JACK LORD Biography - Actors and Actresses


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Name: John Joseph Patrick Ryan                                                         
Born: 30 December 1920 Brooklyn, New York, U.S.                                       
Died: 21 January 1998 Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S                                           
John Joseph Patrick Ryan (December 30, 1920 – January 21, 1998), best known by       
his stage name Jack Lord, was an American television, film, and Broadway actor.       
He was best known for his starring role as Steve McGarrett in the American             
television program Hawaii Five-O from 1968 to 1980. Lord also appeared in             
several classic feature films earlier in his career, among them Man of the West       
(1958) starring Gary Cooper and the first James Bond film Dr. No (1962) starring       
Sean Connery.                                                                         
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Jack Lord was the son of Irish-American parents. His       
father, William Lawrence Ryan was a steamship company executive. He developed         
his equestrian skills on his mother's fruit farm in the Hudson River Valley. At       
the age of fifteen he started spending summers at sea, and from the deck of           
cargo ships, painted and sketched the landscapes he encountered — Africa, the       
Mediterranean and China. He was educated at John Adams High School in Ozone Park,     
New York, Fort Trumbull Merchant Marine Academy, then located in New London,           
Connecticut, graduating as an Ensign with a Third Mates License.                       
On a football scholarship to New York University he secured a degree in Fine           
Arts. He spent the first year of World War II with the War Department's Corps of       
Engineers, building bridges in Persia. He then returned to the Merchant Marine         
as an Able Seaman before enrolling in the deck officer course at Fort Trumbull.       
While making maritime training films, he took to the idea of acting.                   
This is when he decided to attend the Neighborhood Playhouse, working first as a       
salesman for Horgan Ford, then later as a Cadillac salesman in New York to fund       
his studies. Later, at the Actor's Studio, he studied with Marlon Brando, Paul         
Newman, and Marilyn Monroe.                                                           
His first work on Broadway was in, "Traveling Lady" with Kim Stanley. He was           
then cast as a replacement for Ben Gazarra in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof". Prior to       
that he had been in several off and pre-broadway plays including "The Little Hut"(his 
first play), "The Illegitimist",and "The Savage". His first Hollywood movie role       
was in "Court Martial of Billy Mitchell" with Gary Cooper. Early in his career,       
he met his wife, Marie, who gave up her own career to support him.                     
Lord was the first actor to play the character of Felix Leiter in the James Bond       
film series, introduced in the first Bond film, Dr. No. One story alleges that         
the film producers did not ask Lord to reprise the role in later films, since         
they felt that having the same actor playing Leiter would upstage the dominance       
of Sean Connery as the leading man. There is another story that Lord demanded co-star 
billing, a bigger role and more money to reprise the Felix Leiter role in             
Goldfinger which resulted in director Guy Hamilton casting the role to an older       
actor to make Leiter more of an American 'M'.                                         
In 1962, Lord starred as Stoney Burke, a rodeo cowboy from Mission Ridge, South       
Dakota, in the television series of that name, which featured Warren Oates and         
Bruce Dern in recurring supporting roles.                                             
In 1965, Jack Lord was considered for the role of Captain Kirk on Star Trek; the       
role ultimately went to William Shatner. Because Lord wanted to co-produce and         
have a percentage in ownership of the series, he was ultimately rejected by both       
Gene Roddenberry and Desilu Studios.