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Jack Lord

Jack Lord
Lord as Detective Steve McGarrett in Hawaii Five-O
Born John Joseph Patrick Ryan
(1920-12-30)December 30, 1920
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Died December 31, 1999(1999-12-31) (aged 79)
Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S
Occupation Artist, actor, director, producer, philanthropist
Years active 1949–1980
Spouse(s) Ann Cecily Willard (1944–1947) (divorced), one child
Marie De Narde (1949–1999) (his death)

John Joseph Patrick Ryan (December 30, 1920 – December 31, 1999), best known by his stage name, Jack Lord, was an American television, film and Broadway actor and director and producer. He was known for his starring role as Steve McGarrett in the American television program Hawaii Five-O from 1968 to 1980. Lord appeared in feature films earlier in his career, among them Man of the West (1958). He was the first actor to play the recurring character Felix Leiter in Dr. No, the first James Bond film.


  • Early years 1
  • Career 2
    • Hawaii Five-O 2.1
  • Artist 3
  • Personal life 4
  • Death 5
  • Memorial 6
  • Filmography 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Early years

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Lord was the son of Irish-American parents. His father, William Lawrence Ryan, was a steamship company executive.[1] He grew up in Morris Park[2] (now known as Richmond Hill), Queens, New York.

Young Lord developed his equestrian skills on his mother's fruit farm[3] in the Hudson River Valley. He started spending summers at sea, and from the deck of cargo ships,[4] painted and sketched the landscapes he encountered — Africa, the Mediterranean and China. He was educated at St. Benedict Joseph Labre School,[2] John Adams High School, in Ozone Park, New York, and the United States Merchant Marine Academy,[5] then located at Fort Trumbull in New London, Connecticut, graduating as an Ensign[6] with a Third Mates License. He attended New York University (NYU) on a football scholarship,[1][4] and earned a degree in Fine Arts.

He spent the first year of the United States' involvement in World War II with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, building bridges in Persia.[2] He returned to the Merchant Marines [7] as an Able Seaman before enrolling in the deck officer course at Fort Trumbull. While making maritime training films, he took to the idea of acting.


Lord received theatrical training from Actors Studio.[10]

His Broadway debut was as Slim Murphy in Horton Foote's The Traveling Lady with Kim Stanley.[11][12] The show ran for 30 performances, October 27, 1954 through November 20, 1954. Lord won the Theatre World Award[13] for his performance. Lord was then cast as Brick[14] in a replacement for Ben Gazzara in the 1955–1956 production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.[15] He had been in The Little Hut (his first play), The Illegitimist, and The Savage.

His first commercial film role was in the 1949 film[9] The Red Menace a.k.a. Project X, an anti-Communist production. He was associate producer in his 1950 film Cry Murder. In 1957, Lord starred in Williamsburg: the Story of a Patriot,[16] which has run daily at Colonial Williamsburg since then. In 1958, Lord co-starred as Buck Walden in God's Little Acre,[17] the film adaptation of Erskine Caldwell's 1933 novel.

Lord was the first actor to play the character Felix Leiter[18] in the James Bond film series, introduced in the first Bond film, Dr. No. According to screenwriter Richard Maibaum, Lord demanded co-star billing, a bigger role and more money to reprise the role[19] in Goldfinger, which resulted in director Guy Hamilton casting Cec Linder in the role.

In 1962, Lord starred as series namesake Stoney Burke,[20] a rodeo cowboy from Mission Ridge, South Dakota. The basis for the series was real-life champion rodeo rider Casey Tibbs.[21] The series featured Warren Oates and Bruce Dern in recurring supporting roles. Lord credited Gary Cooper as his on-screen role model,[8] and the inspiration for his characterization of Stoney Burke.

Lord was considered for Eliot Ness in The Untouchables before Robert Stack won the role.[22] In 1965 he guest-starred as Colonel 'Pres' Gallagher in second season episode 5, "Big Brother" of 12 O-Clock High. Other television guest appearances include Appointment with Adventure, The Americans, Bonanza, High Chaparral, Combat!, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Reporter starring Harry Guardino, The Fugitive, The Invaders, Rawhide, Ironside, and The F.B.I.

