Thursday, October 29, 2020

Whatever happened to Adam Rich of "Eight is Enough"'?

Do you remember Adan Rich?  He played Nicholas, the youngest child on Eight is Enough, a cute little boy with the long bangs and a page boy haircut.  Adam's character was soon dubbed "America's little brother" and in the late 1970s and early 1980s, parents wanted their young sons to have a Nicholas-style bowl haircut.  However, as with many child stars, Adam became a troubled adult who engaged in substance abuse and drug-related criminal behaviour.

Adam Rich was born on October 12, 1968 in Brooklyn, New York.  He grew up as a child actor in Granada Hills, California, with his parents and younger brother, Drey Rich.  Adan began his show business career by appearing in numerous television commercials.  When he was five years old, the youngster announced his intention to become an actor.

Prior to his breakout role in Eight is Enough, Adam appeared in s 1976 episode of The Six Million Dollar Man, starring Lee Majors.  He played a character named Bob in "A Bionic Christmas Carol" (Season 4, Episode 10, Air Date: December 12, 1976).

At the age of eight, Adam won the role of Nicholas Bradford, the youngest son on the hour long TV drama-comedy Eight is Enough Eight is Enough was one of television's earliest "dramedies," a combination of dramatic situations and humour.  It was well-received for the measure of realism it brought to its portray of family life on TV.

Eight is Enough  ran on the ABC network for five seasons, from 1977 to 1981.  The television series was based on a book of the same name by former CIA operative Thomas Braden (1917-2009), a syndicated newspaper columnist who raised eight children.  

On the TV show, Dick Van Patten portrayed Tom Bradford, a columnist for a fictional Sacramento, California paper, also the father of eight children: Mary (Lani O'Grady), David (Grant Goodeve), Joanie (Laurie Walters), Nancy (Dianne Kay), Elizabeth (Connie Newton), Susan (Susan Richardson), Tommy (Willie Aames) and Nicholas (Adam Rich).  Their mother, Joan, was played by Diana Hyland.   Hyland filmed four episodes before dying of breast cancer on March 27, 1977.  Rather than recasting the role of Joan, the producers decided to write her death into the script.  Tom eventually met and married a widowed teacher named Sandra Sue "Abby" Abbott, played by Betty Buckley..  TRIVIA NOTE: In the pilot episode of Eight is Enough, "Never Try Eating Nectarines Since Juice May Dispense," Mark Hamill of Star Wars fame portrayed David Bradford.  On March 15, 1977, the night the episode aired, Hamill was involved in a serious car which he sustained facial injuries.

Adam Rich in 1977

When Eight is Enough went off the air, Adam attended Chatsworth High School, where he studied acting with former drama teacher Bob Carelli, who also taught Val Kilmer and Kevin Spacey.  At Chatsworth, Adam says he fell in with the wrong crowd and began experimenting with drugs.  He made the following statement to the LA Daily News: "I was 15 and realized I had been working most of my life.  I felt like I was almost ready to retire."

Unable to remain sober, Adam dropped out of high school in 1986 at the age of 17.  His cocaine abuses eventually led to stays at the Betty Ford Center and treatment from other drug rehabilitation programs.  

From 1981 to 1982, Adam played the role of Danny Blake in 16 episodes of the TV drama series Code Red.   Code Red, starring Lorne Greene, Andrew Steven and Julie Adams, chronicled the adventures of  Los Angeles Fire Department Battalion Chief Joe Rorchek (Lorne Greene) and his family and crew. Adam's character, Danny Blake, was Rorchek's adopted son.  

In 1982, Adam had guest spots in episodes of Fantasy Island (Season 6, Episode 4, Air Date: November 6, 1982) and  the crime drama CHiPs (Season 6, Episode 10, Air Date: December 19, 1982). 

From 1983 to 1985, Adam voiced the character of Presto the Magician  on the animated children's show Dungeons & Dragons.  His Eight is Enough castmate, Willie Aames, who played older brother Tommy Bradford, provided the voice of Hank the Ranger.

