Remembering Jack Lord

Jack's Religious Faith

I also remember that Jack loved his fans; we were shooting the Aloha Week Parade in Waikiki, and

Jack was in the parade on a white horse. A woman stepped out of the crowd with a Brownie

camera to snap Jack's picture, and he stopped his horse, turned his horse towards the woman,

and asked us if we would shine our lights on him for the picture! We did, and were impressed

that Jack would go to such lengths for his fans. 

~ Les Malzman in “The Opening Shot – Jack Lord and the Ilikai”

Jack on Praying


“At the beginning of each session I ask everyone to join me in a minute of silent prayer. Personally I’ve never prayed for anything material in my life – these prayers are to bring us together for that episode, that’s all. Each man can say whatever is in his own heart, privately, to himself.


“I have been severely criticized for this . . . I happen to believe in the power of prayer. I pray every morning. It opens up all kinds of doors, I promise you. But mostly it’s a prayer for inspiration, not a prayer for supplication.


"I don’t think anything’s in this Universe or this life by accident. It’s all design. There’s a purpose to everything. When I pray, I believe in communion with God. He’s the Director! I want to keep my mind open for guidance and inspiration.


“Sometimes I have physical problems – fatigue, maybe, or insomnia. Or I need a problem solved. Then I pray. I literally ask for help. And it works – you bet it works. I believe totally in the power of prayer, and I have an absolute faith that all things are possible of God. I’m a Christian, and I try to practice Christianity. I believe that people can be healed of diseases, and I believe in the power of the mind over anything.”

                                                                                                                                   ~ Jack Lord

Source: Judge, Philip. “A Different Drummer” in Girl Talk. Publication data unknown. Approximate date: 1975 or 1976.

In Which Faith Did Jack Worship?


We know that Jack was reared in the Catholic Church. He attended grades 1 through 8 at St. Benedict Joseph Labre Catholic School in Queens, New York. His parents – and especially his mother – were very devout adherents of the Catholic Church. In fact, his mother is known to have wanted Jack to become a priest. To this day,’s list of Famous Catholics ( includes Jack’s name.

Two unsubstantiated comments made on’s Top Stories Forum ( indicate that both Jack and Marie worshipped in the Church of Christ Scientist:


          1.  “Actor Jack Lord of the CBS television show ‘Hawaii Five-O’ was a Christian Scientist. He was a ‘class-taught’
          student of the Christian Science Teacher Mrs. Madora Holt, C.S.B. of Beverly Hills, California.”

          2.  "Yes both Jack Lord and his wife were both Christian Scientists. My parents belonged to a ballroom dance
          group in the late 50s located in Pasadena, CA, where they became good friends. While in Hawaii Jack Lord was
          active with the local branch of the Christian Science church in Honolulu."


It seems possible, but has not been substantiated, that Marie was a Christian Scientist and that Jack converted to her faith while they lived in California, before moving to Hawai‘i.


We know that Jack owned several books on Christian Science, for they were sold as a part of his estate on Ebay. We also know that Marie’s brother, Florian DeNarde, and his wife were active Christian Scientists in Cleveland, Ohio. That information comes to us in a letter from Florian to Jack dated May 18, 1965, which sold on Ebay as a part of Jack’s estate and is quoted in part:


           “Continuous Performance is the story of A. J. Balaban by his wife Carrie. She was a member of our church (9th) 

           for a time, he also was a C.S. and did attend.”


To remove speculation before it begins, we should not rush to judgment and assume that Jack died at the young age of 77 because of his association with the Church of Christ Scientist. A review of their ages at the time of their deaths show that Jack’s father, William Lawrence Ryan, died at the age of 79; his older brother, William Lawrence Ryan, Jr., died at the age of 64; his sister, Josephine S. Ryan, died at the age of 78, and his younger brother, Thomas H. Ryan, died at the age of 78; and his youngest brother, Robert G. Ryan, died at the age of 68. Only Jack's mother, Ellen Josephine O’Brien Ryan, lived to an old age, 102. Those who died young died of heart failure. No doubt, heart problems ran in the Ryan family. I should add that all members of Jack's family were Catholic and almost surely received medical care.