The actor who played Detective Ben Kokua in the classic TV show has passed away at the age of 85 in a Honolulu hospital after suffering a serious stroke.
AceShowbiz -“Hawaii Five-0” actor Al Harrington, who played Detective Ben Kokua in the 1970s series, has passed away.
Harrington died in a hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii after suffering a serious stroke, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, which confirmed his death with family members.
The actor, real name Tausau Ta’a, also appeared in the recent reboot of the series as Mamo Kahike, a surf shop owner and bus driver, from 2011 to 2018.
Before landing a role in the original series in 1972, he was a fire dancer and became known as The South Pacific Man in his home state.
After he left “Hawaii Five-0” in 1975, he returned to his fire show, which he performed until 1992.
He also starred on TV shows “Scrubs” and “The Jeffersons“.
The former TV anchor had a one-line role in the 1994 Tom Hanks movie “Forrest Gump” as a TV reporter who introduced President John F. Kennedy.
Al received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts in 2018.
Former co-star Dennis Chun paid tribute following Al Harrington’s passing.
“My heart is broken tonight and Hawaii weeps for Al Harrington has left us. AL was not only an actor but he was an entertainer, humanitarian, coach, teacher, community leader, role model and most of all a dear friend,” he wrote on Instagram. “His role as Ben Kokua in the original Five-O and Mamo in the reboot are iconic portrayals in the legend of Hawaii Five-0. So many memories … so many tears.”
“Laura and I send our most heartfelt aloha to his wife Rosa and his lovely ohana. Rest well my friend. You have journeyed well. You filled the world with love and aloha and made it a little place. I will miss you.”
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