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Jack Lord
Jack Lord Hawaii Five-O.jpg
Lord as Detective Steve McGarrett in Hawaii Five-O
John Joseph Patrick Ryan

(1920-12-30)December 30, 1920
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
DiedJanuary 21, 1998(1998-01-21) (aged 77)
Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S
  • Artist
  • actor
  • director
  • producer
Years active1949–1980
Known forSteve McGarrett in Hawaii Five-O
Ann Cicily Ward
(m. 1944; div. 1947)

Marie De Narde
(m. 1949)

John Joseph Patrick Ryan (December 30, 1920 – January 21, 1998), best known by his stage name, Jack Lord, was an American television, film and Broadway actor, director and producer. He starred as Steve McGarrett in the CBS television program Hawaii Five-O, which ran from 1968 to 1980.[1]

Early years

Born in Bushwick section of Brooklyn, New York, Lord was the son of Irish-American parents. His father, William Lawrence Ryan, was a steamship company executive.[2] He grew up in Morris Park[3] Queens, New York.

As a child, Lord developed his equestrian skills on his mother's fruit farm[4] in the Hudson River Valley. He started spending summers at sea, and from the decks of cargo ships[5] painted and sketched the landscapes he encountered—Africa, the Mediterranean and China. He was educated at St. Benedict Joseph Labre School,[3] John Adams High School, in Ozone Park, Queens, and the United States Merchant Marine Academy,[6] then located at Fort Trumbull in New London, Connecticut, graduating as an Ensign[7] with a Third Mates License. He attended New York University (NYU) on a football scholarship,[2][5] and earned a degree in Fine Arts.

Lord spent the first year of the United States' involvement in World War II with the United States Army Corps of Engineers, building bridges in Persia.[3] He returned to the Merchant Marine as an able seaman before enrolling in the deck officer course at Fort Trumbull.[8] While making maritime training films, Lord took to the idea of acting.


Lord received theatrical training from Sanford Meisner[9] at the Neighborhood Playhouse.[10] He worked first as a car salesman[4] for Horgan Ford, then later as a Cadillac salesman in New York to fund his studies. Later he studied at the Actors Studio.[11]

His Broadway debut was as Slim Murphy in Horton Foote's The Traveling Lady with Kim Stanley.[12][13] The show ran for 30 performances, October 27, 1954, through November 20, 1954. Lord won the Theatre World Award[14] for his performance. Lord was then cast as Brick[15] in a replacement for Ben Gazzara in the 1955–1956 production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.[16] 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[10] 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,[17] which has run daily at Colonial Williamsburg since then. In 1958, Lord co-starred as Buck Walden in God's Little Acre,[18] the film adaptation of Erskine Caldwell's 1933 novel.

Lord was the first actor to play the character Felix Leiter[19] in the James Bond film series, introduced in 1962 in the first Bond film, Dr. No. According to screenwriter Richard Maibaum, Lord then demanded co-star billing, a bigger role and more money to reprise the role[20] in Goldfinger, which resulted in director Guy Hamilton casting Cec Linder in the role.

In 1962, Lord starred as series namesake Stoney Burke,[21] a rodeo cowboy from Mission Ridge, South Dakota. The basis for the series was real-life champion rodeo rider Casey Tibbs.[22] The series featured Warren Oates and Bruce Dern in recurring supporting roles. Lord credited Gary Cooper as his on-screen role model,[9] and the inspiration for his characterization of Stoney Burke.

Lord was considered for Eliot Ness in The Untouchables before Robert Stack won the role.[23] He did appear in the Season One episode "The Jake Lingle Killing." 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, Gunsmoke, The 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, he appeared with Susan Strasberg in the film The Name of the Game Is Kill!.[24]

According to William Shatner,[25] 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.
Lord in 1974.

