5 items from 2010
When James MacArthur passed away last week at the age of 72, the obituaries I read emphasized his role as “Danno” on the long-running TV hit Hawaii Five-o, and understandably so…but at the same time they glossed over his career-building years at the Walt Disney studio. I was too young to see teenaged MacArthur in the live TV drama The Young Stranger and the feature film it spawned was over my head as a young moviegoer, but I vividly remember being introduced to the actor when Disney released The Light in the Forest, Third Man on the Mountain, Kidnaped, and… »
American actor known for his role as Danno in the television series Hawaii Five-o
One actor in his time plays many parts, so it is a mixed blessing for a performer to be forever associated with one role and one catchphrase. James MacArthur, who has died aged 72, was instantly identified with Detective Danny "Danno" Williams in the long-running television series Hawaii Five-o (1968-79), in which he was habitually told "Book 'em, Danno" by his superior officer, Detective Steve McGarrett (Jack Lord), after villains had been captured.
From the outset, MacArthur could not escape being reminded that he was the son of celebrated parents. His mother, Helen Hayes, always flagged as "the first lady of the theatre", had a long career on stage, in television and films, winning two Oscars 40 years apart, and his father, Charles MacArthur, co-wrote and co-directed several films with Ben Hecht, one of which, The Scoundrel (1935), won a screenplay Oscar, »
- Ronald Bergan
28 October 2010 2:04 PM, PDT | IMDb News
As youthful Detective Danny "Danno" Williams, MacArthur became as recognizable as Jack Lord, who played the team's leader Steve McGarrett. However, it was Lord who uttered what would become the series' signature catchphrase: "Book 'em, Danno." The original "Hawaii Five-O" aired from 1968 until 1980; CBS recently premiered a modern reboot of the crime drama with Scott Caan playing Danny Williams. MacArthur, the last living member from the original series main cast, had agreed to appear in an upcoming episode, according to a statement on his personal website.
Born James Gordon MacArthur on December 8, 1937, in Los Angeles, California, MacArthur is the adopted son of playwright Charles MacArthur and his wife Helen Hayes, who was considered to be the First Lady of the American stage. He grew up in Nyack, New York, with his parents' biological daughter Mary, and was educated at Allen Stevenson School in New York, and later at Solebury School in New Hope, Pennsylvania. MacArthur would later attend Harvard but, after working in several Walt Disney films over his summer breaks, left to pursue an acting career full-time.
MacArthur also won acclaim onstage, making his Broadway debut in 1960 playing opposite Jane Fonda in "Invitation to a March." But his clean-cut looks and athletic build won him roles in the late 1950s and 60s in several Disney films, including The Light in the Forest, Third Man on the Mountain, and the classics Kidnapped and Swiss Family Robinson. He also played a pivotal role in the 1965 film classic Battle of the Bulge. During that period MacArthur also guest starred on a number of television series including "Gunsmoke," "Bonanza," "Wagon Train," "The Untouchables" and "12 O'Clock High." He even co-starred with Hayes in a 1968 episode of "Tarzan."
Reportedly it was his appearance in the legendary Clint Eastwood Western Hang 'Em High that would eventually lead to MacArthur winning the role on "Hawaii Five-O."
After "Hawaii Five-O" came to an end, MacArthur returned to the stage, making guest appearances on series such as "Fantasy Island," "The Love Boat," "Vega$,"and "Murder, She Wrote." He also reprised the role of Dan Williams in a 1997 attempt to resurrect "Hawaii Five-O" but the pilot, in which Williams had been made Hawaii's Governor, was never picked up. His final small-screen appearance was in the 1998 TV movie "Storm Chasers: Revenge of the Twister."
According to a family statement reported by People.com, MacArthur spent his time off-camera enjoying sports and played flamenco guitar. He was formerly married to actress Joyce Bulifant from 1958 to 1967, and to actress Melody Patterson from 1970 to 1975. Both unions ended in divorce.
MacArthur is survived by his wife, Helen Beth Duntz, four children and seven grandchildren. »
- Melanie McFarland
Beloved Hawaii Five-O actor James MacArthur, has died at the age of 72. MacArthur passed away on Thursday, a family representative tells People.com. Details surrounding the cause of death were not made available as WENN went to press.
The actor seemed destined for a career on the stage and screen, as the adopted son of actress Helen Hayes and her husband, American playwright Charles MacArthur, and he made his big screen debut in 1957 drama The Young Stranger.
MacArthur went on to appear in Walt Disney films Third Man on the Mountain, Kidnapped and Swiss Family Robinson, and in 1961 he made his Broadway debuted opposite a little-known Jane Fonda in Invitation to a March.
The stage performance won him the Theatre World Award for Best New Actor.
But he is perhaps best known for his role as Detective Dan 'Danno' Williams on the original U.S. TV crime drama Hawaii Five-O, which ran from 1968 to 1980.
MacArthur is survived by his wife of more than 25 years, Helen Beth Duntz, four children and seven grandchildren.
James MacArthur, the boyish actor who became a household name in the 1970s as Danny "Danno" Williams on TV's Hawaii Five-O, died Thursday, a family representative told People. He was 72 and his family was at his side at the time of his death, according to a family statement. No further details, including a cause, were given. Born in Los Angeles on December 8, 1937, MacArthur was adopted shortly after his birth by two living legends: actress Helen Hayes, considered the First Lady of the American stage, and her husband, Charles MacArthur, who, with collaborator Ben Hecht, wrote what some consider the greatest »
- Stephen M. Silverman
5 items from 2010
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