Remembering Jack Lord


Taken by Jack Lord

She was a fashion designer… Originally, Marie thought designing would be very creative. But she found out that above
all, it's a business, and a pretty hectic, cold-blooded one at that. She made a lot of money, but her work wasn't particularly appreciated. Now, …she rarely even sketches or draws any more. She does all her own sewing... and makes all her clothes.
They're terrific -- people are always coming up to her and asking where she bought this or that. But she'd never be
tempted to go back to the grind of turning designs out for money. ...Being a designer, she has wonderful color sense and
a flair for drama.

                                                                                                      ~ Jack Lord

              Henderson, Barbara. "A Fabulous Love Story." Publication unknown. Circa 1957, pp. 41, 62-63ff.

Marie was born on August 16, 1905, in St. Louis, Missouri, to Gennaro Cepparulo and Elsie DeNarde Cepparulo. Her father dealt in artificial flowers, while her mother kept their home in the timeless traditions. Marie had two brothers, Silvius, who was older than she, and Florian, who was younger than she.

After graduating from high school, Marie sailed to France, where she studied fashion design and art. Marie's address at this point was 10723 Orville Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio. There, she and her brothers moved with their mother to live with their maternal grandparents. The details surrounding Mrs. Cepparulo's leaving her husband and moving to her family's home are unknown. We do know that, in 1927, Marie changed her name legally from Cepparulo to DeNarde, which was her mother's maiden name.  We also know that, in 1928, her father died of double pneumonia related to a pre-existing heart condition.

After completing her studies in France, Marie moved to 145 East 49th Street in New York City and went to work as a fashion designer on Seventh Avenue. Twice before the outbreak of World War II, Marie sailed to Havana, Cuba. In those pre-Castro years, Havana was the “in” place for successful people to vacation, much like Honolulu came to be. At this point, Marie lived at 212 East 48th Street in New York City, where, she would continue to live until she and Jack moved to California in 1957. The Columbia University Catalogue (1943/1944 and 1944/1945) shows Marie's name and this address in its Directory of Students. It does not tell what she studied.

Jack and Marie were married on January 17, 1949. He was studying acting and trying to break into the profession. Until Jack became established in acting, Marie continued to work. Then, following both the lessons of her upbringing and the traditions of her day, she gave up her career for marriage. When people seemed unable to understand her decision, she would tell them that many wives did the same thing and that what made her experience unique was that Jack showed appreciation for all that she did for him. Marie fully encouraged him in the pursuit of his dream. Marie was Jack's stabilizing force. She taught him to control his temper, managed his business affairs, and kept home a warm and inviting place to come after a tedious day at work. The following is the first page of a letter she wrote to Jack’s and her friend and journalist Paul Denis (See if you don’t think Marie was left-handed):

Original Letter from Marie Lord to Paul Denis dated June 4, 1957

Purchased by webmaster via Ebay

Marie was an excellent cook. Although she claimed Frank Sinatra taught her how to cook, it seems more likely that she learned the art through her traditional upbringing. Jack once said that Marie kept large files of recipes, some being different ways of preparing the same dish, and that she made the best matzo ball soup he’d ever tasted. Some sources say Marie made the best cacciatore in the islands, while others say that Jack did.

Marie liked a well-ordered kitchen, yet one that was not bland or sterile, like a commercial kitchen. Her kitchen in Honolulu had pumpkin-colored cabinets. She had a stainless steel cart on which she placed dinner to be rolled into the dining room. Similarly, Marie enjoyed planning dinner parties. Contrary to rumor, Jack and Marie entertained. They preferred small, intimate gatherings of their closest friends to large groups of acquaintances. The following are notes Marie made as she planned a dinner party:

Matteo Quiche

Peas / crab stuffed


Salad     tomato-avocado



Rack of lamb


Green beans


Lemon meringue pie?

Cheese cake?

Chocolate mousse?

Life really does play games with people. Today, Jack and I have everything we’ve been striving for... Yet nothing

is ever perfect. In the old days, Jack and I would dream about someday reaching this point. Back then, we were

convinced that if things went well all our problems would suddenly disappear. Well, let me assure you, it never

quite happens that way. The hardest thing to be is a success! ...the truth is, when success comes, the irritations

don’t go away–they multiply. The higher you go the bigger the problems become ... and, along the way, you

acquire a whole new set of problems as well. 

