Award winning Hawaiian born actor Keo Woolford died November 28 in Oahu, Hawaii as a result of complications of a stroke at the age of 49. He had had a severe stroke three days earlier.
Woolford played detective James Chang on the rebooted “Hawaii Five-O”.
He was working on a sequel to his award winning independent film “The Haumana” at the time of his death. The project has been put on hold.
He was born on January 26, 1967 in Honolulu and was adopted by Dwight and Vicki Woolford four days later. He moved beyond his island home to star on theatrical stages around the globe. Woolford’s stage appearances include playing the King of Siam in “The King and I”, a one man show about Hawaiian culture through hula dance “I Land”, “In My Father’s House”, “Boats on a River”, “The Greeks”, “Pacific Overtures”, “Heading East”, “Stew Rice”, “Big Hunk ‘O Burnin’ Love”, “Karaoke Stories”, “Sonnets for an Old Century”, “References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot”, and “He Hawai’i Au”. Woolford also directed the plays “Three Year Swim Club” and “Legend of Ko’olau”.
Woolford made his screen debut in 1993 in the movie short “Mahal Means Love and Expensive”. His short acting career included “Hawaii”, “He Likes Guys”, “6B: An Anthology of Hawaii Films”, “Act of Valor” where he also performed the stunts, “The People I’ve Slept With”, “The Haumana”, an airport worker in the 2014 edition of “Godzilla”, and six episodes of “Hawaii Five-0”. He was cast as Captain Odate in the production “5th Passenger” which is in post production.
While he had traveled far from his island home to entertain audiences; Woolford always returned to the island paradise he called home.
More than just an actor, Woolford was also director, producer, and dancer – he was trained in a number of traditional Hawaiian dance styles including Kahiko and Auana hula.
Woolford was a part of the Hawaiian boy band Brownskin where he shared the stage with Christina Aguilera, Ginuwine, and Mya. Woolford penned a number of hit songs.
Woolford’s accomplishments include an Outstanding Sol Performance of the Year award from Stage Scene LA, and the Virgo Award for Best Actor.
Woolford is survived by his father Dwight and sibling Brian and Wendy.
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