Actor-Director Keo Woolford Dies at 49

AIEA, Hawaii — Multi-talented performer Keo Woolford, who had a recurring role on CBS’ “Hawaii Five-0,” died on Nov. 28 after suffering a severe stroke three days earlier. He was 49.

Keo Woolford

Keo Woolford

“As a writer, director, actor, and newly appointed kumu hula of Kumu Hula Robert Cazimero’s Halau Na Kamalei o Lililehua, he is most known for his successful one-man show, ‘I Land,’ which was the inspiration for his indie blockbuster, ‘The Haumana,’” said Tracy Larrua of Poi Planet, Woolford’s longtime friend and publicist.

“With a long career that has taken him to London as the King in ‘The King and I,’ and around the world as a member of popular Hawaii boy-band Brownskin, and everywhere else in between, he is a talent and extraordinary human being that will be missed.”

The Honolulu native was known to many for his appearances as Detective Chang on “Hawaii Five-0.” Daniel Dae Kim, who plays Chin Ho on the show, said via Twitter, “As talented as you were, I will remember you most for your kindness. Thank you for sharing your light with us.”

Actress Kelly Hu, a cast member of “The Haumana,” said, “He didn’t pigeonhole me like so many other people in Hollywood did. He gave me the opportunity to bring the character of Linda to life. He was a great talent who allowed other talents to shine. I will miss my chosen brother immensely.”

Woolford performed “I Land” at East West Players in Los Angeles in 2007, then returned to EWP in 2012 in his directorial debut of the critically acclaimed production “Three Year Swim Club.” Other previous EWP productions include “Stew Rice,” “Pacific Overtures,” “Heading East,” and “Big Hunk O’ Burnin’ Love.”