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'Hawaii Five-0' Jack Lord's Secretary Recalls the Last Time They Met before He Died

Odette Odendaal
Mar 14, 2019
07:48 P.M.

When one thinks of the original “Hawaii Five-O” series, an image of the late Jack Lord is bound to pop up even though it's been 20 years since his death. Looking back on those years, his secretary and close friend for many years shared their last moments together.

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The dashing actor was adored by fans, costars, and people in his private life alike. He took his work seriously and expected the same from others.

He was in fact so serious about it that anyone who knew him as well as Margaret Doversola did, literally saw him and his character morph into one as she said:

“On the day we filmed Hawaii Five-0‘s final episode, Wo Fat was sitting in his jail cell, he twisted the heel of his shoe, pulled out a lock pick with his eyes glinting as if hinting he would not be locked up for long. Jack turned to me with excitement, he grinned from ear to ear, his eyes lit up, and his voice pitch rose, ‘Margaret, go get a photographer. We got Wo Fat, and we’re making history!”

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That is the moment Margaret knew there was no difference between the character Steve McGarrett and Jack Lord anymore. The actor didn’t like the Hollywood lifestyle and moved to Hahala in Hawaii with his wife Marie first chance he got.

When the couple moved, Margaret continued to work for Jack and Marie. She became a sought after casting director in Hawaii and was Marie’s lunchmate, apart from her work for the couple she was a close friend to them both.

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The last time Margaret saw her beloved friend Jack was during a visit to their home as she recalled:

“Marie invited me in. He was sitting in his living room wearing his favorite weathered, gray tennis shoes, which he often wore trekking across the streets of Kahala as an avid runner. He looked up at me, his eyes lit up once again — but this time, Alzheimer’s had taken over his body and his ability to speak. It was the saddest moment of my life.”

On January 21, 1998, Jack died at the age of 88 from congestive heart failure in Honolulu. The later scattered Jack’s ashed in the waters off the couple’s Kahala condo.

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Being the revered actor that he was, it was painting that was his real passion. Jack majored in art at New York University on a football scholarship and once said, “I’d rather paint than eat.”

Before he decided to take up acting, Jack ran an art school in Greenwich Village, but he made the decision and paid for his studies at the Neighbourhood Playhouse by selling Cadillacs.

The actor’s movie career never really took off and Jack focused more on television where his luck seemed to be much better, and starred in series such as “The Untouchables,” “Route 66,” and “Bonanza.”

"A star like Jack is money in the bank. He's always on time, no bags under his eyes and he always knows his lines," one of the producers he worked with said.

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Finally, Jack got offered the lead in the crime series “Hawaii Five-O” in 1968 which made him a household name.

Another role Jack turned down perhaps would have done the same. The lead role of Captain Kirk in Star Trek initially got offered to Jack, but when he reportedly wanted 50% ownership fees, William Shatner turned out to be cheaper.

Shortly before Christmas last year, William Shatner, who hardly makes headlines by Hollywood standards, received major backlash from fans regarding his Christmas song choices.

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