Oklahoman Who Played Hawaii Five-O Extra Reflects On Career

Monday, September 20th 2010, 5:07 pm
By: News On 6

By Tara Vreeland, The News On 6

BROKEN ARROW, Oklahoma -- One of television's longest running shows is making a comeback. 

Hawaii Five-O originally premiered on September 20, 1968 and ran through 1980. Now 42 years later to the day, the hit show is revamped and reenergized. 

One Oklahoman was an extra on the original. As a college student, Rick Fern traded the corn fields of Nebraska for the white, sandy beaches of Hawaii.

"I did a couple TV commercials, did some modeling jobs and next thing I know my agent said ‘you need to try out for some parts on Hawaii Five-O,'" said Rick Fern, who was a Hawaii Five-O extra.

Fern's agent said they liked what they saw.

"Started off doing extra work, and then stand in work and a couple little bit roles. Nothing major, but just enough to be on location and learn more about it," Fern said.

He played "that" guy in the late seventies -- that surfer guy, that disco guy, that beach guy.

Fern also fondly remembers the famous cast.

"Of course Jack Lord, he was legendary. He was Hawaii Five-O, and whatever Jack said is what happened," Fern said. "James MacArthur is more a kiddy, joke around, fun kind of guy. He liked to hang out with the guys."

And who could forget the ladies of Hawaii Five-O?

But the leading ladies in Fern's life now are his wife, Cindy, who he met in Oklahoma, and daughters, Brooke and Summer. They can't quite picture him as "the surfer guy."

"I said let's turn on Hawaii Five-O," said Fern. "I'm sitting there watching it, enjoying myself and I said, ‘what do you think?' And she said, ‘I haven't seen you.' And I said, ‘who do you think that is?' And she goes, ‘you look like such a baby!'

Fern traded the shores of Hawaii for the lights of Hollywood, and now calls Oklahoma home. He is an associate pastor at Rhema Bible Church. 

He says he'll tune in to watch the new version of the police drama, though he says just by the previews, he can already tell how much has changed from the 60s and 70s. 

Hawaii Five-O starts on CBS Monday at 9:00 p.m.