Taylor Wily Dies: ‘Hawaii Five-0’ Actor Was 56

7 Min Read

Taylor Wily, beloved actor known for his role as Kamekona Tupuola on the popular TV series ‘Hawaii Five-0,’ has passed away at the age of 56.

Wily’s death marks the end of an era for fans of the show and the broader entertainment community.


His portrayal of the lovable shrimp truck owner and informant brought warmth and humor to the series, making him a standout character.

This article pays tribute to Taylor Wily’s life, career, and the legacy he leaves behind.


Early Life and Career

Taylor Wily, born Teila Tuli on June 14, 1968, in Honolulu, Hawaii, was a man of many talents.

Before his acting career took off, Wily was a professional sumo wrestler, known by his ring name, Takamishu.


He was one of the few Americans to compete in the sport in Japan, where he quickly gained popularity.

However, his sumo career was cut short due to injuries, leading him to explore new avenues.


Wily transitioned into acting, where his larger-than-life personality and unique background caught the attention of casting directors.

His first major break came with a minor role in the film “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” but it was his role on ‘Hawaii Five-0’ that truly made him a household name.


Rise to Fame: ‘Hawaii Five-0’

‘Hawaii Five-0,’ a reboot of the classic 1968 series, premiered in 2010 and quickly became a hit.

Taylor Wily joined the cast as Kamekona Tupuola, a former convict turned entrepreneur.


His character, known for his booming voice and infectious laugh, ran a shrimp truck and often provided comic relief on the show.

More importantly, Kamekona was a trusted informant for the Five-0 task force, blending humor with critical plot contributions.


Wily’s portrayal of Kamekona resonated with audiences, making him one of the most memorable characters on the show.

His interactions with the main cast, especially with Alex O’Loughlin’s Steve McGarrett and Scott Caan’s Danny Williams, were highlights of the series.


Fans adored Kamekona’s entrepreneurial spirit, which included side ventures like helicopter tours, adding depth and charm to the character.

Impact on ‘Hawaii Five-0’ and Its Legacy

Taylor Wily’s role on ‘Hawaii Five-0’ extended beyond mere comic relief.


He embodied the spirit of Hawaii, bringing a genuine touch of local culture and flavor to the show.

His character’s resilience and resourcefulness mirrored the real-life experiences of many Hawaiians, adding authenticity to the series.


Wily’s performance contributed to the show’s success and longevity, which ran for ten seasons until 2020.

Wily’s Kamekona became an iconic part of ‘Hawaii Five-0,’ and his legacy continues to influence new generations of viewers.


The character’s blend of humor, heart, and hustle provided a relatable and endearing figure that many fans grew to love.

His impact on the show and its audience remains a significant part of his legacy.


Personal Life and Off-Screen Contributions

Off-screen, Taylor Wily was known for his kindness, generosity, and community involvement.

He often participated in charitable events and used his platform to give back to his native Hawaii.


Wily was a beloved figure not only for his on-screen work but also for his dedication to his community and his warm, approachable nature.

Friends and colleagues remember him as a gentle giant, a man with a heart as big as his stature.


His co-stars frequently spoke of his positive attitude and the joy he brought to the set.

Wily’s ability to connect with people from all walks of life made him a beloved figure both in and out of the entertainment industry.


The Outpouring of Tributes

Following the news of Taylor Wily’s passing, an outpouring of tributes flooded social media.

Fans, co-stars, and friends shared their memories and expressed their sorrow.


Alex O’Loughlin, who played Steve McGarrett, posted a heartfelt message, calling Wily “a brother and a friend” and highlighting his infectious positivity and unwavering support.

Scott Caan, who played Danny Williams, shared his grief, remembering Wily’s laughter and the joy he brought to the set every day.


Other cast members and production crew echoed these sentiments, painting a picture of a man who was not only a talented actor but also a cherished friend.

Fans of ‘Hawaii Five-0’ took to social media to share their favorite Kamekona moments, from his hilarious business ventures to his more heartfelt scenes.


The love and respect for Taylor Wily were palpable, demonstrating the deep connection he had with his audience.

Taylor Wily’s Broader Influence

Beyond ‘Hawaii Five-0,’ Taylor Wily’s influence reached into various facets of entertainment and sports.


His journey from sumo wrestling to acting showcased his versatility and determination.

Wily’s success in both fields is an inspiring story of resilience and adaptation, proving that it is possible to pivot and find new passions after setbacks.


Wily also made guest appearances on other TV shows and participated in various film projects, bringing his unique presence to every role.

His ability to balance comedy and sincerity made him a sought-after character actor, and his contributions to the entertainment industry extend beyond his most famous role.


Remembering Taylor Wily: A Legacy of Laughter and Love

Taylor Wily leaves behind a legacy defined by laughter, love, and resilience.

His portrayal of Kamekona Tupuola brought joy to millions of viewers, while his off-screen generosity touched countless lives.


Wily’s story is a testament to the power of perseverance and the importance of staying true to oneself.

In remembering Taylor Wily, it is essential to celebrate the man behind the character.


Share This Article
Leave a comment