Book 'Em Danno One Last Time
Earlier today, it was announced that actor James MacArthur passed away at the age of seventy-two from natural causes. He was in Florida at the time of his death and was survived by his wife, four children, and six grandchildren.
The son of playwright Charles MacArthur and actress Helen Hayes, MacArthur had a long career in film and television spanning six decades with his most recognizable role being Detective Danny “Danno” Williams on the original version of Hawaii 5-0.
Co-star Jack Lord, who played MacArthur’s partner Detective Steve McGarret, gained a great deal of attention for uttering the phrase “Book ‘em Danno” which entered the nation’s lexicon and is still a phrase spoken thirty-one years after the show ended. The phrase was given new prominence as a remake of Hawaii 5-0 went on the air in Fall of 2010.
Though, Hawaii 5-0 was the obvious zenith of his lengthy career, It was just a small piece of a much larger acting mosaic. He received a BAFTA nomination in 1958 for his role in The Young Stranger. He saw his film career peak with the 1960 Disney film Swiss Family Robinson, and later appeared in such films as Hang ‘Em High and Battle of the Bulge.
He appeared in dozens of note-worthy television series such as The Untouchables, Wagon Train, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Gunsmoke, Bonanza, Fantasy Island, and Murder She Wrote.
I never watched the original Hawaii 5-0 since I was born after it started and was rather young when it went off the air. I, like most people, will never forget the opening theme song. It’s one of the most memorable of all time.
Supposedly, MacArthur had been contacted about a possible guest appearance which makes his passing sad as another generation missed out on an opportunity to experience a performance from this skilled actor.