In 1986, Adam made guest appearances in episodes of he medical series St. Elsewhere (Season 4, Episode 16, Air Date February 12, 1986) and the sitcom Silver Spoons (Season 5, Episode 6, Air Date: October 20, 1986).  Adam also appeared in two episodes of Small Wonder (1996, 1998), a comedy about the adventures of a family and a robot designed to resemble a human child.

In 1987, Adam reprised his Nicholas Bradford role in a TV movie entitled Eight is Enough: A Family Reunion (Air Date: October 18, 1987).  He again played Nicholas in a second Eight is Enough made-for television reunion called An Eight is Enough Wedding (Air Date: October 15, 1989).

In 1989, Adam Rich almost died from a Valium overdose.  In 1990, he was arrested in West Hollywood and charged with drunk driving.  In April of 1991, Adam smashed the window of a San Fernando Valley pharmacy in an effort to steal morphine.  He was arrested and was bailed out by his Eight is Enough TV dad, Dick Van Patten.  However, he was soon rearrested for allegedly shoplifting a pair of sunglasses and socks at a department store.  He plead no contest to both charges and was sentenced to probation and more rehab.  He later admitted that the criminal charges were the result of his addiction to drugs and alcohol.  "I don't why this happened," he told the Los Angeles Daily News, "but I know I am sick.  I have a disease,"

In 1993, Adam appeared in an episode of Baywatch entitled "Sky Rider" (Season 4, Episode 5, Air Date: October 11, 1993).  He played a character named Ethan in his last television acting role to date.

In 1996, Adam was the subject of a media hoax that he had been murdered.  The story was published in Might, a a now-defunct San Francisco-based satirical magazine.  It was written by publisher and author Dave Eggers, with Adam's consent.  Although the fictional article was a combination of parody and prank, many believed it to be true, so much so that years later Adam encountered fans who thought he was dead.

On December 10, 2002, Adam was arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) after nearly hitting a police car on a closed-off section of I-10 in Los Angeles.  On February 20, 2003, he was charged with DUI.  He has been in drug rehabilitation at least three times.

Apart from his drug problems, Adam Rich  has kept his personal life very private. IMDb quotes him as saying, "I am an actor, not a celebrity.  I have always wanted to be an actor, not a celebrity."  As of this writing, he has never married and is not known to have any children.


* Adan Rich starred with Bill Cosby and Elliott Gould  in Disney's 1981 fantasy-comedy film The Devil and Max Devlin.  He played Toby Hart, a boy whose fondest wish is to find the right man to marry his widowed mother.

* Adam is a diminutive man.  According to his biography on IMDb, he is only 1.64 metres (5 feet, 5 inches) tall.

* Adam's TV dad, Dick Van Patten, died on June 23, 2915 of complications from diabetes.  He was 86 years old at the time of his passing.  In a 1989 interview with the St. Petersburg Times, Van Patten stated that he was similar to his television character.  "Tom Bradford is a lot like the real me," he said.  "He's a man who always puts his career second to his family.  As long as everything was OK at home, he was OK too."

Adam with Dick Van Patten

* Adam was not the only actor on Eight is Enough who has had drug issues.  In 1994, Lani O'Grady, who played his TV sister Mary, revealed that she was addicted to alcohol and several other drugs, including Valium.  She died of an overdose on September 25, 2001 at the age of 46..  Willie Aames (Tommy Bradford) wrestled with alcoholism and experimented with cocaine.  Another Eight is Enough cast member, Susan Richardson, who played Susan Bradford, has battled addiction to cocaine and pills.  She did not participate in a 2010 cast reunion.

SOURCES:  The Fix, "Eight was Too Much: The Tragic Legacy of a Hit Sitcom," by John Lavitt, June 13, 2017; Do You Remember (, "'Eight is Enough' Cast: Where Are They Now? 2020," by Ed Gross,  October 14, 2020; Wikipedia; Internet Movie Database (

- Joanne

EDITOR'S UPDATE (January 9, 2023):  Adam Rich has died, according to a Los Angeles Medical Examiner.  He passed away at his home in L.A.  on January 7.  2023, according to a TMZ report, citing his family.  He was 54 years old at the time of his passing. The cause of his death is under investigation, although it is not considered to be suspicious.

