hawaiian-eye

Hawaiian Eye

Hawaiian Eye was a detective series that ran from October of 1959 to September of 1963 on ABC. It was one of several ABC/Warner Brothers shows of the era set in exotic locales. Others included the Hollywood-based 77 Sunset Strip, New Orleans-based Bourbon Street Beat, and Miami's Surfside Six. All were actually shot on the Warner Brothers lot in Los Angeles, making it easy for characters — and occasionally whole scripts — to cross over. Although the shows weren't technically spin-offs, Sunset was the first in this chain of “exotic location detective series”. In this regard, Hawaiian Eye was the most viable of Sunset's spawn, running four seasons. The show's debut coincided with several real-world developments that contributed to its success, including Hawaii's entry into the United States, mass tourism to the new state facilitated by commercial jetliners, and the promotional efforts of real estate mogul Henry J. Kaiser.

Private investigator Tracy Steele (Anthony Eisley) and his half-Hawaiian partner Tom Lopaka (Robert Conrad) own Hawaiian Eye, a combined detective agency and private security firm in Honolulu. Their main client is the Hawaiian Village Hotel, which provides a swanky private compound on the hotel grounds in return for their security services. Typically the partners investigate mysteries and protect clients with the occasional help of photographer Cricket Blake (Connie Stevens), who also sings at the hotel's Shell Bar, and a ukulele-playing cab driver named Kim Quisado (Poncie Ponce), who has many “relatives” throughout the islands. Engineer-turned-detective Greg McKenzie (Grant Williams), joins the agency later on as a full partner, while hotel social director Philip Barton (Troy Donahue) lends a hand after Tracy Steele departs.

The program found and held a large audience in its Wednesday evening time slot, but in its last season was moved to Tuesday nights opposite CBS's The Red Skelton Show, which emerged victorious in the ratings.

Cast

Character

Occupation Actor
Thomas Jefferson
Lopaka

Private Investigator Robert
Conrad
Tracy
Steele
Private Investigator Anthony
Eisley

Chryseis "Cricket"
Blake

Photographer and Singer Connie
Stevens

Kazuo "Kim"
Quisado

Cab Driver Poncie
Ponce
Greg
McKenzie
Private Investigator Grant
Williams

Philip
Barton
Hotel Social Director Troy
Donahue

Recurring characters

  • Lt. Danny Quon, played by Mel Prestidge, was the Hawaiian Eye's main contact with the Honolulu Police Department.
  • Moke, played by Doug Mossman, was the chief uniformed security officer for Hawaiian Eye. He went by several variant names in the first season before the writers finally settled on one.
  • Paul, played by Andre Philippe, was the MC at the Shell Bar in the Hawaiian Village Hotel.
  • Bert, played by Sam Rawlins, was the doorman at the Hawaiian Village Hotel.
  • Teo, played by several actors including Ralph Hanalei and Keone, was a uniformed security guard for the Hawaiian Eye agency.
  • Roy Hondine, played by Rush Williams, was a columnist for a major Honolulu newspaper.
  • Sunny Day, played by Tina Cole, was a singer at the Shell Bar in the Hawaiian Village Hotel. The role was created after Connie Stevens temporarily left the series in the fourth season over a contract dispute.
  • Sgt. Alika, played by Makee K. Blaisdell, was a detective for the Hilo police force and appeared in several episodes that took place on the Big Island of Hawaii.
  • Bubbles Smith, played by Karen Griffin, was a temporary girlfriend of Tom Lopaka in several second season episodes.
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