Hawaii Five-0 and Forrest Gump actor Al Harrington dies aged 85 after suffering stroke

Al Harrington died on Tuesday (Picture: Getty Images)

Hawaii Five-0 actor Al Harrington has died at the age of 85, it has been confirmed. 

The TV star had been hospitalised last week after suffering a stroke before his death on Tuesday, his family confirmed to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Harrington was best known for playing Detective Ben Kokua in the hit series, which ran from 1968 to 1980. 

He also appeared in the CBS reboot of Hawaii Five-0 playing the recurring role of surf shop owner and bus driver Mamo Kahike from 2011 to 2018.

Harrington was born Tausau Ta’a on December 12, 1935 in American Samoa. He was raised by his grandmother until he was three, when his mother, Lela Suapaia, flew him out to join her in Honolulu, Hawaii.

The actor joined the Hawaii Five-0 cast in 1972, replacing original cast member Gilbert ‘Zulu’ Kauhi (Kono) as the Polynesian member of the Five-0 team. Harrington spent three years on the US series but built a solid fanbase in that time.

Harrington was best known for playing Detective Ben Kokua in Hawaii Five-O (Picture: CBS)

Harrington will also be recognised for his roles alongside Tom Hanks in the classic Forrest Gump, as well as guest appearances in TV shows such as Charlie’s Angels, The Jeffersons, Magnum P.I. and Scrubs.

Upon leaving Hawaii Five-0 in 1975, Harrington found carved out another career as a Waikiki showroom headliner and recording artist known affectionately as The South Pacific Man.

However, he retired from the stage in 1992 and spent the next 13 years living on the mainland doing film work in Utah and California.

More: US TV news

After returning to live in Hawaii in 2008, Harrington was awarded the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts’ lifetime achievement award in 2018.

He is survived by his wife, Rosa, sons Alema and Tau, daughters Summer and Cassi Harrington Palmer, and several grandchildren.

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