October 31, 2002
"ALL WORTH IT":'Hawaii Five-O' Co-Star Kam Fong Dead at 84 (October 31, 2002, Reuters)
Kam Fong Chun, the man TV viewers around the world knew as Detective Chin Ho Kelly in the hit crime series "Hawaii Five-O," died in Honolulu after a long fight against cancer, his family said on Wednesday. He was 84. [...]
Kam Fong Chun was a real-life Honolulu Police Department officer for 16 years before leaving the force in 1959 to put more time into acting. To help pay the bills, he ran a real estate business and talent agency before joining the CBS-TV crime drama.
His son said that adversity early in life shaped his father. In June 1944, the actor's first wife and two young children were killed when a pair of military bombers collided above Honolulu and crashed into their home below.
"Twelve people were killed and my father had to carry his daughter from the house," he said.
Kam Fong Chun said in a 1977 interview that he left the show because he felt the scripts were stale. The show's writers killed off his character. In that episode, his character's dying words were: "It was all worth it."
"We think those words sum up our father's life," Dennis Chun said. "It was a life that was worth it. A life that mattered."
There's not a straight American male between the ages of forty and dead who didn't plan his tv-viewing week around Hawaii Five-0. Godspeed, Kam Fong Chun. Posted by Orrin Judd at October 31, 2002 12:40 PM