincent" in episode: "The Old Man and the Runaway, The/Fine Romance, A/Painters" (episode # 1.12) 24 December 1977
"The Man from Atlantis" playing "Moby" in episode: "Imp" (episode # 1.15) 25 April 1978
"Starsky and Hutch" playing "Jewelry Store Owner" in episode: "The Trap" (episode # 3.15) 1 February 1978
"Chico and the Man" playing "Pat Yamaguchi" in episode: "Charo Takes Over" (episode # 4.9) 2 December 1977
"Kung Fu" playing "Arthur Chen" in episode: "Ambush" (episode # 3.23) 4 April 1975
"Cannon" playing "Chuck Yamagata" in episode: "The Avenger" (episode # 4.7) 30 October 1974
"Police Woman" playing "Mike Matsuto" in episode: "Anatomy of Two Rapes" (episode # 1.5) 11 October 1974
"Hawaii Five-O" playing "Phoebe" in episode: "Tricks Are Not Treats" (episode # 6.7) 23 October 1973
Columbo: √Čtude in Black (1972) (TV) .... The House Boy
"The Bob Newhart Show" playing "Bartender" in episode: "Bob and Emily and Howard and Carol and Jerry" (episode # 1.12) 9 December 1972
"Love, American Style" in episode: "Love and the Woman in White" (episode # 4.11d) 24 November 1972
"Love, American Style" in episode: "Love and Lady Luck" (episode # 4.9b) 10 November 1972
"Love, American Style" in episode: "Love and the Love Potion" (episode # 2.22b) 26 February 1971
"The Odd Couple" playing "Mr. Wing" in episode: "You Saved My Life" (episode # 2.17) 21 January 1972
"Green Acres" playing "Charlie Lee" in episode: "Hawaiian Honeymoon" (episode # 6.25) 16 March 1971
"The Bill Cosby Show" playing "Tree Surgeon" in episode: "The Power of a Tree" (episode # 2.23) 28 February 1971
"Nanny and the Professor" playing "Jason Wong" in episode: "My Son, The Sitter" (episode # 2.11) 11 December 1970
[There could be some kind of familial relation to the character he played on the episode of 'Laverne & Shirley' listed above. But then again, the name is equivalent to Smith or Jones.....]
"The Courtship of Eddie's Father" playing "Duke" in episode: "The Littlest Kidnapper" (episode # 1.4) 8 October 1969
"The Outsider" playing "Toshi" in episode: "Love Is Under 'L'" (episode # 1.7) 6 November 1968
"Blondie" in episode: "Sayanora Dagwood" (episode # 1.1) 26 September 1968
"Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C." playing "Chris Yamato" in episode: "The Recruiting Poster" (episode # 4.2) 15 September 1967

BCnU......
Tele-Toby

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