Lord appeared on the first episode of Have Gun, Will Travel. In 1968, Lord appeared with Susan Strasberg in the film The Name of the Game is Kill.[23]

According to William Shatner,[24] in 1966, Gene Roddenberry offered Lord the role of Captain James T. Kirk on Star Trek, to replace Jeffrey Hunter, whose wife was making too many demands. Lord asked for 50 percent ownership of the show, so Roddenberry offered the role to Shatner.

Hawaii Five-O

Lord in 1974.

Jack Lord helped conceive Hawaii Five-O and starred for its 12 seasons as Detective Steven McGarrett, appointed by the Governor to head the (fictional) State Police criminal investigation department in Honolulu, Hawaii.[25] The opening sequence includes a shot of Lord standing on a penthouse balcony of The Ilikai hotel. Chin Ho Kelly,[26] the name of the police detective played by Kam Fong, was a tip-of-the-hat to Ilikai developer Chinn Ho. Lord's catchphrase, "Book him, Danno!",[25] became a part of pop culture. He was instrumental in the casting of native Hawaiians, instead of mainland actors.[25] Lord insisted his character drive Ford vehicles; McGarrett drove a 1967 Mercury Park Lane in the pilot, a 1968 Park Lane from 1968–1974, and a 1974 Mercury Marquis for the remainder of the series (this very car was shown in the 2010 remake).[27] Lord was a perfectionist. At the airing of its last episode, Hawaii Five-O was the longest-running cop show in television history at that time.

When series creator Leonard Freeman died in 1974, the show's ownership was shared among Lord, CBS and Freeman's estate,[25] with a contract that made Lord executive producer and gave him complete control over content. He was a hands-on partner who paid attention to minute details,[8] and was known for battles with network executives.


During his years at NYU, Lord and his brother Bill opened the Village Academy of Arts.[2] Jack's childhood dream was to become an artist. His first professional sale was in 1941 to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for his two linoleum cuts, entitled Vermont and Fishing Shacks, Block Island.[1]

Personal life

Lord's first marriage to Anne Willard ended in divorce in 1947.[1] Lord met his son (from his first marriage) only once when the boy was an infant. The boy was later killed in an accident at age 13.[27]

Jack met his second wife while house hunting in upstate New York.[28] On January 17, 1949, Lord married Marie de Narde,[2] who gave up her career in fashion design to devote her life to him. Marie designed Lord's off-camera wardrobe, as well as her own.

Lord was a chain-smoker who failed at traditional methods of quitting. According to Lord, it was his faith in God which broke him of his habit.[8] Lord and a friend visited a Catholic church where both knelt while Lord promised God he would stop smoking.

Lord was known for being a cultured man who loved reading poetry out loud on the set of his television show and for being reclusive[8] at his Honolulu home.

Cinematographers sometimes refer to a 50mm lens ('5-0') as a "Jack Lord" in reference to the name of the show that made him famous.[29]


After his series ended in 1980, Lord kept a low profile, rarely making public appearances. His final TV appearance was that same year in a failed pilot for a new CBS series called M Station: Hawaii which he also directed. Lord suffered from Alzheimer's disease for two years before his death.[30][31] He died of congestive heart failure at his home in Honolulu, Hawaii, on December 31, 1999, at age 79, leaving an estate of $40 million. He was a philanthropist and the entire estate went to Hawaiian charities upon his wife Marie's death in 2005.[32]


A bronze bust of Lord by Hawaii sculptor Lynn Weiler Liverton was unveiled in a ceremony at the Kahala Mall on June 19, 2004. The Lords lived in a condominium in the Kahala area, and they were known to frequent the neighborhood mall. The nonprofit Jack Lord Memorial Fund, which raised the money for the memorial, was co-chaired by British Hawaii Five-O fan Esperanza Isaac and Lord's co-star Doug Mossman.[33][34]


