‘Happy Days’: How Many Episodes Did Arnold Actor Pat Morita Appear In?

by Joe Rutland

One of the most lovable characters from the classic TV show Happy Days happens to be Arnold of Arnold’s Drive-In, played by Pat Morita. This isn’t the first time Morita appears on TV. But he is one of this show’s fans’ most beloved ones to see. Morita would appear between 1975 and 1983 on the ABC sitcom. How many episodes did he appear in as Arnold?

Pat Morita Would Make Name For Himself on ‘Happy Days,’ ‘The Karate Kid’

According to IMDb, Morita appeared in 26 episodes of the classic TV show. He originally would be known simply as Arnold before his character’s full name of Matsuo “Arnold” Takahashi would appear later. Morita, who died in 2005, had a long, successful career in TV and movies. One generation knows him from Happy Days; another knows him as Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid.

What happened to be the actor’s last appearance on Happy Days? It is titled Because It’s There. Now, this episode’s plot focuses on Fonzie throwing away his leather jacket. This is an unheard-of thing for him to do. It even shocks all of Fonzie’s friends, too. He does this after finding a note at the bottom of an old cookie jar. This jar holds the last three cookies that Fonzie’s mom cooked before leaving him. The Fonz, played by Henry Winkler, would tell his friends why she left.

Actor Offers High Praise For Ron Howard, Henry Winkler

By this time, Morita had been on the show’s set enough to watch Ron Howard work. Howard played Richie Cunningham, the show’s lead actor during his time there. What was it like working alongside Howard? “Ron, I think, Howard is going to have a future one day,” Morita said in an interview with the Television Academy Foundation. He would say that Howard was the only person he (Morita) had ever met who went to film school. Howard did apply all of his lessons to his career. “Ronnie really deserves all the success that he’s worked for,” Morita said.

Morita also had high praise for Winkler, too. “I’ve got to tell you,” he said in the interview. “I’ve never said this to anyone before but watching Henry be The Fonz and turn it on and turn it off and do it and make the kinds of decisions that you make when you’re building a character (and) when you’re building a story… God, he was the best at it.”

But Morita himself would appear in other TV shows like Police Woman starring Angie Dickinson or Chico and the Man through the 1970s. Still, it’s his turn as Arnold which keeps many fans in touch with his work on TV.