James MacArthur, 'Hawaii Five-0' actor, dies

James-MacArthurImage Credit: Everett CollectionJames MacArthur, the actor who played Danno in the original Hawaii Five-0, passed away this morning, according to a Paramount rep. The actor — the son of screenwriter Charles MacArthur and actress Helen Hayes — was 72 years old; no cause of death was given.

Along with his 11-year stint playing Detective Dan Williams in Hawaii Five-0, MacArthur appeared in films like 1960’s Swiss Family Robinson, and 1965’s The Battle of the Bulge. The actor also appeared on Broadway in Invitation to a March. Other films on his resume include: 1965’s The Truth About Spring, 1963’s Cry of Battle, 1963’s Spencer’s Mountain, and 1962’s The Interns.

Actress Marion Ross (Happy Days) said in a statement, “After swooning over him in Swiss Family Robinson, I got to have a date with him on Hawaii Five-0 and toured the country with him in [the play] Arsenic and Old Lace, which was a joy.”

Peter Lenkov, the executive producer of CBS’ Hawaii Five-0 remake, sent regards to MacArthur’s family. “We’ve lost a special part of our heritage today,” Lenkov said in a statement to EW. “James’ talents and memorable role helped bring this series to life and his support of our remake meant the world to us. The phrase ‘Book ‘em Danno’ will forever be testimony to an actor and character that will not be forgotten. The thoughts and prayers of everyone here at Hawaii Five-0 go out to his family, his friends, and his many, many fans around the world.”

Comments (54 total) Add your comment
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  • Jim Jefferson

    You didn’t mention that he was the son (adopted) of Helen Hayes and Charles MacArthur.

    • teresa

      Read the second sentence…

    • ShadowsGathered

      Clean those glasses, hon… or get some!

  • Sean

    Book-em Dano!

  • rebecca

    That is sad, I was hoping he would guest star on the new Hawaii Five-0! RIP!

  • riley

    well, that’s too bad. I grew up watching the original Hawaii Five-0. and I’ve been enjoying the remake that just started this season too. RIP.

  • Robin

    Loved him in Swiss Family Robinson. That’s still one of my faves.

  • John

    Sad to hear this but did I just read that Mrs. C and Danno went out on a date? Wow.

  • Ellie

    Sad news. Rest in peace, Danno.

  • Lelu

    And they were just trying to get him to cameo on the new “Hawaii 5-0!” So sad…I had a little crush on him, too!

  • Rabbi Finkleschteinman

    Yeesh, what are we talking about this goy for? Tell us about Glee!!!

    • Cathy B

      I was very young when the original Hawaii 5-0 was on, but he was wonderful in that. If you can’t respect what others are saying in this forum regarding someone who just died, then why are you here?

    • Barry

      Why don’t you burn in hell

      • Alia

        That’s… maybe a bit excessive.

    • Dawn

      I’m with you Cathy B. I grew up watching Hawaii 5-0 with my parents and it was a great show… People could actually ACT back then…
      As for you, Rabbi, show a little respect.

    • VNova

      I’m guessing you’re not a real Rabbi…

  • B. Kraft

    How sad! The producers of the new “Five-0″ wanted him for a cameo.

  • Spencer

    I had the pleasure of meeting James MacArthur in Midland,Tx at a dinner theater in 1981, I was delivering a piano to the theater early that day and he was there, my friend that was helping actually recognized him and said “hey aren’t you James MacArthur” and he was great! very friendly in fact he helped us unload the grand piano!

    • AndyC

      What a cool story about an even cooler dude. Thx for sharing. RIP Danno from a 61 yr old.

  • Kevin

    James really played a true Danno on the original Five – O. The CBS reboot will always have a heart in Hawaii. RIP Danny Williams.

  • carolina

    I too swooned over him in Swiss Family Robinson and loved him in Spencer’s Mountain. RIP James.

  • anna

    Oh NO!! Rest in peace, Mr. MacArthur & know that to many you will always be the original & only Danno

  • pete

    I’ll bet he tuned in to the new show, and that was it. I know it made ME physically ill to watch, but if you’re up there in years…well…it’s like getting the flu.

    “Boxem’ Dano”

    • erin

      You’re a real charmer, aren’t you?

      FYI, he liked the new show.

    • Jethro

      He was probably really happy Caan played Danno and not that bad actor Alex O. RIP James.

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