'McHale's Navy' Star Yoshio Yoda Dead at 88

The actor starred in all 138 episodes of the '60s show before moving on to a career in business

Yoshio Yoda McHale's Navy
Photo: Everett

Yoshio Yoda, who starred in every episode of '60s sitcom McHale's Navy, died Jan. 13. He was 88.

The actor and businessman was born in Tokyo and studied law at Keio University before immigrating to the U.S., per an acquaintance's suggestion that he pursue acting, according to his death notice in the Los Angeles Times. In 1958, he left his studies and enrolled in the University of Southern California's film school, graduating with a degree in cinema arts.

Yoda took the opportunity to become an screen actor in 1961 when MGM asked the school for someone who was bilingual in English and Japanese. This led to his casting in 1962 war film The Horizontal Lieutenant, which then opened the door to his casting as McHale's Navy's Fuji Kobiaji, a Japanese prisoner of war who rose through the ranks.

McHALE'S NAVY Yoshio Yoda

After McHale's Navy, Yoda found some additional work as an actor and associate producer before ultimately becoming a businessman. During his time in Honolulu, he was Assistant Vice President of Toyota Hawaii. He eventually retired and moved to Fullerton, California, where he lived until his death.

McHale's Navy was set on a Pacific island base during World War II that starred Ernest Borgnine as Lieutenant Commander Quinton McHale. It aired 138 episodes on ABC from 1962 to 1966 and spawned multiple subsequent films that also starred Yoda.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Yoda's death now leaves actor Bobby Wright, who played radio operator Willy Moss, as the only surviving cast member.

Updated by
Rebecca Aizin

Rebecca Aizin is an Editorial Intern at PEOPLE. She assists on all verticals but has particular interest in entertainment and lifestyle. Previously, she has worked at HGTV Magazine where she assisted in compiling the print issues and at Backstage. She attends Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

Related Articles