EDITOR'S UPDATE (June 27, 2023): The cause of Adam Rich's death has been revealed.  A coroner's investigation determined that the child star died from an accidental overdose of fentanyl.  The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner reported that Adam 's death was the result of the effects of the powerful opioid.  The cause and manner of his death was found to be an accident.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Y&R Report (October 24, 2020): The Latest on The Young and the Restless

Hey Y&R fans, every second Saturday TV Banter discusses the latest happenings and provides commentary on your favourite daytime drama. Note to U.S. readers - SPOILER ALERT: Here in Canada, I watch the show on Global TV which is one episode ahead of CBS.  I will inevitably refer to incidents you haven't seen yet. Read at your own risk.  If you are the curious type, though, you may prefer to discover some things in advance. 

Hi fans,

So, Dina Mergeron has left this mortal coil.  Her death was inevitable and expected, but still poignant.  The Abbott family has been shaken to the core and her passing will affect them all greatly.  Although Dina died peacefully surrounded by the love of her family, her death was presented in a very unrealistic way.  Yes, I know Y&R is a soap, but I couldn't help thinking that someone with Alzheimer's would never be able to clearly identify family members in their dying moments.  I guess I have to keep reminding myself that we watch soaps for escapism, not reality.  That's why there is no COVID in Genoa City and nobody is wearing a mask.  We have enough of that in real life right now.  

It's sad that Marla Adams has ended her run as Dina, but she certainly gave life to a very colourful character for many years,  Kudos to Marla.

We will have to see what's in store for the three Abbott siblings now that they have lost their mother.  It's interesting to note that Jack, Ashley and Traci do not have anyone special in their lives.  They are all single.  It's about time that changed.  

Traci is one of my favourite characters on Y&R because she has a heart and she has always been an underdog.  That's why I've always cheered for her to succeed.  Saint John Abbott was not exactly perfect.  He openly favoured Ashley, referring to her as "my beauty."  He never called Traci, his youngest daughter, "my beauty."  In fact, a Jabot product was even named "My Beauty" after Ashley.

John Abbott went to his grave never knowing that Ashley was not his biological daughter.  She is the product of Dina's affair with tennis pro Brent Davis.  It took a long time for Ashley to deal with that and she had amnesia and a nervous breakdown over it.  Still, she never told John the truth.

Traci has found success as an author.  Now she has a position at Chancellor Communications.  It would be great if she also had a little romance in her life too.  The writers made an attempt to pair her with Cane and it was a disaster.  It was not popular with fans because the two didn't suit each other at all.  There was no connection and the writers ended it abruptly when Traci suddenly told him she just wanted to be friends.  

Why can't they find someone suitable for Traci or Jack or Ashley?  It seems that Eileen Davidson will only be making sporadic appearances as Ashley, so she'll most likely return to Paris.  Jack appears to beading on the road to romance.  So where does that leave Traci?

I have some comments to make about Devon and Dr. Nate.  Yes, Nate betrayed his own cousin.  What he and Elena did was inexcusable and  I don't blame Devon for feeling angry and upset.  However, Devon went berserk.  He attacked Nate and injured his hand of a surgeon.  I think Devon has become somewhat arrogant.  Perhaps he has let all the praise for him and his "Business Person of the Year" award go to his head. 

Devon just took matters into his own hands.  He smashed Nate and sent Elena packing.  He didn't even try to understand Elena.  Since his closeness with Amanda bothered Elena, he should have respected his girlfriend's feelings and kept his distance from Amanda.  Actually, it isn't hard to see why Elena was freaked out by Devon's relationship with his beloved late wife's identical twin sister.  Devon assured Elena that she was the one he loved.  Logically she believed him, but she couldn't accept his words on an emotional level,  Devon didn't clue into that at all.  That's why Elena was so vulnerable to Nate.