Lord starred in Hawaii Five-O for its 12 seasons (1968 to 1980) as Detective Steve McGarrett, appointed by the governor to head the (fictional) State Police criminal investigation department in Honolulu, Hawaii.[26] The opening sequence includes a shot of Lord standing on a penthouse balcony of the Ilikai hotel. Chin Ho Kelly,[27] 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 'em, Danno!",[26] became a part of pop culture. In the original run of the series, (but not in syndication) at the end of each episode would be a promo: "This is Jack Lord inviting you to be with us next week for (name of episode) Be here. Aloha!"He was instrumental in the casting of native Hawaiians, instead of mainland actors.[26] Lord insisted his character drive Ford vehicles; McGarrett drove a 1967 Mercury Park Lane in the pilot, a 1968 Park Lane from 1968 to 1974, and a 1974 Mercury Marquis for the remainder of the series (this very car was shown in the 2010 remake).[28]

When series creator Leonard Freeman died in 1974, the show's ownership was shared among Lord, CBS and Freeman's estate,[26] 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,[9] and was known for battles with network executives.


During his years at NYU, Lord and his brother Bill opened the Village Academy of Arts.[3] 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.[2]

Personal life

Lord's first marriage to Ann Willard ended in divorce in 1947.[2] Lord met his son (from his first marriage) only once when the boy was an infant. He never saw him again, for on August 24, 1955, his son died at the age of 12 following a brief battle with hepatitis (Rainbird, Ibid). He is buried in Fairfield County, Connecticut (state file number 14006). Jack learned of his son's death when his former wife sent him a copy of his death certificate (Rainbird, Ibid). Ann Willard Ryan remarried at some point in the 1950s and died on December 30, 2004.[28]

Lord met his second wife while house hunting in upstate New York.[29] On January 17, 1949, Lord married Marie De Narde,[3] who gave up her career in fashion design to devote her time to him and his career.


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.[30]

In the Scottish comedy series Still Game, one of the characters has a recurring nightmare where he sees the spirit of Lord rising from a coffin. The programme aired three years after Lord's death, with another character asking if Lord is dead, only for the other to say he doesn't know.


After Hawaii Five-O ended in 1980, Lord kept a low profile and was rarely seen in public. 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 (it had been filmed in early 1979, immediately before shooting the final season of Hawaii Five-O). Lord suffered from Alzheimer's disease for at least seven years before his death, though some accounts have suggested that he may have had the illness as early as the final season of Hawaii Five-O, in 1979.[31][32] He died of congestive heart failure at his home in Honolulu, on January 21, 1998, at the age of 77, leaving an estate of $40 million. He was a philanthropist and the entire estate went to Hawaiian charities upon his wife Marie's death at the age of 100 in 2005.[33]


A bronze bust of Lord by Hawaii sculptor Lynn Weiler Liverton was unveiled in a ceremony at the Kahala Mall outside Macy's 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.[34][35]


Year Title Role Notes
1949 The Red Menace aka Project X John Bates
1950 Cry Murder Tommy Warren Associate producer
1950 The Tattooed Stranger Det. Deke Del Vecchio Uncredited
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
1967 The Ride to Hangman's Tree Guy Russell
1968 The Name of the Game Is Kill! Symcha Lipa
1968 The Counterfeit Killer Don Owens
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
1966 The Doomsday Flight Special Agent Frank Thompson Television film
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
1980 M Station: Hawaii Admiral Henderson Television film
Executive producer
Final on-screen role (final film role)
1999 The James Bond Story Felix Leiter Archive footage
2007 La tele de tu vida Det. Capt. Steve McGarrett Archive footage
2016 Hawaii Five-0 (2010 TV series) Steve McGarrett Season 7 - Episode 01 "Makaukau 'oe e Pa'ani?" / "Ready to Play?",
CG effects,
Body double Ken Matepi,
Voiced by Cam Clarke


