Jack Lord, like many others in Hollywood, married twice, and his second wife, Marie De Narde, may have had the biggest impact on him.
She not only gave up her job to help him with his, yet she also convinced him that he didn’t need any more kids. His only son died just before his thirteenth birthday.
Lord was born on December 30, 1920, in Brooklyn, New York, as John Joseph Patrick Ryan, the fifth of 5 kids.
He used to deliver papers when he was younger. His dad, a ship surveyor, took him to sea at the age of 14 to work aboard freighters. Lord would spend his school breaks roaming the world.
After graduating from high school, he spent another summer at sea before returning home in time to start college on a football scholarship at New York University. He intended to join his brother Bill and become an artist after finishing college, but World War II derailed his plans.
Lord had fallen in love with Anne Cecily Willard while being enlisted into the war. The pair married, but their time apart became too stressful.
While the date is a little hazy, it is now known that Willard notified Lord about her pregnancy while he was back on his ship. She apparently intended to live with her parents until she gave birth, but she did not wish to nurture her children in the United States.
Lord frequently wrote to his wife, but his letters went unanswered. And because he was deployed in Persia, now Iran, contacting his wife was incredibly hard.
Lord returned to the United States and attended Officer Training School in Connecticut before being assigned to Washington, D.C. for three years. He acquired his affinity for acting while working as an artist and assisting in the production of instructional videos in the nation’s capital.
Sadly, as his love for performing developed, so did his love life. Willard divorced Lord in 1946.
That isn’t even the worst part. Lord had always wanted to have a family, but due to the war and divorce, he only saw his son once. After a brief fight with hepatitis, his son, John Joseph Ryan, died on August 24, 1955. He only found out about the death of a child after Willard faxed a copy of his death certificate to Lord.
Lord was visiting his brother in upstate New York soon after his divorce when he stumbled upon a gorgeous stone mansion. Narde, a fashionable and charming New York fashion designer, was the owner, he discovered. He chased her for weeks, but all of his calls went unanswered until Narde eventually replied.
She had no plans to sell her home, but she consented to meet with him. And the rest, as they say, is history. They spent the evening getting to know each other and were soon a couple.
It didn’t seem to concern Narde, who was born in 1905, that she was 15 years older than Lord when he proposed to her and she agreed.
On January 17, 1949, the two married, and while Narde had already earned a reputation for herself, Lord was suffering. He’d been at sea and in the military for years, which had lost him his first marriage.
As a result, he began acting.
And it was with the assistance of his second wife that his acting career took off.
He made his feature debut in 1949, followed by another in 1950. In 1952, he was credited with participating in an episode of The Hunter, and the following year, he began acting on stage. By 1954, Lord had made his Broadway debut.
By the late 1950s, Lord and Narde had decided to go from New York to Hollywood in order to advance Lord’s profession.
Before appearing in Hawaii Five-0, he starred as a guest on various TV programs like Bonanza, Route 66, and The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
According to several of Lord’s coworkers, his wife mothered him and he frequently complimented her cooking and cleaning abilities.
Marie, a “old-fashioned” wife, had no reservations about committing her life to Jack and being his guardian angel.
Despite Lord’s passion for kids, the couple decided early on in their relationship that they would not have any more kids.
Because she didn’t have any kids, Marie adopted and lavished too much affection on younger people, she claimed. She also lavished affection on her cat, Kitty Boy.
Rather than having children, Jack and Narde chose to devote their entire attention to Lord’s work.
And it was profitable.
Lord and Narde married till Lord died in January 1988.
Jack Lord died at the age of 77 from congestive heart failure.
According to the book Fade to Black: A Book of Movie Obituaries, Jack had Alzheimer’s disease for at least seven years prior to his death.
After his wife died in 2005, his $40 million inheritance was given to Hawaiian organizations.