~ Marie Lord

Rand, Flora. “Being With Jack is Like Having All the Diamonds in the World” in TV Radio Mirror. March 1974

But, what was Marie like as a person? Basically, it comes down to six qualities:

She was stylish. Wayne Harada of the Honolulu Advertiser wrote, “Always with a hat on. Always immaculately dressed. Always stylish... She had a fashion model’s aura, her 19-inch waist was legendary as her thing about her hair – which she almost never displayed in public, concealed beneath wide-brimmed or furry hats. It was an event of note when she let her hair down after a poolside visit at the old Kuilima resort (now Turtle Bay)”  (Harada, Wayne. “Friends Fondly Remember Marie Lord” in Honolulu Advertiser. October 15, 2005.).

She was gracious. As James MacArthur said, “…Marie was always…very pleasant to everyone. Marie was a nice lady” (Ryan, Tim. “She Was the Rock Behind ‘Five-0’ Star” in Honolulu Star-Bulletin. October 14, 2005.). Jimmy Borges echoed this when he called Marie “a wonderful, sweet, giving lady” (Ryan, Tim. “She Was the Rock Behind ‘Five-0’ Star” in Honolulu Star-Bulletin. October 14, 2005.). Jim Nabors said, “Marie was a very lovely, beautiful lady...” (Harada, Wayne. “Friends Fondly Remember Marie Lord” in Honolulu Advertiser. October 15, 2005.). Alicia Antonio said, “When they came in to dinner [at the Maile Room at the Kahala Hilton], they were both very particular about certain things; they had their favorite wine, and they always started their meals with fresh fruit” and “…she was always gracious”  (Harada, Wayne. “Friends Fondly Remember Marie Lord” in Honolulu Advertiser. October 15, 2005.).  For years after Jack’s death, MacArthur and others took Marie to lunch at the Kahala (Ryan, Tim. “She Was the Rock Behind ‘Five-0’ Star” in Honolulu Star-Bulletin. October 14, 2005.).

She was strong. As Tim Ryan wrote in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, “Marie was ‘described by friends as the classic strong woman behind the successful [man]’” (Ryan, Tim. “She Was the Rock Behind ‘Five-0’ Star” in Honolulu Star-Bulletin. October 14, 2005.). Alicia Antonio said, “She was very protective of Jack” (Harada, Wayne. “Friends Fondly Remember Marie Lord” in Honolulu Advertiser. October 15, 2005.).  James MacArthur took it a step further when he said that nothing and no one prevented her from looking after Jack (Ryan, Tim. “She Was the Rock Behind ‘Five-0’ Star” in Honolulu Star-Bulletin. October 14, 2005.). Eddie Sherman took it still further when he called Marie “the rock behind Jack Lord” (Ryan, Tim. “She Was the Rock Behind ‘Five-0’ Star” in Honolulu Star-Bulletin. October 14, 2005.). Wayne Harada gave a good example when he wrote, “[Marie] once told The Advertiser that she had to fire domestic help because they were ‘selling’ information to tabloid reporters and paparazzi who were intent on getting details of their lives” (Harada, Wayne. “Friends Fondly Remember Marie Lord” in Honolulu Advertiser. October 15, 2005.).

She was a pragmatist.  Although this is related to Marie being a strong person, it should be mentioned separately. Jack mentioned that Marie reminded him of something he said he had forgotten: “It’s not what happens in life – but how one responds to what happens that counts” (Asher, Jerry. “Bitter-Sweet” in TV Star Parade. January 1965.). Being reminded of that “served to direct [Jack's] thinking...” (Asher, Jerry. “Bitter-Sweet” in TV Star Parade. January 1965.).

She was generous. Marie was very charitable. Wayne Harada wrote, “Few knew of Marie Lord’s charitable side. When the downtown Hawai‘i Theatre restoration project needed funds to erect the marquee after interior renovation, Marie Lord donated the money in Jack’s name. In her memory, the marquee lights were dimmed [the night she died]” (Harada, Wayne. “Friends Fondly Remember Marie Lord” in Honolulu Advertiser. October 15, 2005.).  Read more about the restoration and see pictures at The article mentions Marie's generous donation.

Jeannette Paulson Hereniko, founder of the Hawaii International Film Festival, said, “She was a very private person; both she and Jack were very supportive of the film festival at a time when many people were cynical; they gave money, time and support – which I’ll never forget” (Harada, Wayne. “Friends Fondly Remember Marie Lord” in Honolulu Advertiser. October 15, 2005.).