  1. ^ Vallance, Tom (23 January 1998). "Obituary: Jack Lord". Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d Day, Carol (9 February 1998). "Stranger in Paradise". People. 49 (5).
  3. ^ a b c d e "About Jack Lord, Actor and Artist". The Richmond Hill Historical Society. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  4. ^ a b "Book 'em Danno-Jack Lord Dies". Star-News. 23 January 1998.
  5. ^ a b Mifflin, Lawrie (23 January 1998). "Jack Lord, 77, Helped Direct And Starred In 'Hawaii Five-O". The New York Times.
  6. ^ Peterson, B (12 January 1992). "Jack Lord Remained in Hawaii to Paint". The Buffalo News.
  7. ^ Laurent, Lawrence (1 July 1973). "Jack Lord Finds Heaven in Hawaii". The Toledo Blade.
  8. ^ Rawlins, Michael R (2003). The Last American Sailors: A Wild Ride in the Modern Merchant Marine. IUniverse. p. 47. ISBN 978-0-595-30117-1.
  9. ^ a b c Laurent, Lawrence (16 January 1972). "No Resting, Coasting for Lord". Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
  10. ^ a b Vallance, Tom (23 January 1998). "Obituary: Jack Lord". The Independent-UK.
  11. ^ Brode, Douglas; Parker, Fess (2009). Shooting Stars of the Small Screen: Encyclopedia of TV Western Actors, 1946–present. University of Texas Press. p. 204. ISBN 978-0-292-71849-4.
  12. ^ "The Traveling Lady". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
  13. ^ Krampner, Jon (2006). Female Brando: The Legend of Kim Stanley. Back Stage Books. p. 87. ISBN 978-0-8230-8847-8.
  14. ^ "Theatre World Awards". Theatre World Awards. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
  15. ^ "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
  16. ^ "Jack Lord Obit". Theatre World: 252. 1997–1998.
  17. ^ "Williamsburg: the Story of a Patriot". Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  18. ^ Jarlett, Franklin (1977). Robert Ryan: A Biography and Critical Filmography. McFarland & Company. p. 233. ISBN 978-0-7864-0476-6.
  19. ^ The Staff and Friends of Scarecrow (2004). The Scarecrow Video Movie Guide. Sasquatch Books. p. 569. ISBN 978-1-57061-415-6.
  20. ^ Goldberg, Lee The Richard Maibaum Interview p.26 Starlog #68 March 1983
  21. ^ Jackson, Ronald (2008). 50 Years Of The Television Western. AuthorHouse. p. 290. ISBN 978-1-4343-5925-4.
  22. ^ Allen, Michael (1998). Rodeo Cowboys In The North American Imagination. University of Nevada Press. p. 47. ISBN 978-0-87417-315-4.
  23. ^ Tucker, Kenneth (2000). Eliot Ness and the Untouchables: The Historical Reality and the Film and Television Depictions. McFarland & Company. p. 49. ISBN 978-0-7864-0772-9.
  24. ^ Lisanti, Tom (2010). Fantasy Femmes of Sixties Cinema: Interviews With 20 Actresses from Biker, Beach, and Elvis Movies. McFarland & Company. p. 274. ISBN 978-0-7864-6101-1.
  25. ^ Shatner, William; Fisher, David (2009). Up Till Now: The Autobiography. St. Martin's Griffin. p. 119. ISBN 978-0-312-56163-5.
  26. ^ a b c d Taylor, Philip M; Roberts, Graham (2005). The Historian, Television, and Television History. University Of Luton Press. pp. 77–94. ISBN 978-1-86020-586-6.
  27. ^ Rhodes, Karen (1997). Booking Hawaii Five-O : An Episode Guide and Critical History of the 1968–1980 Television Detective Series. McFarland & Company. p. 31. ISBN 978-0-7864-0171-0.
  28. ^ a b "Biography".
  29. ^ Hanneman, Mufi (October 15, 2014). "The Jack Lord Only His Secretary Knew". Midweek. Honolulu Star Advertiser.
  30. ^ "A-Z Guide of Film Production Terms". Kinema. 2008.
  31. ^ Donnelley, Paul (2003). Fade to Black: A Book of Movie Obituaries. Omnibus Press. pp. 434, 435. ISBN 978-0711995123.
  32. ^ "Hawaii Five-O - The 12th and Final Season". DVD Talk. Retrieved 2019-06-27.
  33. ^ Daysog, Rick (22 January 2006). "From Jack and Marie Lord, a parting gift of $40 million". Honolulu Advertiser.
  34. ^ Ryan, Tim (17 June 2004). "Busted!". Honolulu Advertiser.
  35. ^ "Jack Lord Statue". Hawaii Five-O Fan Club. Retrieved 23 May 2010.

External links

New title Felix Leiter actor
Succeeded by
Steve McGarrett actor
1968 – '78
Succeeded by
This page was last edited on 25 April 2022, at 22:02
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