Year Title Role Notes
1949 The Red Menace aka Project X John Bates
1950 The Tattooed Stranger Det. Deke Del Vecchio Uncredited
1950 Cry Murder Tommy Warren Associate producer
1955 The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell Lt. Cmdr. Zachary 'Zack' Lansdowne
1956 The Vagabond King Ferrebouc
1957 Tip on a Dead Jockey Jimmy Heldon
1957 Williamsburg: the Story of a Patriot John Fry
1958 The True Story of Lynn Stuart Willie Down
1958 God's Little Acre Buck Walden
1958 Man of the West Coaley Tobin
1959 The Hangman Johnny Bishop
1960 Walk Like a Dragon Lincoln "Linc" Bartlett
1962 Dr. No Felix Leiter
1966 The Doomsday Flight Special Agent Frank Thompson Television film
1967 Ride to Hangman's Tree Guy Russell
1968 The Counterfeit Killer Don Owens
1968 The Name of the Game is Kill Symcha Lipa
1980 M Station: Hawaii Admiral Henderson Television film
Executive producer
Final on-screen role
1996 Jerry Maguire Det Capt Steve McGarrett Uncredited
Archive footage
2000 Screwed Det Capt Steve McGarrett Uncredited
Archive footage
Year Title Role Episode title/ Notes
1954 Man Against Crime The Chinese Dolls
1954 Suspense String
1955 Danger Season for Murder
1955 Armstrong Circle Theatre Buckskin
1955 Appointment with Adventure Bill Five in Judgment
1955 The Elgin Hour Lieutenant Davis Combat Medics
1956 The Philco Television Playhouse This Land is Mine
1956 Omnibus One Nation
1956 Westinghouse Studio One Paul Chester An Incident of Love
1956 Westinghouse Studio One Matt A Day Before Battle
1957 Conflict Pattern for Violence
1957 Climax! Charlie Mullaney Mr. Runyon of Broadway
1957 Have Gun – Will Travel Dave Enderby Three Bells to Perdido
1957 Gunsmoke Myles Brandell
Nate Brandell
Doc's Reward
1957 Playhouse 90 Jim Kester Lone Woman
1958 Playhouse 90 Homer Aswell Reunion
1958 U.S. Marshal Matt Bonner Sentenced to Death
1958 The Millionaire Lee Randolph The Lee Randolph Story
1959 Rawhide Blake Incident of the Calico Gun
1959 The Loretta Young Show Joe Marriage Crisis
1959 The Untouchables Bill Hagen The Jake Lingle Killing
1959 The Lineup Army Armitage The Strange Return of Army Armitage
1959 Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond Dan Gardner Father Image
1960 Bonanza Clay Renton The Outcast
1960 Naked City Cary Glennon The Human Trap
1961 Route 66 Gabe Johnson Play It Glissando
1961 The Americans Charlie Goodwin Half Moon Road
1961 Outlaws Jim Houston The Bell
1961 Stagecoach West Russ Doty House of Violence
1961 Stagecoach West Johnny Kane The Butcher
1961 Rawhide Paul Evans Incident of His Brother's Keeper
1961 Cain's Hundred Wilt Farrell Dead Load
1962 Checkmate Ernie Chapin The Star System
1962 Here's Hollywood Himself May 18, 1962
1962–1963 Stoney Burke Stoney Burke 32 episodes
1964 Dr. Kildare Dr. Frank Michaels A Willing Suspension of Disbelief
1964 The Greatest Show on Earth Wally Walker Man in a Hole
1964 The Reporter Nick Castle How Much for a Prince?
1965 Wagon Train Lee Barton The Echo Pass Story
1965 Kraft Suspense Theatre Paul Campbell The Long Ravine
1965 The Loner Reverend Mr. Booker The Vespers
1965 Combat! Barney McKlosky The Linesman
1965 Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre Abe Perez The Crime
1965 Twelve O'Clock High Lt. Col. Preston Gallagher Big Brother
1966 Laredo Jab Harlan Above the Law
1966 Twelve O'Clock High Col. Yates Face of a Shadow
1966 The F.B.I. Frank Andreas Shroeder Collison Course
1966 The Virginian Roy Dallman High Stakes
1966 Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre Don Owens The Faceless Man
1966 Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre Harry Marcus Storm Crossing
1966 The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson Himself
1967 The Invaders George Vikor Vikor
1967 The Fugitive Alan Bartlett Goodbye My Love
1967 Ironside John Trask Dead Man's Tale
1967 The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Pharos Mandor The Master's Touch
1968 The High Chaparral Dan Brookes The Kinsman
1968–1980 Hawaii Five-O Det.Capt. Steve McGarrett 281 episodes
1969 The Mike Douglas Show Himself
1969 The Ed Sullivan Show Himself Audience bow
1978 30th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards Himself
1979 Good Morning America Himself
1980 The Whales That Wouldn't Die Narrator
1999 The James Bond Story Felix Leiter Archive footage
2007 La tele de tu vida Det Capt .Steve McGarrett Archive footage


