logo
Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Jack Lord's Wife 'Adamantly Denied' He Was Ill despite 'Harsh Criticism' during Last Years of His Life

Olawale Ogunjimi
Jun 24, 2022
11:40 P.M.
Share this pen
FacebookFacebookTwitterTwitterLinkedInLinkedInEmailEmail

The actor's health significantly declined a few years before Jack Lord died. However, his wife denied he was ill, despite being harshly criticized by the public. Why did she keep her husband's health hidden? Find out.

Advertisement

Before his demise, Jack Lord was many things, such as an American television and film actor, producer, and director.

With a regular appearance on "Hawaii Five-O," a CBS television program that ran from 1960 to 1980, the legend gained immense recognition and stamped his place as one of the best in Hollywood.

Headshot of US actor Jack Lord in a profile in a publicity portrait issued for the US television series. 'Hawaii Five-0', USA, circa 1975. | Source: Getty Images

Headshot of US actor Jack Lord in a profile in a publicity portrait issued for the US television series. 'Hawaii Five-0', USA, circa 1975. | Source: Getty Images

Advertisement

However, Lord's career was not the only thing that put his name on the map. The actor's long-term marriage with his second wife, Marie De Narde, also made him a frequent topic of discussion.

Lord and De Narde were married for almost five decades before the former's tragic demise in 1998. The pair first met in 1946 in one of the most unconventional ways.

At the time, De Narde was an independent and wealthy woman with a thriving career as a fashion designer. She had built an L-shaped stone house in New York with no intention of selling it.

Actor Jack Lord and wife Marie attend the Eighth Annual American Film Institute (AFI) Lifetime Achievement Award Salute to James Stewart on February 28, 1980 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images

Actor Jack Lord and wife Marie attend the Eighth Annual American Film Institute (AFI) Lifetime Achievement Award Salute to James Stewart on February 28, 1980 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images

Advertisement

However, one evening, when she returned home from work, De Narde found a letter from a man offering to buy the house. The man's offer was meager, making De Narde pay no attention. Later, she started getting several phone calls at the apartment, but she didn't respond.

Eventually, De Narde would discover that the caller (Lord) had gotten her number from the proprietor at a local market, which he stopped at.

American actor Jack Lord (1920 - 1998), circa 1965. | Source: Getty Images

American actor Jack Lord (1920 - 1998), circa 1965. | Source: Getty Images

Advertisement

Then, she received a message with a plea to return the calls. De Narde finally called the persistent caller, and after he introduced himself as a sailor, she would discover that it was not Lord who had written the letter.

De Narde felt terrible about keeping the actor waiting and decided to meet up with him. When they finally met, the fashion designer said she was surprised to see a handsome man and was instantly smitten.

De Narde would later tell reporters that she and Lord spoke for five hours. Not long after, the pair started dating, and their love blossomed despite De Narde being older by 15 years.

Jack Lord (1920-1998), US actor, in a studio portrait, circa 1950. | Source: Getty Images

Jack Lord (1920-1998), US actor, in a studio portrait, circa 1950. | Source: Getty Images

Advertisement

After dating for a while, Lord proposed to his future wife by asking her to move to the West Coast with him, and she agreed.

There have been many reports about the couple's wedding date, most stating that they tied the knot on January 17, 1949. After their marriage, De Narde dedicated her life to caring for her husband and even sacrificed her career for him.

Actor Jack Lord and wife Marie Denarde attend the 13th Annual American Film Institute (AFI) Lifetime Achievement Award Salute to Gene Kelly on March 7, 1985 at Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images

Actor Jack Lord and wife Marie Denarde attend the 13th Annual American Film Institute (AFI) Lifetime Achievement Award Salute to Gene Kelly on March 7, 1985 at Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images

Advertisement

Cast members of "Hawaii Five-O" could attest to De Narde's "motherly" acts towards Lord, describing her as a gracious woman. Overall, the fashion designer was indeed a blessing sent to the actor. They appeared to be head over heels in love, holding each other's hands in public.

During interviews, Lord was always full of praise for his wife. Once, he credited De Narde for giving his life purpose. In his words:

"Meeting her made all the difference. I might have sailed on merchant ships for the rest of my life. She gave my life a purpose."

Actor Jack Lord and wife Gloria Berlin attend the premiere of "Morning At 7" on October 11, 1980 at the Lyceum Theater in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Actor Jack Lord and wife Gloria Berlin attend the premiere of "Morning At 7" on October 11, 1980 at the Lyceum Theater in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Advertisement

The director also knew that his wife's constant encouragement and support were two reasons he did not give up on his dreams. According to the Hollywood star:

"I think my whole life has been an effort to become the man she thought I was."

