10 THINGS YOU PROBABLY DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT HARADA
- He made his acting debut — and finale — in 1959, when he played a minor role in “Malihini Moon” at Farrington High School. He could’ve been Randall Duk Kim or Cliffton Hall, if he continued.
- A deejay’s job might have been his calling, if he had continued a lunch-hour ritual while at Farrington: As part of his Radio Workshop class, Harada co-hosted a noontime radio show, spinning hit songs for students. He was inspired by Tom Moffatt.
- He’s not been big on fan clubs or idol worship, but Harada was president of a Tom Moffatt fan club called The Record Squad while in high school — he was Record Squader No. 13.
- If you blinked, you might have missed him, but Harada had a bit part — or his picture did — in a vintage “Hawaii Five-O” episode.
- Harada was typecast as a reporter in a filmed-in-Hawai’i episode of “I Dream of Jeannie,” the sitcom with Barbara Eden and Larry Hagman.
- His first Page 1 bylined story in The Advertiser was on Frankie Lymon, who was in town to sing “Why Do Fools Fall in Love” at the old Civic Auditorium in 1959.
- Harada was locked up with Dino, Desi and Billy, an early boy group, when fans swarmed a music store run by Von Hamm Young at Kapi’olani Boulevard and Cooke Street.
- Harada’s Advertiser review of The Monkees was reprinted, word for word, in a two-page trade magazine ad heralding the group’s first-ever public appearance — at the Honolulu International Center Arena.
- Harada could have had Luke Skywalker’s shirt, but thought $5 was a bit much. Star Mark Hamill, who played Skywalker in the first “Star Wars” film, made Harada the offer to sell the shirt off his back in Hollywood at a press junket, where Hamill, Carrie Fisher and an unknown named Harrison Ford were getting their first taste of stardom.
- Harada’s column was immortalized in a stage musical: “You Somebody,” by (Advertiser columnist and playwright) Lee Cataluna, with music by Keola Beamer. It was a sell-out for Diamond Head Theatre, and it introduced a new verb to the community — Harada-fied meant to be written up in his column.
From ‘Wayne Harada – The curtain is called,’ by Zenaida Serrano, Advertiser Staff Writer, The Honolulu Advertiser, Sunday, December 28, 2008. Courtesy Manoa Valley Theatre.