Before he passed away, Jack Lord was known for several things, including his work as an American film and television actor, as well as a producer and director.
The legend secured his position as one of the most talented actors in Hollywood by making a recurring appearance on the television show “Hawaii Five-O,” which was broadcast by CBS from 1960 to 1980. The show lasted for a total of ten seasons.
Despite this, Lord’s job was not the only thing that established his name in the public eye and helped put him on the map. The long-term marriage that the actor had with his second wife, Marie De Narde, also contributed to his being brought up in conversation rather often.
Before Lord’s untimely death in 1998, he and De Narde had almost half of a century together as husband and wife. 1946 was the year that saw the pair’s first encounter, which took place in one of the most unusual settings.
At the time, De Narde was a successful fashion designer who had achieved financial independence and had a prosperous professional life. She had no intention of ever selling the stone home in New York that she had constructed in the form of an L.
On the other hand, when De Narde got home from work one day, she discovered a note on the doorstep from a guy who was interested in purchasing the property. Because the man’s offer was so inadequate, De Narde chose to disregard it. Later, she began receiving many phone calls at the apartment, but she did not answer any of them.
Eventually, De Narde would learn that the person who had called him (Lord) had received her phone number from the owner of a nearby market, which the caller had stopped at.
After that, she left a voicemail that pleaded with her to return the calls. The persistent caller was ultimately called back by De Narde, and when he identified himself to her as a sailor, she learned that it was not Lord who was the one who had sent the letter.
After realizing that he had kept the actor waiting for too long, De Narde made the decision to go find him. The fashion designer said that she was taken aback to see such a lovely guy when they eventually met and that she fell in love with him at first sight.
De Narde would subsequently reveal to reporters that she and Lord had a conversation that lasted for five hours. The two began a romantic relationship not long after that, and despite the fact that De Narde was 15 years older than his new girlfriend, their love flourished.
After dating for some time, Lord proposed to the woman who would become his wife by suggesting that they relocate to the West Coast together, and she accepted his offer.
There have been several publications written concerning the couple’s wedding date, the vast majority of which state that they tied the knot on January 17, 1949. After the couple got married, De Narde decided to devote the rest of her life to taking care of her spouse, to the point that she gave up her work.
The cast of “Hawaii Five-O” could witness De Narde’s “motherly” behaviors towards Lord and describe her as a lovely lady. They called her “Mom.” In general, the actor was quite fortunate to have the fashion designer in his life. Holding each other’s hands in public gave the impression that they were head over heels in love with one other.
Whenever Lord was interviewed, he never failed to lavish admiration on his spouse. At one point, he acknowledged that he owed his life’s direction to De Narde. According to him:
“Coming into contact with her was the turning point. There was a chance that I might spend the rest of my life working aboard commercial ships. My life now has meaning because of her.”
The filmmaker was also aware that his wife’s unwavering support and encouragement were two of the primary reasons he did not give up on pursuing his goals. According to a famous actor from Hollywood:
“I believe that the whole of my life has been spent making an attempt to develop into the guy she believed I was.”
The marriage of De Narde and Lord was put through one of the toughest tests possible in the 1980s, yet De Narde managed to demonstrate how deeply she loved her husband.
There were rumors floating about at the time that the actor’s health was becoming worse. According to the reports, Lord seems to have forgotten the names of persons he previously knew.
Some individuals reportedly said that they often saw the star of “The Hangman” sitting in the same spot close to a nearby shopping mall, seemingly unaware of the activities going on around him.
De Narde’s wife, despite all of the rumors and suspicions, denied that her husband was in poor condition. After some time, more stories indicated that Lord was always lost in public and that his wife had been paying individuals to bring him back home.
Despite this, De Narde steadfastly denied that anything was amiss with Lord, reassuring anybody who inquired that her husband was in good health. When Lord’s co-star, James MacArthur, traveled to Hawaii with De Narde, Lord declined to join them for lunch despite the fact that he was invited.
The fashion designer responded positively when MacArthur inquired about Lord and his health by stating that her spouse was in good shape.
As the years passed, additional suspicions began to arise, and at one time, there were whispers that Lord was struggling with Alzheimer’s disease.
Despite this, De Narde took every measure she could think of to save the reputation of her husband. When Lord’s health deteriorated over time, she hid him from the public and refused to discuss the severity of his illness.
De Narde was of the opinion that the struggle fought by the Lord should be their own. She maintained the same level of care for him as she did during their whole relationship right up to the very end.
To this day, many people have pondered the motivations behind De Narde’s choice to conceal her husband’s illness from the public. The author Sylvia D. Lynch was of the opinion that it was common practice for celebrities to keep certain matters private from the general audience. She wrote the following in her book “Jack Lord: An Acting Life”:
“There does seem to be an expectation from the general public that superstars should be immune in some way from the failings and flaws that are inherent to being human, and Jack Lord was in no way an exception to this rule. There is probably nothing more to it than a simple unwillingness to regard Jack Lord as anybody other than Steve McGarrett.”
In the early morning hours of January 21, 1998, Lord passed away at his home in Honolulu from heart failure. De Narde was still alive when the idol passed away at the age of 77. Following his passing, De Narde issued a statement, which, according to AP News, went as follows:
“Both acting and these islands had a special place in Jack’s heart. Throughout the whole of his life, he was showered with warmth and love, in addition to the support of a large number of friends and followers. That was something that he valued much and would never forget.”
De Narde continued to protect the legacy left by her late husband for the following several years till she passed away on October 13, 2005, at the age of 100.