Everyone knows Pat Morita as Mr. Miyagi, but what do we know about his personal life? Was the man who came to be known as one of the most iconic characters in the history of cinema ever married? Did he have children?
Morita passed away in 2005 at the age of 73. At the time, he was married to actress Evelyn Guerrero. The two tied the knot in 1994. Over the course of her career, Guerrero has worked as an actress, model, and writer.
Here’s what else you need to know:
1. Guerrero Met Morita When She Was 15
According to Turner Classic Movies, Evelyn Guerrero met Morita for the first time in 1964, when she was just 15.
The outlet reported, “… the future Mr. Miyagi was getting his start as a nightclub host and shared a manager with Guerrero’s mother…”
In an interview with the NHP podcast, Guerrero went into more details about her impromptu meeting with Morita. She shared, “I was just a kid. My uncle, who was about 19, married… Lenny Bruce’s mother. She later… decided to become a manager. So she managed Lenny Bruce’s career, her son. And then she started getting other performers… when she married my uncle, she got him in contact with Cheech and Chong… That’s how I met Pat because Sally was managing his career.”
It wasn’t until years later that the two reconnected and married in Las Vegas.
2. She Is an Actress
In the 1970s, Guerrero booked roles in film and television. Her first credit is listed as Sissy in the film Wild Wheels. In 1979, she played a serial killer’s victim in the film The Toolbox Murders.
Then, in 1980, Guerrero booked a recurring role on the soap opera Dallas.
Her most recent credit is listed as Inferno in 1994, where she played the role of Bertie Early. Prior to that, she played the role of Soledad Moore on multiple episodes of Days of Our Lives.
3. Guerrero Executive Produced the Pat Morita Documentary
Guerrero is an executive producer on the documentary, “More Than Migayi: The Pat Morita Story”, which will be released on February 5. The film was directed by Kevin Derek.
Speaking to the Review Journal, Guerrero shared of the doc, “I wanted his story to be a testament to the resilience of the human spirit. And, at the same time, I wanted to examine the fragility of his life.”
She revealed that the documentary touches on Morita’s alcoholism– a topic which Guerrero admits was difficult to broach.
“I didn’t want it to define him,” she told the Review-Journal. “I didn’t want people to walk away and say, ‘Oh, what a sad story.’ ”
In a separate interview with TV Insider, Guerrero added, “The one thing I didn’t know was the amount he drank. I didn’t know how severe it was.”
4. Guerrero Is a Clairvoyant
Morita married three times over the course of his life. His first marriage was to Kathleen Yamachi, from 1953 to 1967. The second marriage was to Yukiye Kitahara from 1970 to 1989, and his third marriage was to Guerrero.
To this day, Guerrero is a collector of art and antiques. Speaking to NHP, she shared, “I’ve been collecting all my adult life. I kind of got the bug from my father– he was an avid art collector and antique collector. And, I dunno, I always had a love for it.”
She added that for a while, she was collecting snuff boxes. As of the time of the interview, however, which took place in 2017, Guerrero began collecting antique dolls.
She added that she is a clairvoyant, and speaks to the dead. “My mother had it, my grandmother had it. But recently, I’ve been picking up on people that have passed… I’ve been able to communicate with Pat and certain family members. But only in the past two years have I been connecting with friends who had loved ones who passed.”
5. Guerrero & Morita Had No Children Together
While Guerrero and Morita did not have any children together, Morita had three daughters from his previous marriages. Guerrero became a stepmother to Morita’s three children.
According to Fandom, Morita’s eldest daughter, Erin, was born in 1954– her mother was Morita’s first wife.
With his second wife, he had two daughters, Aly and Tia.
More Than Miyagi: The Pat Morita Story, will chronicle the life of Morati, including his battle with spinal tuberculosis and his early days as a struggling actor and comedian. The film will premiere on iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, and other streaming platforms on February 5.