1. Pat Morita, The Karate Kid, 1983.      When the Japanese superstar Toshiro Mifune was quietly dropped, the Kobe-born Mako – an Oscar nominee for his debut role opposite Steve McQueen in The Sand Pebbles, 1965 – was the second choice for The Kid’s karate (and life) coach, Mr Miyagi.  However, Mako had already signed for Conan the Destroyer.  He did though play a Mr Miyagi-like character called Mr Lee in Sidekicks, 1991, with Chuck Norris – often rumoured to have been in the mix for karate kid Ralph Machhio’s trainer. Norris said he was never contacted about the movie. The third and winning candidate was Pat Morita, better known as Arnold in the Happy Days sit-com.  He grew a beard to change his look, and copied his grandfatjer’s accent to alter  his voice… and joined the surprise hit of the year.
  2. Keye Luke, Gremlins, 1983.      Three veterans  were on director Joe Dante’s list for Mr Wing.   British Jon Pertwee, 64, the third Doctor Who, TV, 1970-1984… Jaoan’s Mako, 50 from The Sand Pebbles and Conan The Babarian… and the Chinese Luke, alias Master Po in Kung Fu, TV, 1972-1975.   He won although it was quite a job for the make-up team to make Luke look old enough for the role!

 Birth year: 1933Death year: 2006Other name: Makoto IwamatsuCasting Calls:  1