She was sentimental. Marie said, the lack of children led her to “adopt and shower too much love on younger people” (Ryan, Tim. “Marie Lord ‘An Old-Fashioned Wife’” in Honolulu Star-Bulletin. October 17, 1996.). Tim Ryan wrote in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, “[In their later years], she’s showering that affection on a cat, Kitty Boy” to which Marie said, “Jack really loves Kitty Boy…he just hugs him…” (Ryan, Tim. “Marie Lord ‘An Old-Fashioned Wife’” in Honolulu Star-Bulletin. October 17, 1996.).

Marie's Fashion Sense
It is easy to have the impression that Marie's fashion sense was inspired at least in part by the French fashion designer, Coco Chanel. If any of Ms. Chanel's quotations best describe Marie's approach to fashion, it would have to be this: "In order to be irreplaceable, one must be different." (Todorovska, Martina. 21 Best Coco Chanel Quotes in Viva Glam Magazine. August 22, 2017. Of course, the following quotation might describe Marie just as well: "Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance." (Todorovska, ibid.)  Ms. Chanel opened her first shop in 1910, when Marie was five years old. It is easy to imagine Marie following her career as she introduced the still best-selling perfume, Chanel No. 5, her ever popular tweed Chanel suit, and the timeless little black dress.

Of course, Marie had her own, distinctive tastes. In the 1960s, she followed the trend of wearing a cloche. The feathery hats passed out of vogue and out of Marie's wardrobe. By the 1970s, she had moved toward large, wide-brimmed hats. Of course, she would in the hot Hawaiian sunshine.

From the late-1960s and throughout the 1970s, Marie made the high mandarin collar her trademark and applied it to long, slim-fitting dresses. Marie designed and made many dresses of very similar design. All were based on the Japanese Cheongsam dress.  Unlike the dresses of origin, which were either sleeveless or had cap sleeves, were fitted at the waist, and were street length, Marie's designs incorporated either fitted lines or a-line dresses with long sleeves. They reached to the floor. She adapted them for either formal or casual wear, depending on the color and quality of the fabric. She invariably wore hats with her dresses. It is interesting to note that Jack's tie was often color coordinated with Marie's dress.

By the 1980s, Marie was opting for slacks with turtleneck pullovers and jackets. Always, her hats matched the jacket. You can see her in one of her latter-day ensembles in Emme Tommimbang's Emme's Island Moments / "Memories of Hawaii Five-0" at the end of the Season 1 DVDs (available on You Tube, starting at 4:40 on There, she is wearing black pullover, slacks, and shoes with a warm pink jacket and a matching wide-brimmed hat.

Read more about Coco Chanel:

Roe, Sharon. Trendsetting 101: The Influence of Coco Chanel. Viva Glam Magazine. September 9, 2016.

Fashion Styles During Marie’s Career
Here’s a delightful website that shows and tells all about fashions of the 1920s through the 1960s. Plus, there’s a bonus: Some of these styles can be purchased. These are the years when Marie actively designed fashions. Although this website originates in England, the styles look pretty authentic to me. Some of the terms differ; for example, what they call an “Americana zip jacket,” we would call an Eisenhower jacket. Just saying. Be sure to follow the menu to see everything this fascinating site has to offer.

These links from The University of Vermont’s Landscape Change Program show clothing and hairstyles for decades ranging from the 1850s through the 1950s. Here are the links for the four decades when Marie designed in the Fashion District of New York City:





Be sure to check out other pages on The University of Vermont's Landscape Change Program's website. They’re a fascinating look through time!

Marie Clare magazine provided a pictorial of 1940s fashions as modeled by well-known actresses in the day.

Marie's Travels
Even before she married Jack, Marie was a world traveler. She sailed to and from France when she was studying art and fashion design in Paris. A passenger manifest shows her sailing from Boulogne su Mer, France, to New York aboard the SS Cleveland in 1927.

She also traveled to Havana, Cuba, in those long-before-Castro days when Cuba was the vacationer's paradise that Hawai'i would later become. A passenger manifest shows her sailing from Havana to New York aboard the SS Orizaba in 1938. Another passenger manifest shows her taking a cruise aboard the SS Santa Paula from New York, through several wayports, and back to New York in 1940.

Look out, Jack! You're not the only one sailing the high seas.

