Dorothy Sueko Saika is known for being the proud mother of Pat Morita, a Japanese-American actor, and comedian. Pat is best recognized for portraying Mr. Miyagi in The Karate Kid, for which he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor in 1984. In his other notables roles, he appeared as Captain Sam Pak in the sitcom M*A*S*H, Matsuo “Arnold” Takahashi in Happy Days, The Emperor of China in Mulan and Mulan II, Ah Chew in Sanford and Son, and Mike Woo in The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo.
He starred in lead roles in the TV show Mr. T and Tina and Ohara, creating history by becoming the first Asian-American to play the lead role in an American television series.
Dorothy Sueko Saika’s Family Background
Dorothy was born on October 24, 1913, in Milpitas California to Japanese immigrant parents. Dorothy’s son was born Noriyuki Morita on June 28, 1932, in Isleton, California, the U.S.. Brought up in California, Pat went through several surgeries and operations due to spinal tuberculosis in early childhood. He was treated at Weimar Institute in Weimar, California, and Shriners Hospital in San Francisco. To support Pat working as a data processor in the early 1960s was prompted to a graveyard shift job at Aerojet General.
After sustaining severe injuries he left that job, and began his struggle as a stand-up comedian at small clubs in Sacramento and San Francisco with the stage name Pat Morita.
Pat was married thrice. He was married to his first wife Kathleen Yamachi from 1953 to 1967, his second wife Yukiye Kitahara from 1970 to 1989) and his third wife Evelyn Guerrero from 1994 until his death. Pat’s mother died on August 26, 2009.
Dorothy Sueko Saika’s Career
Dorothy’s son Pat Morita moved to Los Angeles where he performed at several nightclubs as a stand-up comedian, before lading the role as a henchman in Thoroughly Modern Millie in 1967, followed by The Shakiest Gun In The West (1968). From 1974 to 1976 he appeared in a recurring role as Ah Chew in Sanford and Son. In the 1976 war film Midway, he acted as Rear Admiral Ryunosuke Kusaka.
He rose to prominence when he portrayed karate teacher, Mr. Miyagi, in the film series “The Karate Kid” in 1984 and its subsequence sequels: The Karate Kid Part II (1986), The Karate Kid Part III (1989), and The Next Karate Kid (1994).
The 5.2-inch actor also garnered applause for playing Masuo “Arnold” Takahashi in the sitcom series Happy Days from 1974 to 1984.
Dorothy Sueko Saika’s Family Net Worth
Although not much is known about Pat’s mother’s wealth, The Karate Kid actor unequivocally left a good fortune for his family. The 73 years old actor reportedly had a net worth of $5 million when he died of liver failure in 2005 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Having appeared in around 106 movies, Pat’s earnings mostly came from acting and stand-up comedy. He also appeared in several commercials for Colgate toothpaste. For his splendid performance in The Karate Kid series, he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and Golden Globe Award.