Gilbert Lani Kauhi

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Gilbert "Zulu" Kauhi
Born Gilbert Francis Lani Damian Kauhi
(1937-10-17)October 17, 1937
Hilo, Big Island of Hawaii, U.S.
Died May 3, 2004(2004-05-03) (aged 66)
Hilo, Hawaii, U.S.
Other names Zulu/Zoulou
Occupation Actor, musician, comedian
Years active 1968–1997

Gilbert Francis Lani Damian Kauhi (October 17, 1937 – May 3, 2004), also known by the stage names Zulu[1] and Zoulou, was an American actor and comedian. He is remembered largely for his portrayal of "Kono Kalakaua" on the long-running television program Hawaii Five-O.


Kauhi was born in Hilo on the "Big Island" of Hawaii. He began his career in Honolulu as a stand-up comedian, mimic, and singer, described by one journalist as "part Godfrey Cambridge, part Zero Mostel".[2] His nightly live show was a popular attraction at C'est Si Bon Supper Club in the Waikiki section of Honolulu before, during, and well after his brief television career.

In 1968, Zulu landed the role of the burly state police detective "Kono" on Hawaii Five-O. He left after four seasons, frustrated by the "dumb Hawaiian" image that his character projected, as well as off-camera conflicts with the show's star, Jack Lord. "[Lord] ... wouldn't let him do anything," said a co-worker.[2]

"My friends think I'm a trained-animal act," he said, in a 1971 interview. " 'Yes, boss; no, boss.' Well, some day this animal will be laughing all the way to the bank."[2] He later hosted a Honolulu show called "Big Z Movie Time".

Kauhi was also an accomplished surfer; he was known in Hawaii by the honorific "Waikiki Beach Boy."


Kauhi died in Hilo at the age of 66 from complications due to diabetes. Per his wishes, his ashes were scattered off Waikiki.[3]



  1. ^ Mike Gordon (6 May 2004). "Zulu, of Hawaii Five-0, is dead at 66". The Honolulu Advertiser. Retrieved 2008-05-19. 
  2. ^ a b c Whitney, Dwight (September 4, 1971): Jack Lord, Superstar. TV Guide archive Retrieved April 29, 2011.
  3. ^ "Zulu's ashes scattered after Waikiki beachboy funeral". KPUA am 670. 6 June 2004. Retrieved 25 May 2010. 

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