LOS ANGELES — Stage and screen actor James MacArthur, who played Danno in the original version of television’s “Hawaii Five-0,’’ died yesterday at age 72.
Mr. MacArthur’s agent, Richard Lewis, said the actor died in Florida of natural causes, but no direct cause was specified.
In a career that spanned more than four decades, Mr. MacArthur was most recognized for his role as Detective Danny “Danno’’ Williams on “Hawaii Five-0,’’ which aired from 1968 to 1980. Episodes often ended with detective Steve McGarret, the lead character, uttering what became a pop culture catch phrase: “Book ‘em, Danno.’’
Jack Lord, who starred as McGarret, died in 1998.
Mr. MacArthur quit the role before the show’s final season.
“I grew bored,’’ he explained on his website. “The stories became more bland and predictable and presented less and less challenge to me as an actor.’’
“Hawaii Five-O,’’ one of the longest-running crime shows in television history, with 278 episodes, was shot on location in the Hawaiian islands. It was the first Hawaii-based national TV series.
The drama has been remade by
Mr. MacArthur seemed destined to become an actor. He was the adopted son of playwright Charles MacArthur and Helen Hayes, an actress often referred to as “First Lady of the American Theater.’’ Silent film star Lillian Gish was his godmother.
As a young actor, Mr. MacArthur appeared in the
He had roles in “The Interns, “Spencer’s Mountain,’’ “Battle of the Bulge,’’ and “Hang ‘Em High,’’ as well as many guest roles on TV series such as “Gunsmoke.’’
Asked by the Hawaii Star Bulletin newspaper in 2003 about his fondest memories about working on “Hawaii Five-O,’’ Mr. MacArthur replied, “Living in Hawaii.’’