, best known to American television audiences as "Danno" in the classic TV series "Hawaii Five-O
," died of natural causes today in Florida. He was 72 years old.
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
," "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
,"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.