Although Nate claims that his hand is okay, that may not be the case.  His career may be in jeopardy, along with ability to save lives.  Devon was wronged, but he had no right to injure Nate.  He should be charged with assault.  Where are Clueless Paul and the Genoa City Police?

What's next for heartbreaker Kyle Abbott, now that Snowflake has given him a taste of his own medicine by running off before their remarriage?  Speaking of Summer, she sure looked silly and desperate, running around with a floppy hat and sunglasses, spying on Lola and Kyle.

Faith is more mature than the rest of her family.  She's younger in years, but older in wisdom.  She realizes that a marriage between her mother and Rey would be a disaster with Adam in the picture.  Not surprisingly, like Cassie before her, Faith has started to develop a teenage rebellious streak.  She has been troubled by all the problems  in her family and has been texting someone named "Jordan."  Jordan is a new character played by Madison Thompson of Netflix's Ozark.  It should be interesting to see what Faith has cooked up with her.  

Well, Adam Newman is really a lone wolf right now.  He has to be the most unpopular person in Genoa City.  Even Chelsea, the con woman, has had enough of him.  There are only two people who have sympathy for him: Victor and Sharon.  Now that he's finished with Chelsea, it won't be long before Sharon will be running to his side again.  Poor Rey!

Adam is truly in a dark place and he's spinning out of control.  He's very dangerous right now and he can be very cruel when he's lost and confused.  However, Adams's nemesis, Billy Abbott, seems to be getting too big for his britches.  Billy Boy is too overconfident and vindictive right now.  Lily is really going to have to get him under control.  It seems as if a romance is brewing between those too.  Billy brought up the subject of kissing his partner in Chancellor Media.  Lily appeared to be giving it some serious consideration.  Due to COVID regulations, however, the kissing, if it happens, will not take place on camera.  At any rate, I would advise Lily to think it over very carefully before getting romantically involved with Billy.  After her experience with Cane, does she really want another broken heart?  Princess Victoria will probably give her fair warning.

It will probably take some time, but I expect Billy and Lily (I love the way the names rhyme) will get together.  In the end, like most soap characters, Lily will listen to her heart, not her head.

It was great to see Gloria back, but is she really leaving so soon?  I hope not.  As usual, she's in trouble and it will be fun to see what kind of a mess she's gotten herself into this time.


Victoria Rowell (ex-Drucilla on Y&R) loses brother

On October 16th, Victoria Rowell (ex-Drucilla Winters) reported the death of her brother, David Alan Rowell, on Instagram.  Victoria had a difficult childhood.  According to her 2007 memoir, The Women Who Raised Me, Victoria had four siblings and her mother, Dorothy Collins Rowell, suffered from mental illness.  After an investigation, two of the children were sent to live with their biological father.  Victoria and the other two children had nowhere to go..  They were removed  from their home and became wards of the state.  As a result, Victoria was taken to an orphanage and was raised in foster care.  She did not meet her brother, David (they shared the same mother), until the two found each other as adults.  

David Rowell was a musician.  He played guitar  with some of New England's most prominent musical acts.  He also opened for country music greats Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Tammy Wynette.
David leaves behind his wife, Donna, a daughter, Melissa, and a son, Andy Rowell.




There seems to be much reaction to Christian LeBlanc's (Michael Baldwin) new look.  During the pandemic hiatus, he stopped dying his hair and let it go grey (Some Y&R viewers think he may be wearing a toupee).  On the show, reference was made to Michael's new look by his mother, Gloria, and his brother, Kevin.  Kevin said that Michael look distinguished.  What do you think, fans?  Does Christian look more distinguished or just older?  Do you like his hair grey?  Respond to the poll below and let me know. 

What do you think of Christian LeBlanc 's (Michael Baldwin) hair?
I like his new look. It makes him look handsome and distinguished.
I don't like it. It makes him look years older.
I think it's a toupee.
I haven't decided yet. I'm just getting used to it.
I don't know.
Please Specify:
Created with Poll Creator


If you have any comments on Y&R, please email them to me with "Viewer Forum" in the subject line. I will be happy to publish your comments and reply to them  You do not have to use your real name. 

