Remembering: Jack Lord
Lord was born John Joseph Ryan in New York City on a December 30, and graduated from New York University where he was the recipient of The Chancellor Chase Scholarship, with a B.S. degree and honors in fine arts. He played varsity football for three years and threw the javelin in track. He is also an expert fencer, with foil or saber, and daring underwater spear-fisherman on weekends.
He has two prints in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. He has exhibited water colors, oils and prints at the Cochran Galleries in Washington, D.C., the American Water Color Society and other art exhibitions. He is a winner of the St. Gaudens Plaque for Fine Arts.
The theater became his number one interest soon after college. He studied two years with the Great Sanford Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse, the last year on a scholarship. But he also found time to practice flying and acquire a seaplane pilot's license. The roving side of his nature got a chance for expression, too, when he spent an interlude during World War II in Persia as a structural steel worker for the U.S. Engineering Department.
Later in the war years he served in the Merchant Marine. He holds an ensign's commission in the U.S. Marine Service and an unlimited Third Mate's ticket in the U.S. Merchant Marine.
He returned to his home town to earn a very good living as a car salesman.
His first love has always been painting but he realized the difficulty in achieving recognition in the art field regardless of one’s talent. So he found himself at the Neighborhood Playhouse on an acting scholarship. Thus emerged Jack Lord.
Jack turned out excellent performances in several plays and films but didn’t really attract the public’s eye until he created the character of cowboy Stoney Burke on television in 1962.
From it's lightning fast opening video sequence, and the distinctive theme to the inevitable "Book em Danno!" Hawaii Five-O remains one of the most distinctive and captivating shows to ever hit American Television. It ran from the 1968 to 1981 season on CBS, and has been in syndication ever since.
Jack Lord starred as the stolid, methodical, and downright intimidating Steve McGarrett, head of Hawaii's elite State Police Agency "Five-O". McGarrett was a very private man as far as his personal life is concerned, however it is known that McGarrett was a former Naval Intelligence Officer. Jack Lord's portrayal of McGarrett was flawless. When he screeched up to a stop in that big, black Mercury - everyone KNEW who was in charge. McGarrett seldom showed emotion, and always was thinking, staying one step ahead of his adversaries. His arch enemy throughout the series was a criminal mastermind by the name of Wo Fat. McGarrett's character could be described as James Bond meets Matt Dillon. TV's ultimate tough cop to be sure.
February 1970 - Jack and his wife, Marie De Narde, a former fashion designer, travel back and forth between their homes in California and Hawaii where Jack’s current series Hawaii Five-0 is based. They’ve been married for 19 years and have no children because they insist they only need each other.
"I'm strictly a sunshine man, a day person," confides Jack Lord. "I hate the night. I love to watch the Hawaiian sunrise, so I go to bed early and get up daily."
The slim, hard-muscled actor said he and his lovely wife, Marie, regularly hit the sack by 9 o'clock. He's up at 4:30 a.m. for his body-toning run on the beach. Then Marie prepares a he-man size breakfast before his chauffeured lim zips him to the studio.
Besides being wrapped up in his devoted Marie and the Hawaii Five-0 show, Jack still finds time for his writing and painting. He's putting the finishing touches on his book, "Jack Lord's Hawaii," and currently has a flock of paintings on exhibit in Honolulu. Flowers are his favorite art subject.
"I'm a flower freak," he confesses, laughing. "I'm mesmerized by the huge variety and different, fascinating colors of flowers that grow in the islands."
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