By Wayne Harada
You know the wave, the hotel, and that unforgettable music from the original “Hawaii Five-0.”
But do you know the locals who weren’t cast members who appeared in that iconic original opening sequence that has faithfully been recreated for the current reboot with Alex O’Loughlin, Scott Caan, Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park in the obligatory credit roll?
Yes, Jack Lord and company appeared in the original CBS opening footage.
But who were the pretty women in the opening credits, in perpetual motion while the Morton Stevens theme song was intoxicating us all?
Like, the model in a pareu, running on the beach? And the wiggling Tahitian dancer?
The hotel, of course, was the Ilikai, which today is the reinvented Waikiki Edition Hotel, but it still provides the balcony setting to introduce O’Loughlin as Steve McGarrett, just the way the world first got to know the late Lord.
But the original had that pin-up beauty, who was Elizabeth Logue, who gets a nice turn-the-face-to-the-camera closeup that still thrives in syndication. And the Polynesian dancer, with hips moving, was Helen Kuoha-Torca.
They shared the limelight with quick-cut images of Island scenics like Diamond Head, Aloha Tower and Lady Columbia (aka Lady Liberty) from the top of the staircase at the National Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl. In some versions of the opener, a young boy appears; and fire knife dancers as well; and images of the King Kamehameha statue.
The familiar flashing blue-dome police light of a motorcycle, retained in the current opener, is an homage to the past, too.
Another trivia note: Do you know the two actors who turned down the McGarrett role before Lord accepted? One wasn’t a local resident, but the other was.
The pair: Gregory Peck and Richard Boone; the latter called Hawaii home and was asked by original producer Leonard Freeman to become McGarrett since he was already living here, but Boone declined. He already had completed filming “The Richard Boone Show” in Hawaii, and was not interested.
Boone (who also starred in the earlier “Have Gun, Will Travel”) also is believed to be the one who urged Freeman — who wanted to use Hawaii mostly for second unit filming (background, incidental shots) — and to shoot “Five-0” entirely in Hawaii and not the Mainland, to maintain authenticity and credibility.
Thus, “Five-0” became the first network series to film entirely on location, setting up the bar for others that followed — from “Magnum P.I.” to “Lost” to “Off the Map” — to shoot the whole enchilada here.