My email address:

That's all for now.  Please remember that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, November 7, 2020.

Take care and stay safe,


Saturday, October 10, 2020

Y&R Report (October 10, 2020): The Latest on The Young and the Restless

Hey Y&R fans, every second Saturday TV Banter discusses the latest happenings and provides commentary on your favourite daytime drama. Note to U.S. readers - SPOILER ALERT: Here in Canada, I watch the show on Global TV which is one episode ahead of CBS.  I will inevitably refer to incidents you haven't seen yet. Read at your own risk.  If you are the curious type, though, you may prefer to discover some things in advance. 

Hi fans,

So, after shipping Connor off to boarding school for his own safety, con woman Chelsea is set to show an interest in her other biological son, Johnny Abbott.  If you'll remember, Johnny is the son of Billy and Chelsea, but the only mother he has known is Victoria Newman, Billy's ex.  Chelsea has not mentioned her other son until now.  The only reason she wants to get involved in Johnny's life is to cause problems for Princess Victoria.

Billy said he would not allow Chelsea to see Johnny, but Chelsea won't stay away.  She'll find a way to see Johnny, much to the dismay of Victoria.  Speaking of the princess, this is the biggest rift she's ever had with daddy Victor.  I had to burst out laughing when Victor, in an effort to make amends with his daughter, told her that he doesn't want to control her.  In fact, he's controlled her whole life and interfered with all her boyfriends and husbands.  Victor's current arch-enemy is Victoria's ex, Billy Boy Abbott, who seems to have replaced Jack Abbott as his number one nemesis.

I think Victoria and Victor will reconcile, but it will take a while.  When they make up, Victoria will once again hang The Moustache's portrait in the Newman CEO office.

Poor Faith.  With parents like Sharon and Nick and an uncle like Adam, not to mention Nick's current girlfriend, Phyllis, it's a wonder that the teen is not a certified juvenile delinquent.  In a heart to heart talk with her sister, Mariah, Faith wondered if there was anything wrong with her.  I can answer that question.  It's not Faith, it's most of the adults around her.  It's not surprising that she's upset that Uncle Adam kidnapped her when she was a baby and that the story has been splashed all over the media by Aunt Victoria's former husband, Billy Abbott.

Sharon is trying to resist Adam and stay loyal to Rey.  In the long run, she won't be able to do it.  She won't succeed because the lure of Adam is just too strong.  Rey is going to be left out in the cold again.  The problem is he didn't put his foot down from the beginning, especially when she started running to see him secretly.  He should have said "It's Adam or me.  Make your choice."  If she chose Adam, he would have found out where her heart was sooner and spared himself further heartbreak.  Sharon suggested that she and Rey get  married for two reasons.  She feels guilty because Rey has been so supportive and she doesn't trust herself to stay away from Adam.  If she's married to Rey, there would be another barrier between her and Adam.  The only problem is that it isn't going to work.  Any barriers between Sharon and Adam will be broken down.  Rey and Sharon's marriage will be a disaster - just what Rey needs after his nightmare with former wife, Mia.

Adam is not the most consistent guy.  He proposed to Chelsea and they talked about getting married.  Not long after, he told Sharon that she was she one who had always understood him  He told her that they belonged together and that she should dump Rey for him.  When Chelsea tried to defend Adam for killing A.J. when he was 11 years old, she said he was a frightened child who was protecting his mother from harm.  Adam responded that he had a darkness inside and he truly was a killer.  However, when Billy mentioned AJ.'s death, Adam used the same argument as Cheslea.  He said he had only been defending his blind mother.

Well, as predicted, Summer and Kyle are finished.  It's a good thing they didn't get married again.  It would have been another disaster.  That leaves Kyle open to someone new.  Although anyone who gets involved with him should be warned.  Adam and Chelsea are pretty well finished too.  I don't think Nick and Phyllis will last either.  In the end, Nick will always put his family before Phyllis.  That's the Newman way.  Phyllis is in a collision course with Victoria and other Newmans. and Nick will side with them when the chips are down.  Actually, it's about time for some fresh new couples on the show.  

