Hawaii Five-0 Actor and Former Samoan Wrestler Taylor Wily Dies at 56

Hawaii Five-0 Actor and Former Samoan Wrestler Taylor Wily Dies at 56

Taylor Wily is known for his works in two completely different fields. He initially earned love as a Samoan Wrestler and then as an actor.

Taylor Wily, known for his work in wrestling and acting, passed away at the age of 56. According to local news agencies, the former Samoan wrestler died on June 20, 2024. The cause of death is currently unclear, though some sources suggest he had health issues.

Stars from both the wrestling and entertainment industries have expressed condolences, and fans have taken to social media to share their grief and support for his family.

Peter M. Lenkov, a popular T.V. producer, confirmed the date of Wily’s death and shared his heartfelt thoughts on Instagram. “I am devastated. Heartbroken. I will post some detailed feelings later. Just too hard right now,” he wrote. In a later post, Lenkov reminisced about Wily, recalling his charm and their bond on “Hawaii Five-0.”

“T, as I told you many times, I fell in love with you at the first audition. You came in with a towel on your head, mopping up sweat, and I was smitten. 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.”

Peter M. added to his post, “P.S.: when we spoke last week, we laughed at how right you were from Day 1. Five-0 was our dream job. And I was so lucky we got to share that magic together.”

Taylor Wily: A Multifaceted Career

Taylor Wily, born Teila Tuli on June 14, 1968, in Laie, Hawaii, was a versatile American actor, sumo wrestler, and mixed martial artist of American Samoan descent. He began his sumo career in 1987, joining the Azumazeki stable and adopting the shikona of Takamikuni.

Wily achieved early success, remaining unbeaten in his first 14 bouts and winning two yūshō championships. Promoted to the Makushita division in 1988, he mentored future yokozuna Akebono Tarō before retiring in 1989 due to knee issues.

Transitioning to mixed martial arts, Wily competed in the inaugural UFC event in 1993, losing to Gerard Gordeau in a notable bout. He then shifted to acting, appearing in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and gaining fame as Kamekona Tupuola on “Hawaii Five-0.” Wily also made appearances in “Magnum, P.I.” and “The Amazing Race.”

Taylor Wily leaves behind a legacy of remarkable achievements in sumo, MMA, and acting. He is celebrated for his adaptability and talent.

Also read: Legendary Actor Donald Sutherland is No More 

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