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Taylor Wily, ‘Hawaii Five-0’ and ‘Magnum P.I.’ Star, Dead at 56: ‘Devastated’ Friend Shares Tribute

Taylor Wily, 'Hawaii Five-0' and 'Magnum P.I.' Star, Dead at 56
Taylor Wily Darryl Oumi/Getty Images

Taylor Wily, known for his roles in Hawaii Five-0 and Magnum P.I., has died at the age of 56.

According to KITV Island News, the Hawaii-born actor died on Thursday, June 20.

Producer Peter M. Lenkov, who worked with Wily on both shows, honored his colleague with a poignant tribute on Instagram.

“I am devastated,” Lenkov, 60, captioned a Thursday post alongside a photo of himself with Wily. “Heartbroken. I’ll post some detailed feelings later. Just too hard right now.

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No cause of death has been announced. Wily is survived by wife Halona, daughter TulaLagalaga Tatalo and son YoungAsia.

Taylor Wily, 'Hawaii Five-0' and 'Magnum P.I.' Star, Dead at 56
Taylor Wily with wife Halona and their two children, YoungAisa and TulaLagalaga Tatalo Wily. Darryl Oumi/Getty Images

Wily, who played the recurring character of Kamekona Tupuola on Hawaii Five-0, appeared in 171 episodes from 2010 to 2020. He also surfaced on Magnum P.I. for seven episodes, along with roles in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, One West Waikiki, North Shore, MacGyver and a 2012 cameo in The Amazing Race.

Before acting, Wily thrived in a sumo wrestling career, remaining undefeated in his first 14 bouts. Weighing nearly 440 pounds, he was one of the largest competitors in the sport but retired in 1989 due to health reasons.

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Wily went on to compete as a UFC fighter, making his debut in the 1993 TV special, UFC 1: The Beginning. In his match against Dutch MMA fighter Gerard Gordeau, Wily lost three teeth, leading to his retirement from the sport shortly thereafter.

On Thursday, Wily’s sister Alyssa posted a Facebook video in which their family honoring the actor during a gathering. She recorded loved ones enjoying board games while others cooked and ate food.

“Mourning and celebrating our favorite brother and uncle the way he would want us to,” she captioned the clip. “Family, Food, Music and Good Vibes. Aurrrrrrighhhhh (in his voice).”

His sister also shared a clip of Taylor’s nieces and nephews singing Bob Marley‘s “Three Little Birds (Don’t Worry About a Thing)” in tribute to the star. “Singing for their uncle tee,” she wrote.

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In 2018, Wily opened up about his UFC career.

“There was a different feeling when you walked through that octagon,” Wily told the New York Post at the time. “I was scared. I ain’t lying, I was scared.”

He continued: “Now when I look back on it, now that I’m more mature, I’m just grateful to God to just have the opportunity to risk it. Because how many times are you going to have the opportunity to risk something that nobody else did before?”

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