Taylor Wily, beloved actor known for 'Hawaii Five-0' and 'Magnum P.I.,' dies at 56

City News Service logo
Friday, June 21, 2024
ABC7 Eyewitness News
Stream Southern California's News Leader and Original Shows 24/7

LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- Funeral services were pending Friday for Taylor Wily, a former sumo wrestler who gained fame as an actor by portraying an imposing but endearing informant on CBS' "Hawaii Five-0" reboot.

Wily, 56, died Thursday. Peter M. Lenkov, an executive producer of "Hawaii Five-0," posted on Instagram about Wily's death, which was also confirmed by Hawaiian news station KITV. No cause of death was reported.

"I am devastated. Heartbroken. I'll post some detailed feelings later. Just too hard right now," Lenkov wrote, alongside of a picture with Wily, on Thursday.

In a separate post with a photo montage, Lenkov wrote, "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."

Taylor Wily
Actor Taylor Wily, of Hawaii Five-0, motions to fans after throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before a baseball game between the Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers/
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

In 171 episodes of the "Hawaii Five-0" reboot, Wily portrayed Kamekona Tupuola, a food truck owner who would often provide tips to the show's state police unit, led by Alex O'Loughlin's character Steve McGarrett and Scott Caan's Danny Williams.

Wily found success as a champion sumo wrestler in Japan before turning to acting. He also had a memorable role in the comedy film "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" and appeared in shows including "MacGyver" and "Magnum P.I."

He was born Teila Tuli on June 14, 1968, in Honolulu, Hawaii.

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