THE HAWAII FIVE-0 FAN CLUB NEWSLETTER
Volume 5 April, 2003 Issue 18
"DA KINE" WITH KINDELON,
by Jerry Pickard, UH '72 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dick Kindelon: one would be
very hard pressed to find a more affable, easier-going member of the
behind-the-scenes Five-0 production team than this most personable guy. Dick's
contribution was to ensure the best quality casting at the location level.
More on that shortly, but first, a little flash-back to 1996 and the landmark MahaloCon, Honolulu portion. Your intrepid seeker-outer of show-related personalities was indeed fortunate to find himself on the smaller, "chaser" Polynesian Adventure Tours coach for the site visits. With other fans and the likes of Harry Endo and Mrs. Freeman, we were all treated to having Dick as our operator. His expansive and extensive knowledge of the series, combined with a penchant for entertaining with quasi-corny yet still chuckle-eliciting humour, made for a truly great day. That he was graciously receptive to moving the bus slowly for photos when we couldn't click fast enough, was much appreciated too.
Dick, at the time of this writing, was still driving for P.A.T., and seemingly enjoying it -- probably because his busloads of visitors become a sort of "captive audience" for his folksy schtick! Not the worst way to wind down a career in show business which has spanned many decades. A southern California native, with early experience in being a stunt/double as well as working on the five year run of COMBAT and the short lived GARRISON'S GUERRILLAS series, Dick came to the Islands at Five-0's beginning. His primary purpose for the first seven years as Casting Director was to line up suitable local people to be extras and atmosphere on-screen; after that and until the series ended, the duties expanded to involvement with the main local actors.
Dick would like it known that he feels that he would never have been elevated to Casting Director without Jack Lord's blessing for which he will always be grateful.
Having this kind of responsibility in Hawaii was a somewhat awesome challenge, he confided. A script would arrive and Dick was at once charged with assessing the needs for Hawaii people -- on occasion, he was also asked his opinion on how Mainlanders coming over for that show, would "fit in" with the local context, as well.
In retrospect, he has occasionally asked himself if somehow he might have missed anyone (or ones) indigenous, who may have helped to make the series even better. But at the outset and beyond, it meant constantly putting into high gear, one's prowess in being able to accurately "read" people, i.e. determining who would be most likely to do a series of lines successfully without falling apart amid the stresses of repeated scene-shooting.
For, with few exceptions, the local pool of talent to work on a show with Five-0's aspirations, was fairly small but grew in size as the years passed. While there was no shortage of wanna-be types, Dick found that some tended to lose their captivating sparkle of spontaneity after only a couple of appearances in front of the camera. His mission in casting was not usually to define who would or would not obtain a given role, but more to "nominate" some genuine possibilities, with the episode's director or another more hands-on individual making the final decision. Not surprisingly, the nod almost always went to the candidate who best appeared to enhance the "filmed entirely in Hawaii" aspect, if experience or other criteria were equal. As a result, Dick was continually on the look-out for new faces with talent.
With his being a team member original, Dick was well able to recall first-hand how the show developed from initially extremely rudimentary infrastructure up to the comparatively sophisticated facilities when it signed off. Virtually everyone scoffed at the premier meeting at 404 Piikoi St (the first production location), when Leonard Freeman offered the assurance that Five-0 would be around for at least five years. with no sound stage and only the most primitive of resources at the beginning, many wondered how it would last for even a few months. Twenty-four hundred miles from Hollywood meant importing all the necessary supports, from cinematographers to wardrobe and makeup experts...and daily exporting of tapes back to California. Formidable odds, indeed! But, with the dual-producer approach (one in Honolulu, the other in Los Angeles), and plenty of chutzpah -- to say nothing of the legendary 'can-do' of Hawaii's people -- those odds were not only overcome but almost always well exceeded.
