Born June 28, 1932, in Isleton, Calif., Morita gave up a career as a computer programmer to try his hand at stand-up. Before long, he was opening for big-name stars and eventually headlined shows of his own. Morita's big-screen debut came in 1967's Thoroughly Modern Millie.
Audiences soon saw that Morita was capable of playing more than the evil ethnic henchman, and a wider variety of roles began to come his way, including that of diner owner Arnold on "Happy Days." In addition to three subsequent Karate Kid films, Morita voiced the emperor in Disney's Mulan and worked steadily as a character actor in numerous films and TV shows over the years. He died in 2005.