  1. ^ a b c d Day, Carol (9 February 1998). "Stranger in Paradise". People 49 (5). 
  2. ^ a b c d e "About Jack Lord, Actor and Artist". The Richmond Hill Historical Society. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "Book 'em Danno-Jack Lord Dies". Star-News. 23 January 1998. 
  4. ^ a b Mifflin, Lawrie (23 January 1998). "Jack Lord, 77, Helped Direct And Starred In 'Hawaii Five-O". The New York Times. 
  5. ^ Peterson, B (12 January 1992). "Jack Lord Remained in Hawaii to Paint". The Buffalo News. 
  6. ^ Laurent, Lawrence (1 July 1973). "Jack Lord Finds Heaven in Hawaii". The Toledo Blade. 
  7. ^ Rawlins, Michael R (2003). The Last American Sailors: A Wild Ride in the Modern Merchant Marine. IUniverse. p. 47.  
  8. ^ a b c d e Laurent, Lawrence (16 January 1972). "No Resting, Coasting for Lord". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. 
  9. ^ a b Vallance, Tom (23 January 1998). "Obituary: Jack Lord". The Independent-UK. 
  10. ^ Brode, Douglas; Parker, Fess (2009). Shooting Stars of the Small Screen: Encyclopedia of TV Western Actors, 1946–present. University of Texas Press. p. 204.  
  11. ^ "The Traveling Lady". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved 23 May 2010. 
  12. ^ Krampner, Jon (2006). Female Brando: The Legend of Kim Stanley. Back Stage Books. p. 87.  
  13. ^ "Theatre World Awards". Theatre World Awards. Retrieved 23 May 2010. 
  14. ^ "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved 23 May 2010. 
  15. ^ "Jack Lord Obit". Theatre World: 252. 1997–1998. 
  16. ^ "Williamsburg: the Story of a Patriot". Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  17. ^ Jarlett, Franklin (1977). Robert Ryan: A Biography and Critical Filmography. McFarland & Company. p. 233.  
  18. ^ The Staff and Friends of Scarecrow (2004). The Scarecrow Video Movie Guide. Sasquatch Books. p. 569.  
  19. ^ Goldberg, Lee The Richard Maibaum Interview p.26 Starlog #68 March 1983
  20. ^ Jackson, Ronald (2008). 50 Years Of The Television Western. AuthorHouse. p. 290.  
  21. ^ Allen, Michael (1998). Rodeo Cowboys In The North American Imagination. University of Nevada Press. p. 47.  
  22. ^ Tucker, Kenneth (2000). Eliot Ness and the Untouchables: The Historical Reality and the Film and Television Depictions. McFarland & Company. p. 49.  
  23. ^ Lisanti, Tom (2010). Fantasy Femmes of Sixties Cinema: Interviews With 20 Actresses from Biker, Beach, and Elvis Movies. McFarland & Company. p. 274.  
  24. ^ Shatner, William; Fisher, David (2009). Up Till Now: The Autobiography. St. Martin's Griffin. p. 119.  
  25. ^ a b c d Taylor, Philip M; Roberts, Graham (2005). The Historian, Television, and Television History. University Of Luton Press. pp. 77–94.  
  26. ^ Rhodes, Karen (1997). Booking Hawaii Five-O : An Episode Guide and Critical History of the 1968–1980 Television Detective Series. McFarland & Company. p. 31.  
  27. ^ a b Peck, Michael. "TV Guide-Our Take". TV Guide (TV Guide) (28 July 2005). 
  28. ^ Hanneman, Mufi (October 15, 2014). "The Jack Lord Only His Secretary Knew". Midweek (Honolulu Star Advertiser). 
  29. ^ "A-Z Guide of Film Production Terms". Kinema. 2008. 
  30. ^ Fernandez, Collin (13 December 2007). "My battle with Alzheimer's". Daily Mail. 
  31. ^ Donnelley, Paul (2003). Fade to Black: A Book of Movie Obituaries. Omnibus Press. pp. 434, 435.  
  32. ^ Daysog, Rick (22 January 2006). "From Jack and Marie Lord, a parting gift of $40 million". Honolulu Advertiser. 
  33. ^ Ryan, Tim (17 June 2004). "Busted!". Honolulu Advertiser. 
  34. ^ "Jack Lord Statue". Hawaii Five-O Fan Club. Retrieved 23 May 2010. 

External links

Preceded by
Felix Leiter actor
Succeeded by
Cec Linder
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