Keo Woolford, Actor on 'Hawaii Five-0,' Dies at 49

Keo Woolford - Publicity - H 2016
Olivier Koning

The Honolulu native wrote, directed and produced the 2013 independent film 'The Haumana,' and a sequel was in the works.

Keo Woolford, an actor on Hawaii Five-0 who wrote, directed and produced the uplifting 2013 independent film The Haumana, has died. He was 49.

Woolford died Monday at a hospital in Oahu, Hawaii, after suffering a stroke three days earlier, his publicist Tracy Larrua said.

A native of Honolulu, Woolford appeared in a recurring role as Det. James Chang on the remake of CBS' Hawaii Five-0, and he had small roles in such films as Happy, Texas (1999), Falling for Grace (2006) and Godzilla (2014).

Woolford toured as a member of the Hawaiian boy band Brownskin and starred in more than 300 performances as the King of Siam in a stage production of The King & I that made its way to the London Palladium.

The Haumana revolves around a host (played by Tui Asau) of a struggling luau show who reconnects with his culture when he takes over a high school hula class for boys after his former kumu hula (master hula teacher) dies.

Woolford's one-man show, I-LAND, served as the inspiration for his feature. The Haumana closed the 2013 Hawaii International Film Festival, and the writer-director received a special jury prize at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival for best first feature.

Woolford had just completed the script for a sequel, and acting auditions were set to begin in January, Larrua said.