Wednesday, October 30, 2002

KAM FONG / 1918-2002

Kam Fong: Was with HPD for 18 years, but is best known as the fictional cop, Chin Ho

‘Hawaii Five-O’
detective dies at 84

By Gregg Kakesako

Kam Fong, best known for years as Chin Ho Kelly on the TV series "Hawaii Five-O," died Oct. 18 after a long battle with lung cancer, his family announced today.

He was 84. Private services were held yesterday.

After 18 years with the Honolulu Police Department, he landed the role as a detective on "Hawaii Five-0," which he played for 10 years.

While with HPD he earned the nickname "A&B Chun" for his handling of assault and battery cases.

He was born Kam Tong Chun, which means "golden temple," but his first teacher misunderstood the name and taught him to write Kam Fong Chun. He later legalized it to Fong and then CBS, which aired "Hawaii Five-0," asked him to shorten it to Kam Fong.

Working as a boilermaker in 1941, Fong reported to work after the Dec. 7 Japanese attack and remained at Pearl Harbor for three days. Fong also worked as a disc jockey and sold real estate.

A statement released by his family today thanked the many fans of "Hawaii Five-0" for "the love and aloha you showed to our father throughout the years. The thoughtfulness and kindness you displayed meant so much to him."

In the last TV show when Chin Ho Kelly was killed while on an undercover mission, he looked at death and declared that "it was all worth it."

"We think these words sum up our father's life," the family's statement said. "It was a life that was worth it. It was a life that mattered."

He is survived by two sons, Dennis and Dickson; and two daughters, Brenda and Valerie Fong.

E-mail to City Desk


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