Dick's memories from the actual set yielded at least a couple of amusing anecdotes. Early on, the late Nick Colasanto (who would later star as the bartender, 'Coach' in the CHEERS sitcom) directed episode #24, A Thousand Pardons, You're Dead. Free-spirited featured guest performer Barbara Nichols did not take kindly to Colasanto's penchant to rant 'n rave while running around, getting everybody wound up so that concentration was minimal. Someone (later determined to be Frank Trott, according to Dick) decided to offer an object lesson. Colasanto's shoes were nailed to the floor, much to his engorged rage. Nichols, however, was so delighted with this action that she offered totally complimentary one-time sexual favours to the nailer. It's not known if the prize was ever accepted by the rightful recipient!
The twelfth (groaning) season was a tough one for just about all who were left, and Dick joins us appreciators in bemoaning the lackluster legacy of the finale. He noted sadly that McGarrett was definitely in his office most of the time, talking to people, rather than being out in the thick of things. For the very last filming, at the moment when it had eventually (thankfully?) been declared the ultimate wrap, there was a symbolic gesture. Virtually everyone pulled out a cigarette and lit up. As is generally known, Jack strictly forbade any smoking but at this point, it didn't matter.
Although Dick did not wish to label Herman Wedemeyer in any particular way, he did say that this late (and local) actor certainly stood out in his memory. They were never socially close, but the impression was formed during our chat that for Dick, Herman ranked right up there as one of the extra-special ones. Dick also thought well of Moe Keale who could have easily gone on successfully to Hollywood, if he'd so wished.
Following the series' demise, Dick along with old COMBAT associate Jack Hogan offered acting training through the Honolulu Film Actors Workshop for about a dozen years...ironically, at the 404 Piikoi site referenced above. (This initiative produced, among other notables, Julie Nixon who went on to take the female lead in RAMBO FIRST BLOOD.) While the Piikoi location has long since given way to various unrelated uses, Dick's fondness for Five-0 can never be erased. It was a wonderful time of his life, it brought him to Hawaii where he has stayed, giving his family and himself a terrific base for other ventures. With respect to the proposed Litto/Freeman movie version of Five-0, he said he wishes this initiative only the best of fortune and success.
Dick, I am grateful to you for taking some time out for our November 2002 chat by phone to share your reminiscences, insider's look and memories. Good luck back to you down the road too!
One for HPD
by Jerry Pickard, UH '72, email@example.com
The writer's late father
used to refer to Hawai'i as "The Big Place." That's because,
after he made his first visit there at the age of 57 in 1970, he realized that
the Islands and their people had various capacities unmatched anywhere else on
Earth. Island folks, by and large, often open up their hearts so wide in
aloha, we who hail from other points are left gaping
Yet, it is also a small place in other ways. One seldom has to go far before encountering someone who cannot be a stranger very long, because each person shares a common bond or some linkage with a mutual friend, (occasionally even a distant family member--can be right spooky sometimes!).
This piece of peerless prose, resulting from a get-together with former HPD Chief Francis Keala, came about because of similarly fortuitous, totally unrelated circumstances. Your humble scribe was put in touch with someone at the University of Hawai'i, who was working on collecting stories to do with one of the original buildings on campus. The institution was involved in a major restoration of this elegant artifice. As it had been around since the early 1900's, many students had had significant things happen to them within or near its venerable walls. That was certain applicable to me. Anyway, the story collector turned out to be Chief Keala's wife, although that designation was not immediately clear. Suffice to say, it was clarified soon enough, and after a number of months, an interview appointment was set up.
Francis, however, was notably reticent about meeting with me to talk about Five-0. He cited his lack of direct involvement with the show itself, pointing out that, unlike his predecessor Dan Liu, he didn't even appear in a single episode (despite being asked more than once to do so). He simply felt that, for him, it was not an appropriate action. Your ink-stained wretch (me) perversely enjoys this sort of challenge, realizing that almost invariably in the majority of such disclaiming modesty cases--sincere though they usually are--a story with appeal is lurking.
