Original Hawaii Five-O Revisited by Tony Piazza
Hawaii Five-O was a police drama that premiered in the late 1960s produced by CBS television and Leonard Freeman. The show centered on a fictional state police unit Five-O run by Detective Steve McGarrett, portrayed by actor Jack Lord.
IoLani Palace. On TV, headquarters of Hawaii-Five-O (Piazza-photo)
I was so tempted when I took this photograph to run up those stairs, but with my receding hairline I don’t think I would have been mistaken for Detective Steve McGarrett. The original Hawaii Five-O ran twelve seasons from 1968 to 1980 and starred JACK LORD. When I was recently on Oahu doing research for my latest book, “The Curse of the Crimson Dragon” I took a “Hollywood in Hawaii Tour” of the island. Everyone aboard the excursion bus and the young guide as well, all agreed that the original show was the best. And everyone admitted hands down that it was because of the cast; Jack Lord, James McArthur, Kam Fong, Zulu, and Richard Denning.
The original cast of Hawaii Five-O
I worked with, and was good friends with the first makeup man on the original Hawaii Five-O, Donald Shoenfeld. His wife Trudy and I were stand-ins on “The Streets of San Francisco.” Don indicated that Lord was a difficult actor, and very much the perfectionist. Many of the cast members would agree, but indicated that he was that way for a purpose. Many of the members of the show were Hawaiians, and this production gave them the advantage of stepping out into the spotlight as actors and being noticed by the public; an opportunity that wasn’t available to them up to that point. He felt responsible for them, and took the role as mentor on the show seriously. Many didn’t realize it then, but in retrospect are very grateful now for his tough tutelage. When he died in January of 1998, Lord’s estate donated $40 million to the Hawaii Community Foundation.
Trivia: Hawaii Five-O’s Danny, James McArthur was married to F-Troop’s Wranger Jane (Melody Patterson). She retired from full time television work to live with him on the island while they were filming the series. She did however get a quest shot on the show.
The Statue of King Kamehameha that stands in front of Aliʻiolani Hale used in opening credits montage (Piazza-photo)
The memorial at the punch bowl- another piece of the montage (Piazza-photo)
“Book ’em, Danno, murder-one!”
Tony Piazza is author of the 1930s Hollywood murder mystery novel, “Anything Short of Murder,” which had its roots on the TCM fan website. His second novel, “The Curse of the Crimson Dragon” was next released early 2012, and in July of 2013, his latest Tom Logan Mystery, “A Murder Amongst Angels” was published and is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble websites. A new Tom Logan novel has been completed and is scheduled to be released in 2015. He was an actor/extra during the 1970s and worked with such legends as Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, and Karl Malden. His non-fiction e-book “Bullitt Points” is an in depth look at the making of “Bullitt” from a person who was there. Look for it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble websites, or at the link posted below. All profits go to the Boys Republic charity: www.bullittpoints.com.
Tony Piazza is a member of three prestigious writer’s organizations: Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and the SLO NightWriters.
My earlier bestselling novels, “The Curse of the Crimson Dragon” and “Anything Short of Murder” now joins “A Murder Amongst Angels” on Amazon’s Kindle at a new, low price of $2.99. Now you can have hours of adventure, thrills, mystery, and romance for the price of a cup of coffee- and just as stimulating! Look for it on Amazon. Print versions have also been reduced.
Also: The new Tom Logan mystery thriller, A Murder Amongst Angels .
Find them all on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. Also available for $2.99 on Kindle.
James Ostmann says
Hawaii 5-0 Loved the show. So many from the 1960’s – 77 Sunset Strip, with Cookie (Cookie lend me your comb) Not to mention The Twilight Zone.
I’m appreciating them even more today, James, than when they were first aired. Thanks to Hulu, Netfix, etc. I’m streaming them now, and enjoying every episode…77 Sunset Strip, Hawaiian Eye, Twilight Zone- all great shows with good acting, and great scripts.