Chloe finally had her baby boy, Miles. It was good to see Lauren (Tracey Bregman) again, although we haven't seen Michael (Christian LeBlanc) yet.  Paul (Doug Davidson) will be making an appearance this coming week.  It will be good to see Doug, but I'm disappointed that it's only an appearance.  I wish he had a bigger role.


Ozark star Madison Thompson to play new character on Y&R

Madison Thompson has just completed season three of a major recurring role on Netflix's Ozark.  Now the 19-year-old Atlanta native has joined the cast of  The Young and the Restless, according to Deadline.  Madison herself confirmed on Instagram hat she will be coming to Y&R.  Her character, Jordan, has been described as a "worldly" woman.  Jordan  will be arriving in Genoa City in late October, just in time for the Halloween festivities.  It will be interesting to see which storyline she will be involved in.  Perhaps she'll be a new love interest for Kyle or Theo.

Courtney Hope will play her Bold and Beautiful character on Y&R

I previously reported that Courtney Hope was joining the cast of Y&R.  At that time, it was not known what character she would play.  Well, we now know.  Y&R has confirmed that Courtney will continue to play her B&B character, Sally Spectra, who will cross over to Y&R.  That's not unusual or surprising.  As fans know, Y&R and B&B are sister soaps.  Over the years, several characters have crossed over from one of them to another.

Sally Spectra will be coming to Genoa City in order to make a fresh start.  The truth is that Sally will be trying to escape from the mess she's leaving behind in Los Angeles.  If you watch B&B, you'll know that she lied about having an incurable disease to win favour with a man.  So, we know that Sally will cause problems,  As Y&R head writer and executive producer put it, "Sally Spectra is a colourful character that fans love watching.  We are excited for her to stir things up in Genoa City and join our talented cast."


Chance and Abby seen to be building a good relationship, at least for a soap opera.  What do you think, fans?  Do you like them together?

Do you think Abby and Chance make a good couple?
Yes, they have good chemistry and they are happy together.
No, Abby should find someone else. Chance can be shady. He might break her heart.
I'm not sure yet. I need more time to decide.
I don't know.
Please Specify:
Created with PollMaker


If you have any comments on Y&R, please email them to me with "Viewer Forum" in the subject line. I will be happy to publish your comments and reply to them  You do not have to use your real name. 

My email address:

That's all for now.  Don't forget that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, October 24, 2020.  

To my Canadian readers:  Happy Thanksgiving (October 12, 2020).  All the best to you and your families.

Take care and stay safe,

- Joanne

Thursday, October 8, 2020

The Life and Times of Jack Lord

Jack Lord in 1974

" . . . Five-O was his show and McGarrett was his character – no doubt about it. It was such a unique concept at the time and the character was so easy to admire. I think when he told his wife after he read the part that this was the one they were waiting for, he knew too this was something special and he was the right one for the job."

- Sylvia Lynch, author of Jack Lord: An Acting Life

Jack Lord was an accomplished stage and film actor, but it was his role as television's Steve McGarrett on Hawaii Five-O that made him a star.  John Joseph Patrick Ryan, better known as Jack, was born on December 30, 1920 in New York City, the son of Irish Americans  His mother, Ellen Josephine O'Brien Ryan (1892-1994) was a housewife.  His father, William Lawrence "Bill" Ryan (1887-1996), was a ship surveyor, ensuring that ships and their cargo were safe.  Although most references describe Bill Ryan as a steamship company executive, Jack said his father owned a fleet of five ships, each with the word "angel" in their names,  Consequently, young Jack loved the open sea and he loved sailing.

At the time of Jack's birth, the Ryan family lived in an apartment house in Brooklyn.  They later moved to Morris Park (now known as Richmond Hill), Queens, New York, where Jack was raised.  Jack was the second of the five Ryan children.  His four siblings were William Lawrence "Bill" Ryan Jr. (1918-1982), Josephine S. Ryan (1923-2001), Thomas Herbert Ryan (1928-2006) and Robert Gerard Ryan (1935-2003).  Their mother Ellen's family owned a fruit orchard in New York state's Hudson River Valley.  It was there that young Jack spent his summers and learned to ride horses.  