And so it was with Chief Keala, who did not let us down. A bit of background first: young Francis had graduated with a B.A. in Sociology from the UH's Manoa campus. Upon graduation he entered military service and served as an officer in the 11th Airborne Division. A friend actually signed him up for the police exam, and he was accepted. He became chief in mid- 1968, over what would become the 12th largest police department i America, with over 2,000 officers. He helped set up a very effective law enforcement training program at O'ahu's Chaminade College, believing that proper education in this area was rudimentary to truly producing "Honolulu's Finest." By his own example of "walking the talk," he created a legacy that had not been paralleled elsewhere in the Islands--so much so that even to the present, other States regularly attempt to lure HPD members to their jurisdictions and -- sadly for Hawai'i in many instances -- they succeed. Washington State, for example, boasts a significant number of ex-HPD officers...who even set up their own annual Hawai'i-flavoured golf tournament!
Our face-to-face happened over an early breakfast at Honolulu's exclusive Pacific Club, one weekday in mid-September 2002. Francis, like Zoulou, is an extremely early riser and frequently works out at his gym long before most of Hawai'i's citizenry have begun to stir. He is a pensive, reflective individual, and one who contributes considerably to his greater community, often quietly behind the scenes.
Chief Keala also impresses as a man of genuine integrity. This was not lost during his 14 years heading the Honolulu Police Department. He told of an incident in which one of his men, doing security work on his own time for one of the GEM stores, had lifted a thirty-four cent bolt. The officer was immediately removed from the force; such a breach of conduct could not be condoned in the slightest, in the good name of the organization. It's probably fair to say that Steve McGarrett would have done the same thing.
Jack Lord and Francis Keala enjoyed a strong mutual admiration, it seemed. Jack was invariably the picture of humility around the Chief, and enjoyed discussing the technical side of police work with him, as well as other issues. It was apparent that Jack sought
Hawaiian assistance and perspective from this resource figure, i dealing with disputes and disharmony among his acting personnel. In his unofficial -- and probably undesired -- occasional role as both mentor and mediator, Francis found himself trying to help iron out inevitable conflicts affecting the set. It was concluded from our conversation that he did so with grace and respect for all concerned.
Chief Keala sanctioned the participation of his staff in the show, and never found cause to regret this approval. No issues resulting in embarrassment to the Department, ever surfaced.
He said he could readily relate to what Jack had do, to make the show a success. Some decisions would not be popular, but the end result would outshine any discord in the process. Both "heads" realized the importance of aiming for excellence at all times. And even after Five-0 had ended, the two men saw each other at social functions.
Francis mentioned being on a flight between Washington, DC and Honolulu on one occasion, and being approached by fellow-flier Mrs. Henry Kissinger. She wanted to talk about Five-0 with him, which he found rather difficult because he never watched the series, preferring documentaries and traditional wildlife programs! At national gatherings of police chiefs, Chief Keala was of course nicknamed "Five-0." And, he was amused when reporters introducing themselves as from such entities as The National Enquirer, would try to approach him looking for unscrupulousness about both HPD and Five- 0...they would be told at once that "you came to the wrong place." Nonetheless, the breadth of the show's popularity was a constant reminder driven home to him through such interactions.
About the scripts themselves, the Chief allowed that indeed, the content did fairly accurately represent the possibilities for crime during his term. His conclusion overall: Five-0 really did become an integral part of Hawai'i and thus the State and her people do owe a tremendous debt to the series and Jack Lord for the ongoing contributions.
It was a genuine privilege to meet Francis Keala; again, on behalf of the fan component, deep thanks for all you did for Five-0 whether directly or otherwise. Me ke aloha pumehana.
EARLY CHRISTMAS PRESENT
It was a beautiful day
as I walked through the front gate of the MacArthur’s Palm Desert home.
I was here to do another interview, in a continuing series, with Jim about his
'professional' life. Stepping up to the front door, I rang the bell.
Jim greeted me, and then guided
me to his breakfast nook where we shared some sourdough bread, homemade jam, and
sliced melon. He even allowed me to
pick out the type of tea I’d like to drink from his pantry as he sipped on his
coffee before we began the interview.
Jim had some difficulty
when asked to pick out his favorite movie that he was in.
“Each movie is different and is like comparing apples, oranges and
grapefruits, ” he informed me. However, he certainly enjoyed working with Ken
Annakin as he stated on back cover of Annakin’s book, So You Wanna Be A
Director, “Most people join the Navy to see the world. I joined Ken Annakin
and climbed the Matterhorn, wrestled snakes, blew up pirates in the West Indies
and helped defeat the Third Reich in Battle of the Bulge.”
