As Japanese prisoner of war Fuji Kobiaji, he appeared on all 138 episodes of the '60s TV series.

Yoshio James Yoda, a Japanese actor and businessman who appeared on every episode of the '60s TV sitcom McHale's Navy, has died, according to an official death notice in the Los Angeles Times. He was 88.

Yoshio Yoda
Actor Yoshio Yoda dies at 88.
| Credit: Everett Collection

Born in Tokyo on March 31, 1934, Yoda studied law at Keio University until he was persuaded to move to the United States and pursue an acting career. He then enrolled at the University of Southern California, where he answered an MGM casting call for an actor who was fluent in both English and Japanese. His first role was in the 1962 war film The Horizontal Lieutenant, which in turn got him cast in McHale's Navy.

Set at a fictionalized Pacific island base during World War II, McHale's Navy ran from 1962-1966 on ABC and eventually spawned several movies, as well as a sequel/remake in 1997. Yoda played Fuji Kobiaji, a Japanese prisoner of war who befriends the other characters and eventually reaches the rank of "seaman 3rd class" on the U.S. naval crew led by Ernest Borgnine's Lieutenant Commander Quinton McHale. Yoda appeared on all 138 episodes of the series. With his death, Bobby Wright is now the only surviving cast member from McHale's Navy.

Following McHale's Navy, Yoda acquired a few more acting credits before securing his American citizenship, moving to Honolulu, and becoming an executive for Toyota. In 2012, he retired to Fullerton, Calif.

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