Jack Lord 1920-1998
Jack Lord was born John Joseph Patrick Ryan on December 30,1920 in Brooklyn, New York according to the rememberingjacklord.com website. Jack attended John Adams High School in Queens.
It didn’t take Jack long to understand what hard work meant, since his father sent him on freighters, during the summer, which traveled all over the world. He had the unique distinction of playing on the varsity football team, and being an accomplished artist, while attending high school.
After graduating from high school Jack played on the New York University football team as a tackle. He and his older brother Bill opened the Village Academy of Art in Greenwich Village, and the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibited two of his paintings.
These two paragraphs from his biography at rememberingjacklord.com tell of his first marriage and being torpedoed by German U-boats during World War II:
In 1942, Jack married Ann Cicely Willard. Jack described it as a youthful romance and said they married following a whirlwind courtship. The marriage was not a good one, for the couple were young, and Jack was working away from home. They had a child, John Ryan, Jr., who died at the age of 13 following a brief illness.
During World War II, Jack served with the U. S. Maritime Service aboard Liberty ships. It was not an easy assignment, for the German U-boats were always on patrol. The ship on which Jack was serving was torpedoed. With the fantail, rudder, and after-stern were destroyed, and the ship began to sink. There being no time to send an SOS, the captain ordered the crew to abandon ship. The ship sank in seven minutes, and Jack drifted in a life boat for sixteen hours before being rescued.
He was visiting his brother Bill in Woodstock, New York, when he saw a house that interested him. After meeting the owner Marie L. De Narde they were married later on January 17, 1949.
Changed His Name To Jack Lord
Jack found out there was already an actor, in the actor’s union with the name Jack Ryan, so changed his name to Jack Lord, but only for acting purposes, as he didn’t change his legal name. He picked the name Lord from his family tree.
His first acting job was in the movie Project X in 1949, which was followed by Cry Murder in 1950.
Jack Lord as Stoney Burke 1962-1963
1957 would see him appear in Have Gun – Will Travel and Gunsmoke. He would alternate between television and the movies, for the next few years, until he was given the starring role of Stoney Burke on the Stoney Burke television series from 1962-1963. He portrayed a rodeo cowboy on the show.
Jack would freelance between television and movies for the next five years, before landing the job that would make him a household name.
Jack Lord as Steve McGarrett on Hawaii Five-O
I am now watching Hawaii Five-O on Netflix and have almost finished Season 9. I like the way that Jack as Steve McGarrett takes charge and gives almost impossible orders, like Chin Ho and Danno. He tells them to do things, like check every surfboard shop on Oahu, and get the name of everyone, that has bought a surfboard in the last 10 years. Well, maybe not that drastic, but if you watch the show you will notice him giving out orders.
Jack Lord has a presence on the screen, that tells everyone, that he is the one to see, if anyone wants something done the right way.
There are two Hawaii Five-O shows out there now, with CBS running a newer version currently, but the 1968-1980 series is the one I watch, since I left Hawaii in 1966 and can identify, with some of the locations shown and/or mentioned during an episode.
Jack Lord and his wife Marie
Jack Lord made his only appearance, after the end of Hawaii Five-O in M Station: Hawaii a television movie in 1980. He never acted again in the years, which led to his death, on January 21, 1988 in Honolulu,Hawaii at the age of 77.
He lived the last 30 years of his life in Hawaii with his wife and liked to walk on Kahala Beach, where he had his ashes scattered after his death.
After he and his wife died they left $40 million to many charities in Hawaii, which are detailed in the following article:
Jack was considered for the part of Captain Kirk in Star Trek 1966, but was turned down, since he wanted to be co-producer and own a percentage of the series, so William Shatner had to be thrilled, that Lord turned down the role.
I have noticed that it is difficult to find a photo online of Jack Lord in later life.
This website tells about Jack’s interaction with the other actors:
- Lord was infamous for being imperious and hard to work with. However, fellow?Hawaii Five-Operformers Kam Fong, Zulu, Harry Endo, and Jimmy Borges have credited him as professional, generous, and normally soft-spoken. Many cast members considered him a friend and a mentor. Jack Lord was 6’2″ and liked to appear as the tallest actor on-screen – he often wore elevating footwear when appearing with Richard Denning, Al Harrington, and tall guest stars.
Other trivia from this same article: