Hawaii Five-O Fun Page

Visit the Hawaii Five-O Fan Club Web Site
Fong Club's Five Best Episodes of All Time
Frequently Asked Questions about Hawaii Five-O
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Introduction

Hawaii Five-O was the longest continuous-running police series in television history, airing from September 1968 to April 1980. With few exceptions, it was filmed entirely on location in Hawaii. The authenticity and beauty of the scenery is listed by its fans as the number one draw; second come the actors and the characters they portrayed.

Another attraction is the intelligent writing and intriguing plots of the series, and its wonderful title theme (regarded by one critic as "the greatest TV theme of all time") and incidental music. Its authenticity was further enhanced by the use of many local Island residents in guest roles, which for some such as Thomas Fujiwara and Kwan Hi Lim led to further roles in other series. Jack Lord played Steve McGarrett, head of an elite four-man state police unit investigating "organized crime, murder, assassination attempts, foreign agents, felonies of every type." James MacArthur played his second-in-command Danny ("Danno") Williams, with local actors Kam Fong, Zulu, Al Harrington, and Herman Wedemeyer, among others, playing members of the Five-O team.

The series was famous for the stellar guest actors who appeared in episodes, including Helen Hayes, Ricardo Montalban, Leslie Nielsen, Herbert Lom, Hume Cronyn, and many more. McGarrett's nemesis, the evil Wo Fat "a Red Chinese agent in charge of the entire Pacific Asiatic theatre" was played by Khigh Diegh.

Visit the Hawaii Five-O Fan Club Web Site

Mission Statement: The Institute for Hawaii Five-0 Studies is a multidisciplinary research group engaged in the study of the Hawaii Five-0 phenomenon. Faculty members are dedicated to the proposition that this television show, which so artfully combines the elements of action, adventure, tropic scenery, loud shirts, and handsome heroes bringing evildoers to justice (and, occasionally, saving the world), deserves greater attention from scholars and couch potatoes alike. Go to the Hawaii Five-O Fan Club

Fong Club's Five Best Episodes of All Time

1. Samurai

Five-O has to protect a Honolulu racket boss being threatened by a secret Japanese society at the same time as they are trying to convict him for his underworld activities.

2. Twenty-four Karat Kill

Five-O investigates a fishing boat owner who is smuggling gold bars into the islands. This is the episode where McGarret utters the words "Bookem Danno, murder one" for the very first time.

3. The Ways of Love

McGarrett has himself committed to a California prison in order to obtain information linking the disappearance of a priceless jewel collection to the death of a beautiful woman.

4. No Blue Skies

Joey Rand, a young singer, turns to cat burglary when he finds his singing career provides insufficient funds to pay his gambling debts.

5. By the Numbers

Five-O is called in when a winning ticket in a numbers game turns out to be a loser and a young Army corporal is accused of a crime.

 

Frequently Asked Questions about Hawaii Five-O

When was Hawaii Five-O on (its prime-time run)?
September 26, 1968 - April 5, 1980

Who created Hawaii Five-O?
Leonard Freeman

Who composed the main title theme?
Morton Stevens

Where is Kam Fong?
As late as 1988-1989 he was heard on his own radio show on a Hawaiian-music station in Honolulu. He also ran a rather tongue-in-cheek gubernatorial campaign at that time, using the campaign slogan "Give a damn - Vote for Kam!"

How tall is Jack Lord?
There is a rumor going around that he is really quite short. That is nothing but a rumor. He is 6 feet, 2 inches tall.

Who played Che Fong?
Che Fong was played by three different actors. In "...And They Painted Daisies on His Coffin" (#5), the Chinese forensic scientist is played by an uncredited actor. In "A Bullet for McGarrett" (#29), the part is played by Daniel Kamekona. The role was finally taken over in "Blind Tiger" (#38) by Harry Endo.

What was the license number of McGarrett's car?
F6-3958. McGarrett was the only member of the team to have the same license number through the entire run.

What is Jack Lord's real name?
John Joseph Patrick Ryan.

Is there a real "Hawaii Five-O" -- a state police agency?
No. Guidebooks have to keep telling tourists that Hawaii does not and never did have a state police.

Why was it called Five-O, anyway?
Very simple. Hawaii is the fiftieth state in the union. (The original title was "The Man," but Leonard Freeman changed his mind.)

Was the team's office filmed in the REAL Iolani Palace?
No. That was a standing set at the studio. The way Iolani Palace is laid out, the office suite as we see it would not have fit in the building! There was a lot of exterior and interior photography done at the palace--remember that beautiful koa-wood staircase McGarrett took two at a time!

Where was Hawaii Five-O's studio?
They began in an old and un-airconditioned Navy warehouse at Pearl City. That place was so rickety and infested with mongooses -- er, mongeese -- er, more than one mongoose, that they named it "Mongoose Manor". Next they moved to a studio facility at Fort Ruger on the eastern side of Diamond Head. The local neighborhood association balked, however, charging that the studio in their midst would lower property values and be a noise and traffic nuisance. In 1976 the Five-O company moved piecemeal to a new studio site on Diamond Head Road.

Where is Al (Ben Kokua) Harrington?
He has retired and is living in Utah, teaching and counseling students at a university. He has come out of retirement lately to make a couple movies. There was a report in mid-1996 that he was going to star in a production of Shakespeare's Othello in Hawaii.

Did Hawaii Five-O ever win any Emmy awards?
Yes. One. Morton Stevens won one for the music to the episode "Hookman".

What was the governor's name?
There is some misinformation in some references on TV shows. There are at least two such references which have the gov's name listed as Philip Grey. However, that was a DIFFERENT character played by Richard (the governor) Denning in the episode "24 Karat Kill" in the first season -- a U.S. TREASURY AGENT named Philip Grey. The governor's name shows up first in "The 90-Second War". It isn't mentioned, it's seen. There is a scene where Jonathan Kaye has McGarrett, Army & Navy brass, and the governor in the secret Diamond Head bunker. Each man has a nameplate. The governor's clearly reads: Paul Jameson. That name is also used in "A Capitol Crime" when Barnard Hughes's character demands to speak to "Governor Paul Jameson."

I've seen what look like Five-O episodes run under the title McGarrett. What gives?
CBS had a late-night 'series' to compete against the talk shows (Johnny Carson in particular), which consisted of reruns of their best shows such as Five-O, Magnum, P.I. and others. They even bought an additional fourth season of the cancelled ABC series T. J. Hooker for this gig. They selected episodes from the twelfth season of Five-O to run in this slot, and changed the title to McGarrett. As to WHY they changed the name, who knows what evil lurks in the mind of TV network execs!

Speaking of the twelfth season, what happened to Dan Williams?
The story is that CBS dragged its feet about renewing for a 12th season, and James MacArthur figured they weren't going to. He rounded up other work. By the time CBS made its decision to continue, MacArthur was unavailable. As far as the character of Dan Williams goes, there never was any "story reason" given for his having left.