Each film, shot in a
different location, had it’s own challenges. Five months were spent in Spain
for the filming of the “Battle of the Bulge”, Tobago for six months in
“Swiss Family Robinson”, and two and a half months in Switzerland for
“Third Man On The Mountain” in Switzerland. Each role and location offered Jim new and different
Jim has tried out his
one-man show at Chapman College located in Palm Desert, California. It was a
short twenty-minute presentation. “I like visual aids and it was still a
little impromptu, just like acting is.” And he admits he wasn’t totally
prepared for the presentation and is still working on his show. He considers it
a work-in-progress as he refines it and is still unpacking boxes to find just
the right visual aids for his presentations.
“Lack of interest”,
is Jim’s main complaint about today’s movies “I recently saw “Three
Kings” and didn’t care whether they lived or died. They were all excellent
actors but I just didn’t care. I liked “The Rookie” because you cared
about the character. Some of today’s movies don’t make you care about anyone
or anything. I mean you don’t root for anyone or against anyone.” He feels there is too much indifference in today’s movies.
Recently Jim had the
privilege of watching the silent film classic “Wings” and sat next to Mrs.
Buddy Rodgers. He realized, watching the film, even with modern technology (i.e.
steady cams and video playback), films still boil down to characters and caring
for them as you watch the film. A film needs to have a soul to entertain and
enlighten the viewer.
I asked Jim about his
last film ‘Storm Chaser’s’. Earlier Jim had had some contact with
Family Channel and then this opportunity arose. He enjoyed working on the
production and had a good time while filming the movie.
I asked Jim if he had ever done voice overs, Jim said “I am
veteran of radio theatre in my early career.” Jim appreciates voice work but
also knows “you need to be where the action is.” Even with good agents,
voice work is a very impromptu business, requiring you “to be there in twenty
minutes if your agent calls.” And since Jim lives in the desert, a good two
hours from Hollywood, his voice over work is minimal.
However, Jim did recently did a voice over for a Palm Valley
Schools, in Rancho Mirage for the schools Fiftieth anniversary. It was “just
for fun”. Because his son, Jamie, had attended the school for nine years and
did Jim did it as a favor for them. In fact, the MacArthur’s were going to the
presentation later that day, on the same day I was there.
“I went to the little studio and recorded for two hours and today I get
to see my finished work,” Jim laughed.
Jim doesn’t really
consider himself retired since he does work occasionally.
But he did give up
steady work to be with his son, Jamie, and doesn’t regret it.
Jamie, who’s a junior was just named Second String All-League
Quarterback, Jim is very proud of Jamie since the team didn’t have a great
Recently, Jim was
interviewed by a TV Land show that has ended up as in-flight entertainment on
American Airlines. The show is called “Eye on America” and he is interviewed
regarding the well-known Hawaii Five 0 music score, which he feels has been
For years he had
been signing photographs, happily, for grateful fans for free and recently
started charging for photos and autographs.
Jim enjoys going to the
autograph shows where he can get a chance to catch up with old friends and
previous actors on which he has worked with in the past. He had done the
Hollywood Collector’s show (Burbank, CA) a few years prior and at this last
show he reconnected with George Lazenby. Seated next to him was Carol Lynley. As
they chatted, he was amazed that it was over forty-four years ago that Carol and
he had done “The Light In The Forest”.
shows, Jim tries to go to as many as possible around the country. Right now he
is scheduled to go the Adventure Con in Knoxville May 31-June 3, 2003 where he
will happily meet and greet fans in the area.
Hard pressed to name
one favorite movie, Jim did, under pressure to name his top five picks. In order
are: “La Strada”,"Wages of Fear”, “Bridge On The River Kwai, “The
Colditz Story” and “Wuthering Heights”. Jim’s favorite musical plays are
“Man of La Mancha” and “Mamma Mia”. Favorite straight plays are
“Hamlet” and his father’s comedy play, “The Front Page”.