Jack attended Saint Benedict Joseph School, a Catholic grammar school in Morris Park (Richmond Hill). and then John Adams High School, a public high school  in the Ozone Park neighbourhood of Queens.  In June of 1938, the 17-year-old  graduated from John Adams High.  Below is "John Ryan's" photo from the senior issue of the school's yearbook, The Clipper.  The bottom photo shows Jack with his football team.  He is reclining in the foreground of the picture.

Jack's childhood dream was to be an artist.  When he was 12 years old, he entered a poster contest sponsored by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).  His poster  won first prize.  As a teen, he spent his summers at sea in the Merchant Marine.  From the deck of ships, he painted and sketched landscapes from around the world.  In 1941, the aspiring artist made his first professional sale to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for two linoleum cuts, Vermont and Fishing Shacks, Block Island.

After finishing high school, Jack studied at New York University (NYU) for four years on a football scholarship.  He majored in fine art and graduated in 1942.  While at NYU, Jack and his brother Bill founded the Village Academy of Arts in Greenwich Village, where the siblings directed art courses.  However, Jack's career as an artist had to be put on hold when the United States entered World War II.  Throughout the war, Jack served in the Merchant Marine.

In June of 1945, Jack received a commission with the U.S. Maritime Commission and was given the rank of ensign with a third mate's licence.  This made it mandatory for him to remain in the Maritime Service for an extra period of time.  After the war, Jack spent a year in Persia as a steel worker with the U.S. Engineering Service.  He then briefly served on a merchant ship after which he underwent deck training at the U.S. Officer's Training School, then located at the Coast Guard Academy at Fort Trumbull in New London, Connecticut.  

Jack was sent to Washington, where he worked as an artist for service publications and appeared in maritime warfare training films.  It was then that he developed an interest in acting, which remained with him when his obligation to the Marine Service ended in 1948.  He returned to New York City and  studied drama at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre, where he was trained by renowned acting coach Samuel Meisner.  He also studied at Actors Studio.  To support himself in those days, he worked as a car salesman.

Jack Lord's first commercial film role was in a bit part in 1949's The Red Menace, an anti-communist production, also known as Project X.  He was then billed as Jack Ryan.  On October 27, 1954, Jack made his Broadway debut as Slim Murphy in Horton Foote's The Traveling Lady.

In 1955, Jack succeeded Ben Gazzara on Broadway in the role of Brick in Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.  Then it was on to Hollywood.  From 1955 to 1959, Jack appeared in several films including The Court Martial of Billy Mitchell (1955), Tip on a Dead Jockey (1957) and God's Little Acre (1958).  He had his first real leading role in The True Story of Lynn Stuart (1958), starring Betsy Palmer., in which he portrayed a drug-dealing thug.

When movie roles became scarce, Jack turned to television, where he had begun making guest appearances in 1956.  He was cast in a slew of TV Westerns such as Bonanza (1960), Have Gun - Will Travel (1957), Gunsmoke (1957), Outlaws (1961), Stagecoach West (1961), Rawhide (1959, 1961), Wagon Train (1965), Laredo (1966) and The Virginian (1966), in which he often played villainous roles.  

During his early television career, Jack also guest-starred in episodes of The Untouchables (1959), The Loretta Young Show (1959), Dr. Kildare (1964), Combat! (1965) and 12 O'Clock High (1965. 1966).  Prior to his success in Hawaii Five-O, Jack began appearing in episodes of TV crime and detective series such as The Fugitive (1967), Ironside (1967) and the Man from U.N.C,L.E. (1967).  

From 1962 to 1963, Jack starred in his first regular series role as champion rodeo rider Stoney Burke in an ABC's Western drama of the same name.  Five years later, he got his big break and was cast in his second series, a CBS police drama called Hawaii Five-O.  For 12 seasons, from 1968 to 1980, Jack starred as Detective Stephen McGarrett.  McGarrett was chosen by the Governor to preside over the fictional criminal investigation department in Honolulu, Hawaii.  

