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Al Harrington (actor)

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Full Name
Tausau Ta'a

Television actor

Al Harrington


Lela Suapaia

December 12, 1935 (age 85) (
Pago Pago, American Samoa

Alema Harrington, Tau Harrington

Movies and TV shows
Hawaii Five‑O, White Fang 2: Myth of the White, Forrest Gump, You May Not Kiss the Bride, The Long Road Home

Similar People
Kam Fong Chun, Herman Wedemeyer, Ken Olin, Scott Swofford, Robert Zemeckis

Al harrington hawaii 5 0 interview thunder valley casino resort

Al Harrington (born Tausau Ta'a on December 12, 1935) is an American television actor. He is best known for his role as "Det. Ben Kokua" on the CBS television series Hawaii Five-O and as Mamo Kahike on the 2010 reboot of Hawaii Five-0 playing the owner of a surf shop and a bus driver in the off season. He had previously appeared in five episodes of the series as other characters.


Al Harrington smiling while looking afar and wearing a blue bandana, checkered long sleeves, and red polo shirt

Early years

Al Harrington, in one of his interviews, while wearing a black coat, floral long sleeves, and black and white necklace

Al Harrington was raised by his maternal grandmother in the village of Mapusaga in Pago Pago until he was three. His mother, Lela Suapaia, sent for him to join her while she was working as a nurse in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. She later married Roy Milburn Harrington a native of Iron Mountain, Michigan, who had come to Honolulu as a serviceman with the US Army. The elder Harrington later became a member of the Honolulu Police Department. However, it was not until Al Harrington's sophomore year in high school that he took his stepfather's last name.

Al Harrington with a tight-lipped smile and wearing a floral polo while Rosa Harrington wearing a black and white long sleeve blouse

He excelled at theater and American football at Punahou School, where he was a member of the class of 1954. He participated in several productions at the school while at the same time wowed people on the football field. He led his team to the league championships at Honolulu Stadium and was the first high school football All-American to come out of Hawaii.

Al Harrington wearing white long sleeves and a black necktie in a scene from the 1968 tv series Hawaii Five-O

Al Harrington went on to play for Stanford University, where he aspired to become a drama major. Unfortunately, there was some opposition to minority drama majors there. When he graduated in 1958 with a B.A. in History, the Baltimore Colts were interested in him. However, it did not offer the kind of money American professional football teams now offer, so he returned to Honolulu. Also, in order to pay for his tuition, he would work as a Polynesian dancer. It was this interesting occupation that led to an appearance on the classic game show To Tell the Truth.

Al Harrington looking at something while wearing a dark gray coat, white long sleeves, and polka dot necktie

On his return to Hawaii, Harrington would eventually work as a history teacher at Punahou and professor at the University of Hawaii. He also performed for many years as an entertainer in Waikiki, earning the well-known moniker of "The South Pacific Man." His popularity in the 1970s and 1980s made him a household name in Hawaii. He had a long running dance revue show, including Tahitian fire dancing, at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki. And, along with other entertainers such as Don Ho, he helped define the entertainment industry in Hawaii, known to tourists and dignitaries alike from around the world.

Al Harrington smiling while wearing black and red long sleeves, a black necklace, and leaves around his neck

Harrington is among a few of the supporting cast of Hawaii Five-O still alive along with William Smith, Sharon Farrell, Doug Mossman, and Dennis Chun (also the son of Kam Fong, he had spot cameos). Harrington and Chun have recurring roles as Mamo Kahike and Sgt. Duke Lukela respectively in the 2010 reboot.

Religion and family

Al Harrington smiling while wearing garlands and colorful polo with a coconut tree design

Harrington is a Latter-day Saint. He had one of the lead parts in The Testaments, a film produced by the LDS Church. He also played the role of Thomas Trueblood in Light of the World, A Celebration of Life, that was put on by the LDS Church in Salt Lake City during the Olympics there in 2002.

Al's sons Alema and Tau Harrington both attended Punahou School and later played football at Brigham Young University.


Al Harrington (actor) Wikipedia