66 (passed away May. 3rd, 2004)
Oct. 17th, 1937
Zulu's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[Complete List]
Gilbert Francis Lani Damian Kauhi was born on October 17, 1937 on the Big Island of Hawaii. He was better known by the nickname his classmates gave him in high school, "Zulu". His most famous role was that of Detective Kono Kalakua on the hit tv series Hawaii Five-O. The show helped launch a successful nightclub career. In 1971, he signed a 2.5 million contract to appear at C'est Si Bon Showroom in the Pagoda Hotel and Restaurant. After leaving Hawaii Five-O, he wound up as a headliner for several years at Duke Kahanamoukou's in the International Market Place. After he left there in 1972, he performed at neighbor island hotels and did benefits. He even changed the spelling of his name to "Zoulou", saying it was the French Tahitian spelling. He eventually became a promotions manager for an automotive operation. He died in Hilo, Hawaii on May 3, 2004.
- Was one of the original cast members of "Hawaii Five-O" and played Kono Kalakaua for four seasons until the bulky actor was fired after disagreements with the show's publicist. Supposedly a racial slur was used and Jack Lord had him fired. The rumor that he quit because the role was not big enough and did not take full advantage of his comedic talents seems absurd and highly unlikely. Zulu was replaced by Al Harrington, who was slightly smaller in size.
- Was convicted of second-degree negligent homicide after his vehicle hit and killed a bicyclist in 1986. He was fined $500 and placed on one year's probation.
- Changed the spelling of his name from "Zulu" to "Zoulou" saying it was the French Tahitian spelling.
- Later performed in Waikiki nightclubs singing and performing stand-up comedy.
- Died at Hilo Medical Center in Hilo, Hawaii.
- In ill health for much of his later life, Zulu (whose stage moniker was sometimes spelled "Zoulou") suffered multiple heart attacks and strokes, yet managed to continue appearing at "Hawaii Five-O" conventions over the years and played a role in the new "Hawaii Five-O" pilot that was filmed in 1997.
- Earned the name "Zulu" in high school.
- Once hosted a show in Hawaii called "Big Z Movietime".
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