Taylor Wily dead: UFC 1 fighter an ‘Hawaii Five-0’ fan favorite was 56

LOS ANGELES — Taylor Wily, a former sumo wrestler who became known for his role as confidential informant Kamekona Tupuola on both “Hawaii Five-0” and “Magnum P.I,” has died, his friend and a “Hawaii Five-0” producer both said Friday. He was 56.

“Hawaii Five-0” executive producer Peter M. Lenkov confirmed his death to The Associated Press and shared multiple tributes to the actor on Instagram, writing “I am devastated. Heartbroken” in a caption of a photo of the two.

KITV 4, based in Honolulu, was the first to report Wily’s death on Thursday. Additional details about the cause remain unknown. TV and radio personality Lina Girl Langi said on the show “Island Life Live” that she announced the news “with a heavy heart,” as Wily was a friend.

Lenkov, Wily’s longtime friend and collaborator, shared a second post later on Thursday with a video montage featuring photos and clips with Wily. He wrote, “You charmed me into making you a regular… on the show… and in my life. You were family. And I will miss you every day, brother.”

Wily played Kamekona on “Hawaii Five-0” from 2010 through 2020 and became a fan-favorite. He continued in the same role with the reboot of “Magnum P.I.” and made a memorable appearance as a hotel worker in the 2008 comedy “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.”

Before he began acting, Wily, born Teila Tuli, was a well-known sumo wrestler and UFC 1 fighter. He became the first knockout victim in UFC history in 1993 when opponent Gerard Gordeau’s kick knocked a tooth clear out of Wily’s mouth, ending the fight after just 26 seconds.

He is survived by his wife, Wily is survived by his wife, Halona, and their two children.

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