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 (i)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Marie was born on August 16, 1905, in St. Louis, Missouri, to Gennaro Cepparulo (born in 1871 in Italy) and Elsie DeNarde Cepparulo (born in 1883 in Italy). She had two brothers, Silvius Andrew, born in 1902, and Alfred Florian, born in 1907. All three were born St. Louis, Missouri.
Gennaro Cepparulo manufactured artificial flowers for floral arrangements, millinery, weddings, and other uses. He received his first training at the age of six from his father and grandfather in Italy and worked in their factory after school.(1) Both he and Mrs. Cepparulo emigrated to the United States.
After moving to St. Louis, Mr. Cepparulo continued to ply his trade and soon earned favor with jobbing houses and department stores. In 1908, his plant was located at 26, 27 Washington Avenue. That year, he took a trip to New York to purchase materials and to research flower novelties for that fall’s fashions. The growth of his business required him to move to larger facilities several times through the years.
In 1923, Marie graduated from high school and sailed to France to study fashion design and art. In 1925, her mother took her brother, Florian, and moved to Cleveland, Ohio, to live with her parents in their home at 10723 Orville Avenue.(2) It is unclear what happened between Elsie and Gennaro Cepparulo to warrant the move. Silvius Andrew either remained in or returned to St. Louis, where he worked with his father. Both brothers changed their surname to DeNarde.(3)
In the summer of 1927, Marie completed her studies in France and returned home, sailing to New York from Boulogne sur Mer, France.(4) Upon her arrival, she changed her name legally from Cepparulo to DeNarde.(5) Later that year, she moved to 145 East 49th Street in New York City and went to work as a fashion designer on Seventh Avenue.
On September 28, 1928, Mr. Cepparulo succumbed to double pneumonia aggravated by a pre-existing heart condition.(6) He is buried in the Calvary Cemetery, a Roman Catholic cemetery that dates to 1854.(7)
Upon his father's death, Silvius Andrew took over leadership of Cepparulo Manufacturing Company. His leadership was short-lived, for a year later, the stock market collapsed, marking the start of the Great Depression. Over the ensuing three years, the demand for flowers dropped off, and Cepparulo Manufacturing lost much of its clientele.
On January 7, 1938, Elsie DeNarde passed away of unspecified cause.(8)
It is interesting to note that the 1940 census report shows Marie was living in Paris, France in 1935. Twice before the outbreak of World War II, Marie sailed to Havana, Cuba.(9) 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.
It is interesting to note that the Columbia University Catalogue (1943/1944 and 1944/1945) shows Marie's name and her East 48th Street 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 the field, Marie continued to work. Then, following both the lessons of her upbringing and the traditions of her day, she gave up her career. 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 and served as his 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.
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. 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.
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 (10)
What was Marie like as a person?
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)."(11)
She was gracious. As James MacArthur said, “…Marie was always…very pleasant to everyone. Marie was a nice lady.”(12) Jimmy Borges echoed this when he called Marie “a wonderful, sweet, giving lady.”(13) Jim Nabors said, “Marie was a very lovely, beautiful lady...”(14) 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.”(15) For years after Jack’s death, MacArthur and others took Marie to lunch at the Kahala.(16)
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].’”(17) Alicia Antonio said, “She was very protective of Jack.”(18) James MacArthur took it a step further when he said that nothing and no one prevented her from looking after Jack.(19) Eddie Sherman took it still further when he called Marie “the rock behind Jack Lord.”(20) 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.”(21)
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.”(22) Being reminded of that “served to direct [Jack's] thinking...”(23)
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].”(24)
Note: 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.”(25)
She was sentimental. Marie said, the lack of children led her to “adopt and shower too much love on younger people.”(26) 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…”(27)
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."(28) Of course, the following quotation might describe Marie just as well: "Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance."(29) 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. There, she is wearing black pullover, slacks, and shoes with a warm pink jacket and a matching wide-brimmed hat.
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.(30)
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 (31)
Marie's Brother, Florian
Florian DeNarde in 1963
(Brazil travel visa)
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 his wife, Carrie, 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!
