R.I.P. Al Harrington, the Honolulu local who became a big part of Hawaii Five-O
The multitalented man was a regular on both Hawaii Five-O shows, decades apart.
Al Harrington was a natural to play a part on Hawaii Five-O. Born in American Samoa, the Pago Pago native later grew up in Hawaii, where his stepfather, Roy Milbur Harrington, was a cop for the Honolulu Police Department. In his youth, Harrington excelled at both performing on both the stage and the football field. The Baltimore Colts showed interest in him, but he opted to head back to Hawaii to work as a dancer.
His fascinating career later led him to become both a history professor and a successful dancer-entertainer dubbed "The South Pacific Man." His regional fame on the island led his part on Hawaii Five-O, which filmed on location in Honolulu.
Harrington joined the cast as a regular in season five as Ben Kokua, one of the few supporting stars alongside McGarrett (Jack Lord) and Danno (James MacArthur). He acted on the series for three years, through season seven.
But it was not his last stint on (a) Hawaii Five-O. Four decades later, he landed a recurring gig on the reboot, Hawaii Five-0. His new character, Mamo Kahike, was created as an old friend of the McGarretts.
In between those two distinct stints on the detective franchise, he popped up in guest roles on Jake and the Fatman, The Jeffersons and Scrubs.
On September 21, Harrington passed away in Honolulu, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He was 85.