The Original ‘Hawaii Five-O’ Starring Jack Lord Premiered This Week in 1968

by Joe Rutland
on-this-day-original-hawaii-five-o-starring-jack-lord-premiered-1968

Some old-school Outsiders still love the original “Hawaii Five-O” series, starring Jack Lord, that debuted this week in 1968.

Lord played Detective Captain Steve McGarrett on the CBS police drama. Lord did a lot more than just act, so we’ll offer that inside information in a bit. Keep in mind that his two most memorable lines are “Book ’em, Danno!” and “Be here. Aloha.”

Twitter account RetroNewsNow didn’t let its followers forget this day, either. Feast your eyes on the opening credits of one fantastic show.

Did you catch the blue police lights at the end of those credits? If you are a fan of “The Naked Gun” movies or even its TV show predecessor “Police Squad,” then you’ll know where they picked up that final shot.

“Hawaii Five-O” also starred James MacArthur as Detective Sergeant Danny “Danno” Williams. A side note: MacArthur was the son of Broadway star Helen Hayes.

Others in the cast included Kam Fong, who played Detective Chin Ho Kelly. Fong actually was an 18-year veteran of the Honolulu Police Department and tried out for the Wo Fat role. He didn’t get that one but Fong ended up playing Chin Ho for 10 seasons. Zulu played Detective Kono Kalakaua for four seasons, and he was actually a local DJ in Waikiki.

There was no doubt, though, that Jack Lord was the star of “Hawaii Five-O” throughout its 12-season run. Remember, Outsiders, how we mentioned Lord played a bigger role than just actor? Show creator and executive producer William Freeman died during the show’s sixth season. Lord, known as a perfectionist on the show, took over some of Freeman’s duties.

Drama Held Title Of Longest-Running Crime Show on American TV Until ‘Law & Order’

“Hawaii Five-O” continued to honor Freeman by having his name at the end of its opening credits. Still, Lord was quite focused on putting together the highest-quality TV drama possible.

It was the longest-running crime show in American television history for many years. “Law & Order” took over that title in 2002. For 12 seasons, viewers could tune in once a week and see the natural beauty of Hawaii. Many of the show’s scenes were filmed in Honolulu and surrounding areas.

This was not the first TV show done in Hawaii as “Hawaiian Eye” that lasted four seasons on ABC.

But you ask anyone about “Hawaii Five-O” and they’ll remember Jack Lord, the show’s theme song, and that famed line, “Book ’em, Danno!”

Lord died on Jan. 21, 1988, at 77 years old. He would live in Hawaii after the show ended, finding life on the Hawaiian Islands much to his liking.

Outsider.com