Karate Kid actor Noriyuki "Pat" Morita dies.
Okay, so I'm not your normal starry-eyed film actor fan. I don't think Brad Pitt is as hot as my pals do. I depend on a guy making me smile for more than his pretty face. Of course, it doesn't hurt if he's kinda cute, but more than that, I want him to appeal to my mind and my spirit of fun. Therefore, Pat Morita was one of my later Hollywood crushes. He was the whole package -- not drop-dead gorgeous, but decent and attractive, with wit and grace and something seriously worthy of attention, beneath the surface. I probably have about half his works in film, somewhere in the boxes of videotapes which are helping to support the spare bed in the guest room. I think I could have watched "Ohara" forever, if the network had shown a little more guts and stuck with it for a few more seasons. And, I certainly enjoyed his solid, subtle performances in the overly-sappy, juvenile-Rocky-wannabe Karate Kid movies. I even suffered through the terminally cute "Mystery Files of Shelby Woo" because he was so cool.
His talents were too often wasted, because he didn't have the "right look" for so many roles, but Pat Morita was one of the best in show biz. I, for one, will miss him.