March 8th, 2012 09:51 EST
Hawaii Five-O, Aloha!
Hawaii Five-O, Aloha ! 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 Trudi 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.
The Statue of King Kamehameha that stands in front of AliÊ»iolani 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 just released in January of this year. He was an actor/extra during the 1970s and worked with such legends as Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, and Karl Malden.