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Jack Lord
Jack Lord
Jack Lord made a guest appearance as outlaw Clay Renton in the Season 1 "Bonanza" episode "The Outcast" (ep.#17).
Biographical information
Full Name:
Birthname John Joseph Patrick Ryan
Occupation: Actor
Years active: 1949-84
Gender: Male
Birthplace: Brooklyn, NY, U.S.
Place of Death: Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.
Series: Bonanza (TV Series)
No. of appearances: "The Outcast" (Season 1)
First Appeared in:
Last Episode Appearance:
Character played: Clay Renton

Jack Lord (born John Joseph Patrick Ryan on December 30, 1920 - died January 21, 1998) made a guest starring appearance as outlaw Clay Renton in the Bonanza series episode "The Outcast" (episode #17).

During his long film/TV acting career, Jack is best known for his role as Steve McGarrett on the original Hawaii Five-O TV series which aired on CBS-TV from 1968-1981. 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.

Life and career[]

Lord was born in Brooklyn, NY, the son of William Lawrence Ryan, steamship company executive. He learned his equestrian skills at his mother's fruit farm in the Hudson River Valley. At age 15, he started spending summers at sea in the Merchant Marine, and from the deck of ships, painted and sketched the landscapes he encountered; Africa, Mediterranean, China. Education: New York school system, Trumbull Naval Academy, in New London, CT., graduating an Ensign with a Third Mates License. On a football scholarship, New York University securing a degree in Fine Arts. Neighborhood Playhouse in New York, and the Actor's Studio. During World War II he served in the Merchant Navy. While making maritime training films during the Korean War he took to the idea of acting. This is when he decided to attend the Neighborhood Playhouse, working as a Cadillac salesman in New York to fund his studies. Later, at the Actor's Studio, he studied with Marlon Brando, Paul Newman, and Marilyn Monroe. His first work on Broadway was in, "Traveling Lady", "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof"; followed by his first in Hollywood, "Court Martial of Billy Mitchell" with Gary Cooper.

Hawaii Five-O[]

Jack Lord helped conceive Hawaii Five-O and starred for its 12 seasons as Detective Stephen McGarrett, appointed by the Governor to head the (fictional) State Police criminal investigation department in Honolulu, Hawaii.[1] The opening sequence includes a shot of Lord standing on a penthouse balcony of the Ilikai hotel. Chin Ho Kelly,[2] 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!",[1] became a part of pop culture. He was instrumental in the casting of native Hawaiians, instead of mainland actors.[1] 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).

Lord was a perfectionist. At the airing of its last episode, Hawaii Five-O was the longest-running cop show in television history. When series creator Leonard Freeman died in 1974, the show's ownership was shared among Lord, CBS-TV and Freeman's estate,[1] 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,[3] and was known for battles with network executives.

Later years/Death[]

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 CBS called M Station: Hawaii which he also directed. Lord suffered from Alzheimer's disease in his last years. He died of congestive heart failure at his home in Honolulu, Hawaii, on January 21, 1998, at age 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 in 2005.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Taylor, Philip M (2005). pp. 77–94. University Of Luton Press. ISBN 978-1-86020-586-6.
  2. Rhodes, Karen (1997). . McFarland & Company. ISBN 978-0-7864-0171-0.
  3. Laurent, Lawrence. "No Resting, Coasting for Lord", 16 January 1972. 

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