One of Walt Disney’s many talents was a flair for casting, and a genius for recognizing unusual talent. Although the application of this gift within the Animation trade is well-known, as is the roster of live-action stars who came to be associated with Walt, both professionally and culturally—Annette Funicello, Hayley Mills, Fess Parker, Fred Mac Murray, and Dean Jones to name a few—there is one actor whose relationship with Walt Disney is frequently forgotten: James MacArthur.
Upon the passing of the 72-year-old actor last week, obituaries inevitably led with MacArthur’s 11-year role on the popular TV series Hawaii Five-O. His film and television career, however, owes much of its momentum to his casting, at the suggestion of Walt himself, in a series of feature films early in his career.
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- Danno Has Died: James MacArthur, 72 (npr.org)
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