Jack Lord

Jack Lord


12/30/1920, New York, NY, USA



Birth Name

John Joseph Patrick Ryan


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Born John Joseph Patrick Ryan, Jack Lord was the son of a steam freighter executive and a mother who owned a farm north of New York City. Aside from an early career at sea as well as an enlistment in the Merchant Marine (both before and during World…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Jack Lord had a clause in his contracts specifying that wherever a TV series or movie location took him there must be first-class accommodations for two. This was so he could keep his wife (Marie) close to him at all times.

    • Hawaii Five-O producer Leonard Freeman looked at Jack Lord as very much a perfectionist. Freeman once said, "Having a star like Jack is like having money in the bank. He's always on time; no bags under his eyes, and he's credibility casting. When he flashes that badge, people believe him." Prior to the Hawaii Five-O series, Jack Lord and Leonard Freeman had worked together on an unsold pilot called Grand Hotel.

    • Lord trained at the famous New York Actor's Studio with such future movie stars as Paul Newman, Marilyn Monroe, and Marlon Brando.

    • Jack Lord's first Broadway appearances included versions of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Traveling Lady.

    • Lord was a popular sensation in Hawaii - tour buses often ran by his home and he was constantly swamped for autographs. He so identified with the state and the series Hawaii Five-O that he owned a white Cadillac with personalized license plates that read "Five-O."

    • Elvis Presley formed a strong friendship with Jack Lord in 1973, inviting him to a show he was giving in Hawaii, visiting his home on more than one occasion, and personally asking him to be an honored guest at an opening performance in Las Vegas. Presley continued to keep in touch with Lord and his wife until his death in 1977.

    • Jack was considered as a candidate to play James Kirk in the second pilot episode of Star Trek. The possibility fell through when he wanted a financial and production stake in the series.

    • Jack Lord was twice-married. His first marriage to Ann Willard spanned five years and resulted in a child - a son named after him and that he saw only once (as an infant). His son died in a drowning accident at age 13. His second marriage, to Marie DeNarde, lasted from 1954 until his death in 1998. A former fashion designer, Marie DeNarde decorated both their 4,500 square foot condominium and Lord's mobile dressing room.

    • Always athletic and a fan of the outdoors, Jack Lord enjoyed sporting activities including fencing, boating, horseback riding, and underwater spear-fishing. During the shooting of Hawaii Five-O, he would typically run a mile every morning before breakfast.

    • Jack once possessed a seaplane pilot's license and had worked in jobs as varied as steel construction in Persia (Iran today) and automobile sales.

    • Lord was infamous for being imperious and hard to work with. However, fellow Hawaii Five-O performers Kam Fong, Zulu, Harry Endo, and Jimmy Borges have credited him as professional, generous, and normally soft-spoken. Many cast members considered him a friend and a mentor. Jack Lord was 6'2" and liked to appear as the tallest actor on screen - he often wore elevating footwear when appearing with Richard Denning, Al Harrington, and tall guest stars.

    • Jack Lord was once in danger of being replaced by Lloyd Bridges on Hawaii Five-O when he became involved in a bitter dispute with series producer Leonard Freeman.

    • Jack Lord attended college at New York University on a football scholarship. He was a member of the track team as well.

    • Lord's artwork is fairly renowned. He has works in New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art and has had paintings shown at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. and at exhibitions of the American Watercolor Society.

    • Jack Lord held an Ensign's commission and Third Mate's rank in the United States Merchant Marine.

    • Some of Jack Lord's early notable performances include playing CIA agent Felix Leiter in Dr. No and a starring role on the short-lived TV western Stoney Burke. Lord had been offered the Leiter role in Goldfinger, but had to turn it down because he had just signed with Daystar for the role of Stoney Burke.

    • Jack and his wife Marie Lord (who died in October 2005) left an endowment of over 40 million dollars to fund various charities in Hawaii.

    • Though never officially acknowledged, Jack Lord suffered from some type of progressive disease later in life. According to Hawaii Five-O co-star Kam Fong, "we knew he was sick, he was suffering from Alzheimer's...Marie (Lord's wife) would allow no one to visit, not even MacArthur (James, who played detective Danny Williams)."

    • Born John Joseph Patrick Ryan, Lord wanted to use Jack Ryan as a stage name. He found that it was already registered at Actor's Equity to another person, and wanting a simple and direct name, he chose Jack Lord.

  • Quotes

    • Jack Lord: (in a 1971 "Photoplay" interview, speaking of his siblings and father) Dad paid us a penny a line to learn poetry. I memorized hundreds and hundreds of poems, all of which proved useful later when I had to learn lines.

    • Jack Lord: (speaking to "Movie Life Magazine" in 1963) There is a terrible tendency to conform today. Its particularly sad because all the great men and women have had one thing in common - they dared to be different, dared to speak their minds, dared to espouse the unpopular cause.

    • Jack Lord: (telling an interviewer his view of the impact of "Hawaii Five-O" on Hawaii) Hawaii Five-O has given the people of this state a whole industry - the tourist industry - we never had before.

    • Jack Lord: (speaking of his relationship with his second wife Marie in 1972) I never realized that two people could really become one, but that's what's happened to us. Its just a very special relationship.

    • Jack Lord: ( discussing his reputation as a difficult personality) I can't kiss a**. I say what's on my mind.

    • Jack Lord: I love Hawaii. My wife and I really have a deep affection for this place.

  • One of my first "favourite" TV series ever...

    ...was, is and ever-more shall be, Hawaii Five-0. And largely, that is because of Jack Lord.

    I don't much listen to the attempted character assassinations that take place for Jack, because I can imagine most of it was born of jealously. It is tough to be a person of principles and integrity at the best of times, but to have to be that and be so public a figure at the same time, must have been difficult.

    Thankfully he endured, and I think this character trait lent itself beautifully to his work; certainly with the one and only "Steve McGarrett". This show and this character are timeless and not many performers these days will be remembered, even iconic, across generations.

    I enjoyed him on Twelve O'Clock High as the elder but no less goal oriented big brother Gallagher! He and Paul Burke on the same show?: Heaven! Burke returned the favour with a guest shot on H5-0 too.

    I faithfully buy the H5-0 DVD's as they come out, and have myself a viewing marathon with each one of them. I was really young when the show was airing, but I guess, when you're the gold standard, you remain relevant. That goes for the show, and for Mr. Jack Lord!moreless
  • The man was totally original. He wasn't like anyone else and didn't want to be. He could play any part and no one else could ever take over the parts he played. He made them his own and kept them that way.moreless

    First, let me say that I had the pleasure to have Jack Lord as a dear friend. He was loving, kind and generous to a fault. I first saw him as Stoney Burke. After that, I read and collected everything I could find about him. I even have a My Space and Yahoo group for him. The man was totally original. He wasn't like anyone else and didn't want to be. He was down-to-earth and you always knew where you stood with him. I could talk to him about anything. No matter what the man did, it was original. He could play any part and no one else could ever take over the parts he played. He made them his own. He kept them that way. He didn't like the star treatment and didn't mind being called Jack. He smiled when I'd call him Stoney or McGarrett. He said once that he didn't mind signing autographs and would sign them as long as it made people happy.

    He was no prima donna ever. Yes, he was a tough business man and had high expectations of those he worked with because he had high expectations of himself. After all, he'd be the one criticized if the final product was bad.

    Sadly, there are very few originals left. There are very few real craftsmen left. Jack Lord sets a standard which others can aspire to. He was a man of faith, character, talent, versatility and a lot more. I am proud to have known him. I for one will always love and remember him -- not just as an actor, but as my dear friend.moreless