MARIE DENIED JACK WAS ILL TO PROTECT HIM

Jack Lord (1920-1998), US actor, wearing a white polo neck jumper and posing with his head resting against his hand, in a studio portrait, circa 1950. | Source: Getty Images

Jack Lord (1920-1998), US actor, wearing a white polo neck jumper and posing with his head resting against his hand, in a studio portrait, circa 1950. | Source: Getty Images

Advertisement

In the 1980s, De Narde and Lord's union faced one of the ultimate tests, but the former proved how much she cared for her husband.

At the time, there were reports that the actor's health was declining. The rumors revealed that Lord appeared not to remember people he knew.

Some people also claimed to often see the "The Hangman" star sitting at the same place near a local shopping mall, oblivious to things happening around him.

Profile of Jack Lord (1920-1998), US actor, wearing a black cowboy hat and a white fleece jacket with a red neckerchief, circa 1970. | Source: Getty Images

Profile of Jack Lord (1920-1998), US actor, wearing a black cowboy hat and a white fleece jacket with a red neckerchief, circa 1970. | Source: Getty Images

Advertisement

However, despite all the speculations, De Narde denied her husband's ill health. Later, more reports revealed that Lord was always disoriented in public, and his wife was paying people to bring him home.

Still, De Narde denied anything was wrong with Lord, telling everyone that asked that her husband was okay. Once when Lord's co-star, James MacArthur, visited Hawaii and had lunch with De Narde, Lord refused to join them.

When MacArthur asked about Lord and his health, the fashion designer said her husband was doing well.

American actor Jack Lord (1920 - 1998) with his wife Marie De Narde, circa 1988. | Source: Getty Images

American actor Jack Lord (1920 - 1998) with his wife Marie De Narde, circa 1988. | Source: Getty Images

Advertisement

As the years went by, more rumors surfaced, and at some point, there were speculations that Lord was battling Alzheimer's.

Nevertheless, De Narde did everything possible to protect her husband's image. When Lord eventually became more ill, she kept him away from the public eye and refused to reveal how bad his condition was.

De Narde believed that Lord's battle was theirs to fight. She continued to look after him like she had always done until the very end.

American actor Jack Lord (1920 - 1998), circa 1980. | Source: Getty Images

American actor Jack Lord (1920 - 1998), circa 1980. | Source: Getty Images

Advertisement

To date, many wonder what fueled De Narde's decision to keep her husband's ill health a secret. For Author Sylvia D. Lynch, she believed it was customary for celebrities to keep certain issues away from the public. In her book "Jack Lord: An Acting Life," she said:

"There does seem to be an expectation from the public that celebrities should somehow be exempt from human faults and shortcomings, and Jack Lord was certainly no exception. Perhaps it is simply a reluctance to see Jack Lord as anything less than Steve McGarrett."

JACK'S WIFE OF 49 YEARS ADAMANTLY SAFEGUARDED HIS LEGACY AFTER HIS DEATH

Actor Jack Lord attends Sixth Annual American Film Institute Lifetime Achievement Awards Honoring Henry Fonda on March 1, 1978 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images

Actor Jack Lord attends Sixth Annual American Film Institute Lifetime Achievement Awards Honoring Henry Fonda on March 1, 1978 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images

Advertisement

On January 21, 1998, Lord died of heart failure at his home in Honolulu. The icon was 77, and De Narde survived him. Following his demise, De Narde released a statement that read(via AP News):

"Jack loved acting, and he loved these islands. Through all his years, he was blessed with kindness and affection and the support of many fans and friends. He always appreciated that and never forgot it."

For the next few years, De Narde kept safeguarding her late husband's legacy until her demise on October 13, 2005, aged 100.

Advertisement
info
Please fill in your e-mail so we can share with you our top stories!
By subscribing, you agree to our Privacy Policy
Advertisement
Related posts

Bruce Willis Struggled to Communicate to the Point That He Could Not Act — His Wife Became His Caregiver

June 01, 2022

Val Kilmer Had a Prophetic Dream about Meeting His Future Wife Joanne Whalley - Marriage Lasted near 8 Years

March 21, 2022

Paul Newman Left 1st Wife to Marry Joanne Woodward Yet Felt Guilty about It His Whole Life

April 19, 2022

Inside Schwarzenegger & Ex-wife’s Longtime Home Where They Lived Amid His Affair With Housekeeper

May 10, 2022