- Parents were migrant fruit pickers from Japan.
- Developed spinal tuberculosis at age 2 and spent most of the next nine years in hospitals; was reportedly told he would never walk.
- After his release from the hospitals and in recovery from his illness, his family was sent to an internment camp in Arizona during World War II.
- After the war, family opened a restaurant where he began doing comedy bits for patrons.
- While performing stand-up comedy in nightclubs, was discovered by comedian Redd Foxx, which eventually led to several appearances on Sanford and Son as the character Ah Chew.
- Feature-film debut was in Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967).
- Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1995.
- 1986, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Special: Nominee
- 1985, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Nominee
- 1986, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television: Nominee
- 1984, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Nominee
- Kathleen Yamachi — Ex-wife
- Yukiye Kitahara — Ex-wife
- Erin Rodda — Daughter
- Aly Morita — Daughter
- Tia Morita — Daughter
- Evelyn Guerrero — Wife
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- Birth Name: Noriyuki Morita
- Birth Place: Isleton, California, United States
- Died: November 24, 2005
- Profession: Actor, Comedian
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