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.(32)
Florian also co-wrote lyrics for a musical, Say When, which opened on October 24, 1932, in Cleveland, Ohio, where he lived.(33) He should not be confused with a Florian DeNarde from Brooklyn, New York, who was born about five years after Marie's brother and was active in the theater in New York City.
Did You Know?
Italians began making artificial flowers in the 12th century. They used the cocoons of silkworms and dyed the blooms. By the 14th century, the French had perfected the art of making silk flowers. Flower artisans emigrated to England during the French Revolution in the 18th century. In the early 19th century, English emigrants took the craft to America. Artificial flowers reached their apex during the Victorian Era of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when luxury and grandeur were the order of the day. In addition to providing whole arrangements, they also filled in arrangements of real flowers. Today, most manufacturers of artificial flowers are located in Asia and India. Only three manufacturers do business in the United States.
Source: Gale Research, Inc. How Products are Made: Artificial Flower. 1996. https://www.encyclopedia.com/manufacturing/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/artificial-flower
Marie's Brother, Silvius
Silvius worked as a part-time assistant at the Cabanne Branch of the St. Louis Public Library when he was fifteen years old.(34)
He worked with his father, manufacturing artificial flowers, and took over leadership of the company following his father's death. He was married for four years before his own death in 1932.
Photograph: St. Louis Dispatch, 1928
Did You Know?
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).
In the movie The Doomsday Flight, in which Jack starred as FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Frank Thompson, an agent working under him was named Agent Balaban. He was portrayed by Greg Morris, who was known for his roles in Mission Impossible and Vega$.
(i) Henderson, Barbara. "A Fabulous Love Story." Filmland, May 1956, pp. 41, 62-63ff.
(1) The Illustrated Milliner. Illustrated Milliner Company, 1908. Vol 9, page 52.
(2) E-mail from Karen Spracklen to Webmaster, October 10, 2013.
(3) Index of Patents, US Patent Office, 1931.
(4) Passenger list for the SS Cleveland for July 8-21, 1927.
(5) St. Louis County, Missouri, Birth Records.
(6) Certificate of Death for Gennaro Cepparulo dated September 29, 1928, and filed with the Missouri State Board of Health / Bureau of Vital Statistics on October 1, 1928.
(8) Ohio Death Certificate Index.
(9) Passenger list for the SS Orizaba, February 1938; passenger list for the SS Santa Paula, January-February 1940.
(10) Rand, Flora. “Being With Jack is Like Having All the Diamonds in the World.” TV Radio Mirror. March 1974.
(11) Harada, Wayne. “Friends Fondly Remember Marie Lord” in Honolulu Advertiser. October 15, 2005.
(12) Ryan, Tim. “She Was the Rock Behind ‘Five-0’ Star” in Honolulu Star-Bulletin. October 14, 2005.
(13) Ryan, Ibid.
(14) Harada, Ibid.
(15) Harada, Ibid.
(16) Ryan, Ibid.
(17) Ryan, Ibid.
(18) Harada, Ibid.
(19) Ryan, Ibid.
(20) Ryan, Ibid.
(21) Harada, Ibid.
(22) Asher, Jerry. “Bitter-Sweet” in TV Star Parade. January 1965.
(23) Asher, Ibid.
(24) Harada, Ibid.
(25) Harada, Ibid.
(26) Ryan, Ibid.
(27) Ryan, Ibid.
(28) Todorovska, Martina. 21 Best Coco Chanel Quotes in Viva Glam Magazine. August 22, 2017.http://vivaglammagazine.com/21-best-coco-chanel-quotes-in-honor-of-her-birthday/
(29) Todorovska, Ibid.
(30) "Jack Lord: The Hyphenated Man; The Cop Who Cares" in Honolulu Magazine. October 1970.
(31) Henderson, Ibid.
(32) Index of Patents, US Patent Office, 1931, p. 202).
(33) Catalog of Copyright Entries. Part 1. [C] Group 3. Dramatic Composition and Motion Pictures. New Series. Library of Congress, Copyright Office, 1933).
(34) Staff Notes, Vol. 11, No. 3, Pg. 2. St. Louis Public Library. October 25, 1919.