Rosa Navarro Harrington, widow of entertainer Al Harrrington who died Tuesday (Sept. 21), has issued a compassionate statement about her loss, saying “he was my regal Polynesian King.”

She was at his side when he died at age 85. Harrington earlier suffered a stroke.

Her statement, released today (Sept. 22), reflects how inseparable the couple was.

“I have had the honor of loving Al, whom I called ‘Harrington’ for 20-years,” she said.

Al and Rosa Harrington; photo by Kat Wade, special to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser

“We were an inseparable team; best friends and he was my regal Polynesian King. Al embodied the purest, life-giving values of aloha and began each day with a smile.”
She described their routine: “We were early risers, and long before the sun would appear over Manoa Valley’s Ko‘olau Mountain Range, Al would have already thanked me for creating our humble yet adventurous life together in the islands. Oh how he loved Hawai’i and would remark on its beauty throughout the day…from one holoholo to the next, like a never ending swell of gratitude within him.” 

To know him was to love him, said Rosa.

“Al was truly a gift from God. A noble, compassionate, patient and gentle man with a witty sense of humor and a larger-than-life laugh that will echo in my heart until we are reunited. He was generous, quick to forgive, a hard worker, a provider and always ready to talk-story. He loved his community and even more, his culture. It was his greatest honor to represent his people on-screen, and to serve them off-screen. To know him was to feel seen, loved, safe and welcomed. As an Icon for Hawai’i, our islands and her people are mourning his loss.” 

And she offered her mahalo for his giving ways. “Harrington, it’s my turn to thank you, for inviting me along the most extraordinary ride of life! I promise to rise each morning with gratitude, and to honor your legacy by living each day to its fullest with a commitment to health and vitality.”

A Punahou football star as a student, Harrington returned to campus as a school teacher, though show business became his ultimate profession.

Harrington as Ben Kokua.

His stint playing Ben Kokua on the original Jack Lord-starring “Hawaii Five-0” from 1968 to 1980), enabled him to become the South Pacific Man, starring in a Polynesian revue in Waikiki. The acting gig helped buoy his nightclub stint, the last of the locals hired to play a recurring role on a network (CBS) TV, dissolving the general prevailing assumption among casting directors who felt Hawaii didn’t have the talent to succeed in co-starring roles.

As Harrington 2.0, he appeared in another wholly locally-produced “Doogie Kamealoha MD,” portraying Uncle John, in the current Disney+ series now streaming.

He also played Mamo Kahike in the Alex O’Loughlin reboot of “Five-0.”

He made his network TV debut on “To Tell the Truth,” viewable on YouTube, in which he played himself with two other imposters, with a panel of judges trying to name the real Al Harrington. The real dude also demonstrated that he could twirl a knife in a common Samoan staple in visitor productions here. In fact, he was a fire knife dancer before he starred in his own revue here.

He had a string of guest roles in a range of other TV series and logged a roster of film roles that didn’t utilize the depth of his talent.

Harrington’s agent, Gregory David Mayor, also offered a reaction to the actor’s passing.“It has been my utmost pleasure to have served as Al Harrington’s theatrical agent for many years.  More importantly, Al became a close friend and mentor to me in my own career and life,” he said. “ Al uplifted me to find my faith again….and for that alone, I am truly grateful. Admiration, respect, humor, peace, and joy are those attributes that one can ascribe to Al Harrington. Truly a special child of God.”

Besides his wife, Harrington is survived by sons Alema and Tau, daughters Cassi Harrington Palmer and Summer Harrington and several grandchildren.

Services have not been announced. …

And that’s Show Biz. …


  1. Hi Wayne,

    Mahalo for the nice write up and photos of Al Harrington. Now that he is gone I have lost all my entertainers that I got to see when my mom and I first came to Hawaii in 1967. Will always remember Al being our host at our tour dinner at the Hilton and then going to see him perform all thru the years plus watching him on TV Will remember him telling people that I helped him put his kids through school by coming to his show so often.

    Aloha Dolores (auntie ClicClic)

  2. Several years ago, Kris Kristofferson performed in the Blaisdell Concert Hall. At the end of his concert, Al Harrington walked on stage and the two had a joyous reunion. Kris talked about when he was a teenager, he worked for Hawaiian Dredging one summer on Wake Island and met Al Harrington. To pass the time, they had fight matches, and Al was so strong. By the end of that summer, Kris had toughened up so much he made first string on his football team!

Leave a Reply