Marie's Culinary Talents
In Hawaii Five-0, McGarrett claimed to make the best lasagna and cacciatore in the Islands ("My Friend, the Enemy," Season 10). In actual fact, the culinary expert was Marie! From her pumpkin-colored kitchen, she turned out meals from many countries around the world. She cooked French and Italian dishes, of course, but she also cooked Jewish food and Asian dishes and others. She claimed to have learned Italian cooking from Frank Sinatra. Marie became very health-food conscious over time. Less cacciatore came from her kitchen than did the low-fat offerings from Asia and even from papaya trees. The focus shifted from keeping Jack camera-ready to protecting his heart.

Even though Marie was serious about cuisine, she said she did not like the cold, sterile kitchens usually associated with the culinary arts. Her kitchen in Kahala featured stainless steel appliances; cabinets the color of pumpkins; and a kappa shell vinyl floor. She kept potatoes in a wire basket, feeling that exposure improved the quality of potatoes. She had an aluminum cart on which she placed the serving platters and rolled the cart into the adjoining dining room to serve dinner ("Jack Lord: The Hyphenated Man; The Cop Who Cares" in Honolulu Magazine. October 1970.).

Marie collects cookbooks and recipes. She has several file cabinets filled with recipes and all kinds of information

about food. For example, she doesn't just have one recipe for soufflé. She has dozens. And she'll have a whole

section devoted only to egg whites, for instance -- how to separate them, how to beat them and things to do with

them. She has a whole card catalog that she devised. The whole thing's perfectly organized. Once, I remember, I

just happened to say something about matzo ball soup. Before I knew it, Marie had boned up on the subject,

read everything she could find on it, and we were eating the most fantastic matzo ball soup I'd ever tasted.

                                                                                                                                            ~ Jack Lord

Henderson, Barbara. "A Fabulous Love Story." Publication unknown. Circa 1957, pp. 41, 62-63ff.

Marie's Brother, Florian

It is interesting to note that Marie's brother, Florian DeNarde, was an engineer and an inventor. On September 12, 1928, when he was in his early 20s, Florian applied for a patent on “an improvement in propellers for aircraft and other vehicles . . . means for adjusting the pitch of the propeller blades while the propeller is in operation.” He received his patent (No. 1,802,808) on April 28, 1931 (Index of Patents, US Patent Office, 1931, p. 202).

Florian also co-wrote lyrics for a musical, Say When, which opened on October 24, 1932, in Cleveland, Ohio, where he lived (Catalog of Copyright Entries. Part 1. [C] Group 3. Dramatic Composition and Motion Pictures. New Series. Library of Congress, Copyright Office, 1933). He should not be confused with a Florian DeNarde from Brooklyn, New York, who was active in the theater in that city.

In 1965, Florian DeNarde sent a letter to Jack along with a book about A. J. Balaban, who with Sam Katz, owned a chain of theaters across the country. The chain was known as Balaban & Katz Theatres and was based in Chicago. A. J. Balaban and, later, his widow, Carrie Balaban, worshipped in the same church as Florian DeNarde and his wife. All were Christian Scientists. The book was written by Carrie Balaban about her husband.  It is interesting to note that Jack did not return Florian's book to him, as Florian requested in his letter . Rather, the book was sold on Ebay from Jack's estate auction. I wonder what Florian would have to say about that!

As an aside . . .

In the movie The Front Page, which was based on a stage play by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur
(James MacArthur's dad), the character Hildy Johnson (Jack Lemmon) says he is leaving the newspaper
business to marry a widow who plays the organ at the Balaban & Katz Theatre in the Chicago Loop.
In real life, there were seven Balaban & Katz theaters in the Chicago Loop, including the State-Lake
Theatre. The movie also made reference to the intersection of State and Lake Streets. Also appearing
in the movie were three Hawaii Five-0 veterans: Harold Gould, who appeared in the Vashon trilogy
(Season 5) and "The Case Against McGarrett" (Season 8); David Wayne, who appeared in "30,000 Rooms
and I Have the Key" (Season 6); and Charles Durning, who appeared in "Retire in Sunny Hawaii...Forever" (Season 8).

Marie's Brother, Silvius
Very little is known about Silvius. We do know that he worked as a part-time assistant at the Cabanne Branch of the St. Louis Public Library when he was fifteen years old (Staff Notes, Vol. 11, No. 3, Pg. 2. St. Louis Public Library. October 25, 1919).