Jack Lord's Tragic Last Days

Former TV tough guy is a broken man, shunned by TV buddies who hated him

From The National Perspirer,
September 17, 1996


General consensus is that most of this article is total bullshit.
Karen Rhodes offered a more credible theory on what was
wrong with Lord's health.

Hawaii Five-O" tough guy Jack Lord is so ravaged by Alzheimer's disease that he has no memory of the show -- and doesn't even remember he was an actor!

At times he doesn't recognize his wife of 44 years. And he has her at her wit's end when he wanders off from their Hawaiian condo and she has to pay security guards to bring him back.

The saddest thing of all is that 72-year-old Lord is battling his tragedy without friends -- because he was such an egotistical dictator on "Five-O" that many cast and crew members hated him.

"Jack no longer has any idea what 'Hawaii Five-O' was when you ask him," said a neighbor in Kahala Beach, where Lord lives in a $7-million oceanfront condo. "He has that dreaded scourge Alzheimer's.

"He was the star of one of the most successful shows in TV history and now he doesn't even know who he was! This is the way he's spending his last days on earth.

"He's wandered off about eight times this year from his home and the security guys at his building have to go out and find him.

"It puts his wife Marie in a real panic when he's missing -- and she pays whoever returns him $10.

"Jack has an attractive young Filipino nurse. He's allowed to go out with her. She's under orders to hold his hand so that he doesn't disappear or step off the sidewalk into a car. There are times when he has no idea who Marie is!"

Another neighbor of the actor disclosed: "In the 14 years I've lived here I've never seen him have a visitor. None of his buddies from 'Hawaii Five-O' has ever been to see him."

Lord made enemies on the show with his bossy ways, an insider revealed.

"He would get extras or crew fired for staring at him. Behind his back he was the butt of jokes because of his pomposity and massive ego.

"He wore elevator shoes to make him taller, a girdle to make him slimmer, and the best toupee in Hollywood to make him younger.

"Even today when he ventures out he covers his bald head with an old Panama hat!"

James MacArthur - who played Danno on the show told The PERSPIRER:

"What's happening to Jack is a horrible tragedy.

"Jack and I had talked of making a 'Hawaii Five-O' special. That was five years ago. But I came to realize from his condition that was not going to be."

And Kam Fong, who played Chin Ho Kelly and still lives in Honolulu, revealed: "Jack was never really close to anyone on the show. He was a perfectionist, a hard taskmaster who really cracked the whip.

"After we finished shooting a scene the rest of us would sit around and shoot the breeze. Jack would go straight to his trailer.

"Now he has Alzheimer's and he's not surrounded by any friends. It's sad."

Jack's loyal wife Marie denies that he has the disease.

"Jack's memory is fine," she declared in an exclusive PERSPIRER interview. "He does not have Alzheimer's.

"He doesn't go wandering off. He walks, he swims. He picks flowers for me.

"Jack was never into socializing. He never had a relationship on a social basis with the others on the show.

"Jack is a happy, contented man. He likes to stay at home. He has a nurse. She takes his temperature, takes his blood pressure and gives him vitamin shots.

"He'll probably be able to go to the 'Hawaii Five-O' reunion planned for Burbank in October."

But the insider scoffed: "She's dreaming. She's desperately trying to protect Jack's image even in his last days.

"There's about as much chance of Jack turning up at that reunion as finding that 'Hawaii Five-O' was really made on Mars."