'Hawaii Five-0' star Taylor Wily dies aged 56

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By James Kay

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Taylor Wily, a former sumo wrestler who went on to have a successful career as an actor, has died aged 56.

The sad news was confirmed by Peter M. Lenkov, executive producer of the Hawaii Five-0 reboot (2010-2020).

GettyImages-610081950.jpgWily and Lenkov. Credit: Darryl Oumi/Getty

Lenkov initially expressed his grief on Instagram, stating: “I am devastated. Heartbroken. I’ll post some detailed feelings later. Just too hard right now.”

He later followed up with a longer tribute, addressing Wily directly: “T, as I told you many times, I fell in love with you at the first audition.

"You came in with a towel on your head mopping up sweat, and I was smitten. You charmed me into making you a regular… on the show… and in my life. You were family. And I will miss you every day, brother.

“PS: when we spoke last week, we laughed at how right you were from Day 1. Five-0 was our dream job. And I was so lucky we got to share that magic together.”


Wily's sister, Alyssa, posted a heartfelt video tribute on Facebook, showing the family honoring Taylor's memory with ball games and board games.

"Mourning and celebrating our favorite brother and uncle the way he would want us to," she wrote, adding: "Family, Food, Music and Good Vibes. Aurrrrrrighhhhh (in his voice)."

Born Teila Tuli on June 14, 1968, in Laie, Hawaii, Wily was of American Samoan descent. Before his acting career, he achieved fame as a successful sumo wrestler and mixed martial artist, per Deadline.

GettyImages-152680561.jpgWily has sadly passed away aged 56. Credit: Kent Nishimura/Getty

Competing as Teila Tuli, he made his debut in the Ultimate Fighting Championships in November 1993.

Wily's breakout role in Hollywood came with the 2008 comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall, where he played a hotel worker who befriends Jason Segel’s character, Peter Bretter.

In 2010, he secured a recurring role as Kamekona, an informant on Hawaii Five-0, a character he portrayed for ten years.

He also appeared as Kamekona in seven episodes of Magnum P.I. from 2018 to 2020.

GettyImages-126145309.jpgWily is survived by his wife and two children. Credit: L. Pemoni/Getty

A fan page for the series wrote on X: "We are heartbroken to announce the passing of Taylor Wily, the cherished actor who portrayed Kamekona on #MagnumPI and #HawaiiFive0.His warmth and humor left an indelible mark on our screens and in our hearts.

"Our condolences go out to his loved ones. Aloha, Taylor."

There are currently no further details surrounding Wily's passing.

Wily is survived by his wife, Halona, and their two children.

Featured image credit: Darryl Oumi/Getty

'Hawaii Five-0' star Taylor Wily dies aged 56

vt-author-image

By James Kay

Article saved!Article saved!

Taylor Wily, a former sumo wrestler who went on to have a successful career as an actor, has died aged 56.

The sad news was confirmed by Peter M. Lenkov, executive producer of the Hawaii Five-0 reboot (2010-2020).

GettyImages-610081950.jpgWily and Lenkov. Credit: Darryl Oumi/Getty

Lenkov initially expressed his grief on Instagram, stating: “I am devastated. Heartbroken. I’ll post some detailed feelings later. Just too hard right now.”

He later followed up with a longer tribute, addressing Wily directly: “T, as I told you many times, I fell in love with you at the first audition.

"You came in with a towel on your head mopping up sweat, and I was smitten. You charmed me into making you a regular… on the show… and in my life. You were family. And I will miss you every day, brother.

“PS: when we spoke last week, we laughed at how right you were from Day 1. Five-0 was our dream job. And I was so lucky we got to share that magic together.”


Wily's sister, Alyssa, posted a heartfelt video tribute on Facebook, showing the family honoring Taylor's memory with ball games and board games.

"Mourning and celebrating our favorite brother and uncle the way he would want us to," she wrote, adding: "Family, Food, Music and Good Vibes. Aurrrrrrighhhhh (in his voice)."

Born Teila Tuli on June 14, 1968, in Laie, Hawaii, Wily was of American Samoan descent. Before his acting career, he achieved fame as a successful sumo wrestler and mixed martial artist, per Deadline.

GettyImages-152680561.jpgWily has sadly passed away aged 56. Credit: Kent Nishimura/Getty

Competing as Teila Tuli, he made his debut in the Ultimate Fighting Championships in November 1993.

Wily's breakout role in Hollywood came with the 2008 comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall, where he played a hotel worker who befriends Jason Segel’s character, Peter Bretter.

In 2010, he secured a recurring role as Kamekona, an informant on Hawaii Five-0, a character he portrayed for ten years.

He also appeared as Kamekona in seven episodes of Magnum P.I. from 2018 to 2020.

GettyImages-126145309.jpgWily is survived by his wife and two children. Credit: L. Pemoni/Getty

A fan page for the series wrote on X: "We are heartbroken to announce the passing of Taylor Wily, the cherished actor who portrayed Kamekona on #MagnumPI and #HawaiiFive0.His warmth and humor left an indelible mark on our screens and in our hearts.

"Our condolences go out to his loved ones. Aloha, Taylor."

There are currently no further details surrounding Wily's passing.

Wily is survived by his wife, Halona, and their two children.

Featured image credit: Darryl Oumi/Getty