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.

The Everett Collection

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.

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Skippy007 33 months ago
My wife’s aunt was Peggy Ryan who played Peggy the secretary on Hawaii 5-O. I was a flooring manager in Palm Springs when I went to measure a house for flooring it was the guys who started the new Hawaii 5-0. They told me they were trying to get James Mcauthur tube in the new show but he pasted away before they could start the new show. To bad it’s not on metv
dangler1907 Skippy007 33 months ago
Many seasons of the original 5-0 were on MeTV not that long ago. They reminded me of how good that show really was. Sorry you missed.
JeanInTN 33 months ago
So sad to see this. I saw his show years ago on two or three different occasions when I had the opportunity to vacation in Waikiki. We loved it; he was a fantastic entertainer and the show also had a talented cast of performers. The buffet dinner was delicious, too!
Tuckfrump 33 months ago
I was stationed in Hawaii from Dec. ‘69 till June 24 ‘71. I was a extra on 5-0 in episode 9 in season 3. The name of the episode was “ The late John Louisiana” our 1st Sgt. Was friends with James McArthur. Many of the guys I was stationed with would appear as extras. I was paid $35 and $5 for a wardrobe change. Which consisted of a shirt change.
dangler1907 Tuckfrump 33 months ago
I hope you got four shirts and a big lunch for big money like that. ;)
jt4324464 33 months ago
Love this show I want to binge but I don’t know where they gave reruns
AgingDisgracefully 33 months ago
Does anyone remember James MacArthur dying just a month after the reboot commenced?
Coincidence? Probably.
Tommy2gs 33 months ago
Ponderosa was a great deal. The jingle: "square meal, fair deal at ponderosa ". Burger chef was the very first hamburger joint before mcdonalds. My first job in high school was at the one in cranston RI. Jingle went something like this: " for 15 cents, a nickel and a dime, at burger chef you eat better every time, for a nickel and a dime will get you french fried potatoes, big thick shakes, and the best burgers ....."
StrayCat 33 months ago
My wife and I honeymooned at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Honolulu. The nightclub there had a fantastic show called “Al Harrington’s Hawaii” where he related and acted out Hawaii’s history, something I’ll never forget. This was at the time he was on Hawaii Five O.

Incidentally, the Hawaiian Village provided the set for Cricket Blake’s (Connie Stevens) camera shop featured in the TV series Hawaiian Eye.
TheDavBow3 33 months ago
Very sad to hear. Loved that was part of both Hawaii Five-0s. R.I.P.
Runeshaper 33 months ago
R.I.P. Al Harrington. Sounds like he was a very talented man (-:
Mark 33 months ago
Of course no episode of H5O has aired on METV in roughly five years.
cperrynaples Mark 33 months ago
True, but Paramount Plus has both versions for streaming!
LoveMETV22 Mark 33 months ago
Your right found this clip on Youtube from 2017. Just thought I'd share:
segarolow4 Mark 33 months ago
Just get it all on DVD. I have all 12 seasons of 5-0 on DVD.
They don't make them like 5-0 anymore.They don't know how to do it.. And I think the new 5-0 is a joke.
And don't waste my time with it.
But that is just me!
Mark 33 months ago
The third (original series) H5O regular to die this year. Doug Mossman who played Detective Frank Kamana and several other roles in the series died at 88 on May 18. William Smith who became a regular in the unwatchable 12th season died on July 5 also at the age of 88. While several of the Hawaiians who could be called the Hawaii Five-O players are still alive Sharon Farrell who played Lori Wilson in the infamous 12th season is the only H5O regular still living. By the way the only 12th season episode ever to air on METV was the finale "Woe to Wo Fat" and that too was awful.
KJExpress Mark 33 months ago
A family member has the whole series on DVD so I breezed through it until I got to Season 12. I got about 5 or 6 episodes into it before I called it quits. I couldn't stand the new team, although I think Duke was still there? And Steve's leisure suits....ugh!
machiko1 33 months ago
Hawaii Five O was one of my mother’s favorite shows. She loved it when McGarrett would say, “Book ‘em Danny”.😂I enjoyed it too especially the theme song. RIP Al Harrington
TheSentinel machiko1 33 months ago
It was actually "Book 'em, Danno", but yeah, it was an enjoyable show. I remember first watching the show during its later seasons (with the lineup of Steve McGarrett, Dan Williams, Chin Ho Kelly and Duke Lukela) when it was first on and I have the DVD sets of seasons 8-10, so that brings back memories.
MrsPhilHarris 33 months ago
I can vaguely remember this on tv when I was a kid but I couldn’t describe an episode. If it was on Sunday night at 7 or 8 I would tune in, but then I would tune in to just about anything at that time, except Monk, Saved By The Bell, Three’s Company or Mama’s Family.

BrittReid 33 months ago
Always liked Hawaii Five -O. Great show and theme song. R.I.P. Al Harrington.
KJExpress 33 months ago
Just watched an episode of the original Hawaii Five-O not even knowing he had passed. 🙁

Way, WAY too many obits lately!
Runeshaper KJExpress 33 months ago
I was just thinking that to myself. Super sad )-:
LoveMETV22 33 months ago
R.I.P. Al Harrington. Always Enjoyed Hawaii Five-O (Oh) as apposed to the reboot Five-0 (zero). The original was better IMO.
Maverick66 LoveMETV22 33 months ago
Agreed. I enjoyed the original far more - it used actual plot lines rather than relying on shootouts and explosions. Sad to hear that another actor from one of my childhood favorites is gone. Aloha 'oe, Al Harrington.
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