Taylor Wily Dead at 56: ‘Hawaii Five-0’ Actor is No More


According to a local TV station in Hawaii, Taylor Wily, the former UFC fighter who transitioned into a character actor and starred in the CBS revival of “Hawaii Five-O” and “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” has passed away. At 56, he was.

Taylor Wily Passed Away:

Taylor Wily, a celebrated professional sumo wrestler before landing roles as a police informant and a shrimp truck seller on the television revival of “Hawaii Five-0,” passed away on Thursday. He was 56 years old.

Paul Almond, one of Mr. Wily’s attorneys, verified his passing. It took some time for the cause of death and the location to become public.

Mr. Wily played Kamekona in almost 170 episodes of “Hawaii Five-0,” a 2010–2020 reinvention of the 1970s crime thriller that traced the adventures of Hawaii’s state police detectives. His persona gained popularity and developed into the show’s resident businessman, managing a helipad tour company, shaved ice shop, and shrimp enterprise.

Masi Oka, who portrayed Dr. Max Bergman in the later series, stated in a 2012 interview with CBS that “‘Hawaii Five-0’ could become ‘Kamekona Five-0.'”

The show revolved around a fictitious state police squad that appeared to have a constant need for shrimp. Both spectators and Hawaii natives found a sense of connection with Mr. Wily’s kind and humorous persona.

Producer Peter Lenkov posted on social media about how Mr. Wily drew his attention during his initial audition and how he was impressed enough to give him a recurring role.

In the 2008 film “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” Jason Segel’s character, a betrayed boyfriend who finds his ex-girlfriend vacationing with her new paramour in the exact location, needed help from Mr. Wily, who played Kemo, a hotel employee in Hawaii. Mr. Wily’s understated sense of humor made heartbreaking and tragic circumstances seem silly.

Taylor Wily: Who was He?

On June 14, 1968, Taylor Tuli Wily was born in Honolulu. Despite his kind nature, he possessed a formidable physical presence due to his height of over six feet and his weight of over 400 pounds.

A buddy introduced him to sumo wrestling in 1987; he agreed not to inform Mr. Wily’s mother. He participated in a competition not long after.

In a 2016 interview, Mr. Wily stated, “I won a case of Spam and some rice, and that was it; I was into sumo.” Sherdog is a YouTube channel devoted to the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

During the same interview, Mr. Wily also discussed the reason for his billing as Teila Tuli for his UFC encounter. He remarked, “They didn’t want me to come with such an English name.” “I deleted Wily and took Taylor, spelled it Teila, the way we spell it here in Polynesia, and used my middle name, Tuli.”

Grinning, he continued, hoping the disclosure would not make bill collectors come after him.

He used the name Takamishu to compete for two years as a sumo wrestler in Japan. After winning many titles, he advanced to the third-highest level in the league—the Makushita division—and made history by being the first wrestler outside of Japan to win a title fight.

Due to knee problems, he quit the sport in 1989 and switched to mixed martial arts. In 1993, Mr. Wily participated in the inaugural Ultimate Fighting Championship match but was eliminated via technical knockout.

He had many guest appearances on television programs, such as “Marker” and “North Shore,” after making his television debut in a 1982 episode of “Magnum, P.I.” His two children and his spouse, Halona Wily, are among his surviving.

Mr. Wily talked about his appreciation for his part in “Hawaii Five-0” and his experience’s significance in a 2014 interview with Hawaii News Now.

He declared, “It’s the best job in the world—you get to play Hollywood but be here in Hawaii.” “House.”

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