Hawaii Five-O was one of American TV's longest running crime shows.  It's 12 seasons consist of  278 episodes.  The series was filmed on location in the Hawaiian islands, making it the first U.S. TV series based in Hawaii.

Jack Lord as Steve McGarrett

Detective Danny "Danno" Williams, played by James MacArthur, was Steve McGarrett's sidekick. Episodes of Hawaii Five-O often ended with McGarrett uttering the popular catch phrase "Book'em, Danno."  MacArthur left his role a year before the show's final season because as he explained on his website, "Quite frankly, I grew bored.  The stories became more bland and predictable and presented less and less challenge to me as an actor."   

Below is a 1968 publicity photo of Jack MacArthur from the premiere of Hawaii Five-O.

Jack Lord's  last TV appearance  was in an unsuccessful 1980 pilot for a CBS series called M Station: Hawaii.  After that, he stayed out of the spotlight.  He spent much of his time painting from his 'studio" in the corner of his bedroom in a third storey suite at the Kahala Apartments in Honolulu, were he had a magnificent view of the Pacific to inspire him.

Jack Lord was married twice.  His first wife was Ann Cicely Willard.  According to Ann's family tree on Genearnet, the couple wed in 1944 and divorced in 1947.  It was not a happy marriage, especially due the fact that Jack was away so often during World War II.  

Jack and Ann had a son, John Joseph Ryan Jr., born December 1, 1942.  Jack only saw his son once, as an infant.  On October 24, 1955, the boy died of virus hepatitis at the age of 12.  Jack only learned of his son's death when his ex-wife sent him a copy of their son's death certificate. 

Jack was still serving in the Merchant Marine when he met his his second wife, Marie DeNarde. While visiting his brother Bill in Woodstock, New York, Jack went house hunting and discovered  a stone house that he wanted to purchase.  The home was owned by his future spouse, Marie, who told Jack that she didn't want to sell it.  They eventually became romantically involved.

Marie was born August 16, 1905 in St.. Louis, Missouri, the daughter of Italian immigrants, She had studied fashion design and art in Paris and had moved to New York to pursue a career in her chosen field. 

Photo of Marie taken by Jack

On January 17, 1949, Jack wed Marie.  At the time of their marriage, Jack was a struggling actor, trying to make a name for himself.  As was common at the time, Marie gave up her own career in the fashion industry so that she could support Jack's career.

The couple stayed in Honolulu after Hawaii Five-0 ended its run in 1980.  They remained together for almost 50 years, until Jack's death in 1998.  Marie was an excellent cook.  Her kitchen in Honolulu featured pumpkin-coloured cabinets and she enjoyed planning dinner parties, albeit small, intimate gathering with close friends.

For at least seven years before his death, Jack suffered from Alzheimer's Disease.  He died of congestive heart failure at his home in Honolulu, Hawaii on January 21, 1998.  He was 77 years old at the time of his passing.  


* Jack Lord could not bill himself as "Jack Ryan" because a "Jack Ryan" was already registered with the actor's guild.

* Jack widow, Marie, was fifteen years his senior.  She passed away on October 13, 2005 at her home in Honolulu.  She was 100 years old at the time of her death,  When Marie died, Jack's entire estate was donated to Hawaiian charities.

* Jack was the first actor to portray the Felix Lester in the James Bond film series.  The character was introduced in the first Bond film, 1962's Dr. No.

* James MacArthur, who played Danno on Hawaii Five-O, was the the son of playwright Charles MacArthur and legendary stage actress Helen Hayes.  MacArthur died on October 28, 2010 of natural causes.  He was 72 at the time of his passing.  

SOURCES:  Remembering Jack Lord ( website, by Virginia Tolles; The Richmond Hill Historical Society website ("About Jack Lord, Actor and Artist; Official Site of Author Michael Rickard, "Interview with Sylvia Lynch Author of 'Jack Lord, An Acting Life;'" The Associated Press"Hawaii Five--O' actor James MacArthur dies, October 28, 2010; Wikipedia; Internet Movie Database (

- Joanne