Classic Television: Hawaii Five-O 1968-1980

Some shows were never meant to be brought back, in later years and Hawaii Five-O is one of those shows. The original Hawaii Five-O show debuted on September 26, 1968.

I can identify with the show, since I was stationed in Hawaii, at Schofield Barracks while serving in the United States Army, from June 1963 to January of 1966. Have watched the first three shows, of Season 1 on Netflix and they have reminded me of how much I enjoyed the show, which aired in parts of three different decades. Hawaii Five-O debuted about two years after I left Hawaii for Vietnam.

Jack Lord 1920-1998

Jack Lord was meant to be Detective Steve McGarrett and fit the part perfectly. His sidekick was James MacArthur who portrayed Dan Williams, on the show and McGarrett calls him Danno and most of us can remember the familiar phrase “Book him Danno”.

I may be prejudiced, but I think the new Hawaii Five-O show airing currently is not close, to being as good as the original show.

Richard Denning  starred on old-time radio as the husband of Lucille Ball’s character in My Favorite Husband and later co-starred on television in Mr. and Mrs. North.

Last week was the first time to see a Hawaii Five-O show in too many years to remember. It didn’t take long to recall why I liked the show so much, because the combination of the story and the Hawaiian scenery captured my interest.

I watched Season 1 Episode 3 Tiger by the Tail which guest starred Sal Mineo and Harold J. Stone. Mineo portrayed a singer who planned his own kidnapping, in order to draw attention and hopefully get more bookings for singing gigs. However, when his father offered to pay the kidnappers, whatever they wanted they made a change of plans. The two kidnappers asked for half a million dollars from his father and when it was evident that they were going to get the money they decided to kill Sal Mineo’s character. That plan didn’t go well, as McGarrett stopped one of the kidnappers from killing him. It was a good story from start to finish.

Today I watched the Season 7 Episode 20 Hawaii Five-O and the title of the episode was And the Horse Jumped Over the Moon, with Ed Flanders and Bruce Boxleitner as the guest stars. I watched it on ME-TV and it can be seen on weekdays at 12:00 PM ET.

The stars of Hawaii Five-O are dead now with Jack Lord dying first in 1998 at the age of 77. Kam Fong who played Chin Ho on the series died next in 2002 at the age of 84, then James MacArthur died in 2010 at the age of 72.

Jack Lord only acted one more time, after Hawaii Five-O ended its run, when he appeared in the TV movie M Station: Hawaii.

His only other starring role on television, was when he starred in Stoney Burke from 1962-1963.

Interesting trivia about Jack Lord from

He was being considered for the role of Captain Kirk on Star Trek, but the producer didn’t approve of him asking to be co-producer and take a percentage of the profits.

His estate donated $40 million to the Hawaii Community Foundation.

Lord had Alzheimer’s disease for two years, before his death from congestive heart failure.

He died in Honolulu, Hawaii on Oahu and his ashes were scattered near his Kahala condominium.

Jack Lord always insisted on using as many Hawaiian actors, as possible and all scenes were shot at Hawaiian locations.


Author: Andrew Godfrey

Retired from newspaper work after 38 years. Had served in the Army in Hawaii and Vietnam in the 60's. Am now retired and living in Sulphur, Louisiana.

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