A question often asked
is, would James MacArthur be James MacArthur without the strong influences from
his well-known parents. Well Jim
isn’t sure either; whether by osmosis or natural talent he picked up the
acting bug. He’s
been around theatre people all his life, playwrights, actors and all others. He
was either helping his mother rehearse her lines or was around his father as he
wrote plays. Jim doesn’t ever play the ‘What if” game but knows they had a
great influence on his life.
Although and avid and
voracious reader Jim has no aspirations to write the “Great American Novel.”
“Writing articles for Senior World is one thing, but, no I have no desire to
write fiction.” He feels he just can’t make up any characters in his head
and appreciates those with that talent. Currently he is reading, “Blue
Latitudes” by Tony Horwitz.
On a personal note, his
older son Charlie has just competed in the 2002 Fuji Eco-Challenge and where he
and his team placed seventh in a total field of 81 teams. Jim is proud of his
son’s results and hopes that Charlie will someday settle down and not take
His advice to upcoming
actors is “to just do it.” Jim admits it is a case of luck and to make sure
you still have a job to pay the bills. But you really have to be called to be an
actor since it is such a tough business.
As to the future of the
new Hawaii Five 0 movie, Jim says the word is not good. He talked to Rose
Freeman a few months ago and a deal had yet to be made to make the movie. Even
with the ‘buzz’ regarding the movie, there hasn’t been in generated
interest in him and he continues his nice, quiet life.
He has no regrets in
leaving the business when he did because it gave him precious time with his son,
Jamie. Jim was able to take the roles he wanted and devout his time and energy
to his family
** From Jennifer: The DVD, the Brian Setzer Orchestra Live in Japan opens with an excellent cover of the Hawaii Five-0 theme song!
** For anyone with the gumption to write to George Litto, his address is George Litto Pictures, 2750 Cardwell Place, Los Angeles CA 90046
** From Greg: In 2008 Jack Lord becomes eligible to be on a postage stamp. The more who write in and request this happen, the better the chance that it will. The address is Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee, 475 L'Enfant Plaza SW, Washington, DC 20260-2435
** Zoulou's recent transplant did not go as hoped. He is currently waiting for another opportunity for a transplant. If you would like to send a card you can mail it to: Zoulou, PO Box 21, Kea'au, HI 96749. You may include your phone number but at this point I'm sure he would just appreciate knowing that his fans send him their best wishes!
** James MacArthur was a speaker when Charlie Wilborn was honored by the Cinema Audio Society with a Lifetime Achievement Award. You can get all the details at the JM Digital Scrapbook.
** We're famous - sort of! After the article in the January/February issue of Hawaii Magazine which included Jack Lord among the most influential people in Hawaii, I received an email from the editors. It seems they have had quite a few requests for any kind of fan club information for Jack and Five-0 and asked if I would allow them to publish the website and address information. I did, they did and hopefully we will be adding new members to our group! If you haven't seen it already, it's in the PostCards to Hawaii section. Two wrote in favorably about Jack being included, one person thought Elvis and Magnum had more of an impact. Hmmmmm, I love Elvis, but two movies in the early 60's and one concert, versus 12 years of weekly programming????? I also loved Magnum but I'd sure feel a lot safer with McGarrett's one dimension than Magnum's giggle!!!!!
Your Name in Hawaiian
We thought that you might like to find out what your name would be in Hawaiian. There is a great website, The Hawaiian Shop (http://www.hawaiianshop.com) which gives more details but here is what they suggest is the best way to figure it out yourself.
Since the Hawaiian alphabet only has 12 letters (A, E, H, I, K, L, M, N, O, P, U AND W) simply replace theconsonants in your name with the Hawaiian letters as follows:
Replace B, F and P with P
Replace D, D, G. J, K, Q, S, T, X and Z with K
Replace H with H
Replace L and R with L
Replace V and W with W
Replace Y with I
Deborah becomes Kepolah and Debbie becomes Kepi. How does yours work out!
As always, thank you to Jerry Pickard, Cindy Kimura and everyone else who was willing to help with this issue! Coming up: Carole Kai, Tim Ryan, Emma Veary and Seth Sakai!
Next issue: July, 2003