Duke Lukela

Sgt Edward Duke Lukela

We first meet Edward D. "Duke" Lukela as a uniformed HPD sergeant. He works with Five-O a number of times before being assigned in 1972 to help Five-O full-time. He continues in this capacity for three years. Then, when Ben Kokua leaves the squad, Duke is promoted to plainclothes detective and becomes a full-fledged member of the Five-O squad. He continues to work for Five-O for the rest of McGarrett’s tenure as head of the agency. McGarrett seems fond of Duke and treats him in a more affectionate manner than some of the other members of the squad. Duke has a well-developed network of street sources and informers and is somewhat protective towards the prostitutes who give him information. He is also a sharpshooter and a martial arts expert.

Duke was born June 19, 1926 to a family of "old missionary stock." His family is religious and strict, and Duke is forced to be secretive when helping his niece Gladys when she becomes pregnant out-of-wedlock. Raised in this environment, Duke seems to be ambivalent about the "old ways." He sometimes observes Hawaiian tradition and other times seems to have a wistful feeling that it should be "left in the past."

As a young man, he was an Eagle Scout, served in the Navy or Naval Reserves where he learned about explosives, and acquired two degrees from Stanford University. He carries Badge #260. He is 5'10", weighs 175 pounds and has blood type A, Rh negative. He likes Hawaiian music, knows how to play the harmonica, and denies any knowledge of the ukulele.

In the course of his service with Five-O, Duke was framed for corruption, shot, blown up, survived a serious car crash in which he was thrown from the vehicle, and had photo developing fluid thrown in his eyes.

Keen observers may notice that Duke has several "cousins" on the force who bear a remarkable resemblance to him, including a detective named Lt. Balta, a judge and a uniformed officer named Ishi.

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Herman John Wedemeyer

a five-0 montage

Born: May 20, 1924; near Hilo, TH (Territory of Hawaii)

Herman Wedemeyer once said, "I was born with a football in my crib." His family heritage included Hawaiian, German, Irish, English, Chinese, and French Tahitian blood. The Wedemeyers lived in a poor neighborhood in Honolulu during Herman’s childhood. It soon became clear that Herman’s athletic prowess was something special and would light his path to a better life.

After a spectacular high school career, Herman was recruited by several mainland colleges. He chose St. Mary’s of California, a tiny Catholic school near Oakland. He served in the Merchant Marines during World War II. Following the war, the nation was ready for fun, and Herman Wedemeyer and the Galloping Gaels of St. Mary’s were ready to give it to them. Now known as "Wedey," Herman was the most sensational player the West Coast had ever seen. "The Hawaiian Hurricane" played halfback, but he could run, pass, kick, and block with equal aplomb. Possessed of a witty, bubbling, boyish personality, he soon became one of the most popular athletes in the country. He led his team to two bowl games, was nominated for the Heisman Trophy, and was twice named an All-American. Back home in Hawaii, he was a second Duke Kahanamoku. When he returned in 1947 for a game between St. Mary’s and the University of Hawaii, a record crowd of over 28,000 adoring fans gave him a hero’s welcome at Honolulu Stadium.

Serious injuries in his senior season to his chest and ankle robbed the fleet-footed Wedey of his old magic. He played two disappointing seasons in the pros. At the same time, his first marriage, which had produced two sons and two daughters, ended in divorce. It was time to return home.

Handsome, articulate, and universally respected, Herman was a natural for sales and marketing. This became his bread-and-butter, and he worked for various hotels, airlines, and companies over the years, eventually retiring from Toyota in 1996. He rebuilt his personal life, marrying Carol in the 1950s and becoming father to a son and daughter. He later admitted to being a driven person during the 1950s and ‘60s. He entered politics and served on the Honolulu City Council and the State Legislature. But the ruthless demands of politics placed the genial Wedemeyer under enormous strain, and in the early ‘70s he had two serious heart attacks. His doctor told him to find an easier job if he wanted to live.

Wedey was an avid golfer and had met a producer of Hawaii Five-O on the golf course. Like many local celebrities, he had played bit parts on the show. In 1972, he was cast as a new regular character, Sergeant Duke Lukela. He would continue to play Duke through the end of the series eight years later. Wedey had no acting training (except, he joked, on the football field), but with hard work he mastered the part and brought credibility to the role of a tough, smart detective.

After Five-O left the air, Wedey continued to work in sales and to act occasionally (he had several small parts on Magnum, P.I.) After retirement, he played golf, enjoyed his family, and continued to be a popular and beloved member of the community. He had good health until the last year of his life, when he had to have a heart bypass. The operation was unsuccessful, and he passed away on January 25, 1999.

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For a more in-depth look at the life of Herman Wedemeyer, visit http://www.wedey.usanethosting.com

Thanks to Special Five-0 Officer Liz Clare for this detailed investigation!

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