James MacArthur, Danno on Original ‘Hawaii Five-0,’ Dies

The son of Hollywood and Broadway royalty played “Danno” for 11 years

 

 

James MacArthur, who for 11 years played Det. Dan Williams (Danno of "Book 'em, Danno") on the original "Hawaii Five-0" television series, had died. He was 72.

No cause of death was given other than "natural causes."

MacArthur was the son of actress Helen Hayes and famed playwright Charles MacArthur. The actor was raised in Los Angeles among show-business people, and grew up acting on stage and screen. 

While still in high school he appeared in the TV play "Deal a Blow," which was later adapted as a film in which he also acted. MacArthur appeared in several broadway productions before returning to Hollywood to star in several smaller films, including a role in the all-star cast of "The Battle of the Bulge."

He was cast as Det. Dan Williams on "Hawaii Five-0" after a producer noticed his brilliant, one-take performance as a traveling preacher in the 1968 Clint Eastwood film "Hang 'em High." He played Danno for 11 years but left before the show's final season in 1980, saying that the role no longer challenged or interested him.