‘Hawaii Five-0’ and UFC Fighter Taylor Wily Dies at 56

‘Hawaii Five-0’ and UFC Fighter Taylor Wily Dies at 56
Hawaii News Now

Taylor Wily, known for his memorable role as Kamekona Tupuola in the hit series “Hawaii Five-0,” has passed away at the age of 56. The former UFC fighter and actor died on June 20, 2024, as confirmed by his family in a heartfelt Facebook tribute. Wily’s family expressed their grief while celebrating his life with the phrase, “Mourning and celebrating our favorite brother and uncle the way he would want us to… Family, Food, Music, and Good Vibes. Aurrrrrrighhhhh (in his voice).”

Born and raised in Hawaii, Taylor Wily’s journey to stardom was as unique as his charismatic on-screen presence. Before his acting career took off, Wily was a sumo wrestler and mixed martial artist. His most notable appearance in the sport was during the inaugural UFC event in 1993, where he faced Gerard Gordeau. Though he didn’t win the match and famously lost a tooth to Gordeau’s kick, Wily reflected positively on the experience, appreciating the opportunity and the thrill it brought.


Wily’s breakthrough in acting came with his beloved role in “Hawaii Five-0,” where he played the lovable, larger-than-life character Kamekona for over a decade, appearing in 171 episodes. His performance endeared him to fans worldwide, making him a standout part of the series. In addition to “Hawaii Five-0,” Wily appeared in other productions, including “Magnum P.I.” and the romantic comedy “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” where his comedic timing and charm shone through.

The impact of Wily’s passing was felt deeply across the entertainment community and by fans. Peter M. Lenkov, the producer of “Hawaii Five-0” and “Magnum P.I.,” expressed his devastation on Instagram, sharing a photo with Wily and a promise to post more detailed feelings later, as he was too heartbroken at the moment. Fans flooded social media with tributes, reminiscing about Wily’s performances and the joy he brought to his roles. Many highlighted his portrayal of Kamekona as a favorite, celebrating the warmth and humor he brought to the character.

In the wake of his death, Taylor Wily leaves behind a rich legacy that spans various fields of entertainment. His versatility as a performer and his larger-than-life personality made him a beloved figure both in Hawaii and internationally. He is survived by his wife, Halona, and their two children, who now carry forward his memory and the love he inspired.

Taylor Wily’s life story is a testament to embracing diverse opportunities and bringing joy to others through passion and dedication. His journey from a sumo wrestler to a UFC fighter, and ultimately to a cherished actor, showcases a remarkable and inspiring path. As fans and loved ones reflect on his life and career, Wily’s legacy as an entertainer and a person who lived life to its fullest will continue to resonate.