Jack Lord & Older Wife of 49 Years, Who Mothered Him, Had Changing Views on Having Kids after His Son’s Death

Jack Lord did it all. From playing the fan-favorite McGarrett on “Hawaii Five-O” to selling Cadillacs. And yet his private love was nothing to write home about. He had an unhappy first marriage that he remained quiet about for years.

Jack Lord was a man of many talents. Besides acting, he was also an accomplished painter, having earned a degree in Fine Arts from NYU, where he studied under a football scholarship.

He was also a sailor in his youth and loved poetry and singing. But beneath his never-ending array of skills, Lord faced several challenges in his personal life.

“The Lone Woman” actor met his first wife, Anne Cecily Willard, aboard a cruise ship. He fell in love fast and married her. According to some reports, the ship’s captain married them in 1944.

However, others say that the couple married in 1942 and went on a five-week honeymoon. Willard soon returned to school while Lord rejoined his ship for work. A few months later, Lord received word that he was about to be a father.

Willard planned on staying with her parents until she welcomed their child. Lord then reportedly rented a house at the Chesapeake Bay on his subsequent work leave and wrote his wife to tell her the good news.

While replying to the letter about their new house, Willard also made it known to Lord that she did not want her son raised in America. Eventually, Lord reportedly lost track of his wife and son, as his letters often returned unopened.

In 1964, Lord would tell Motion Picture Magazine that when Willard wrote him to relay the news that she was expecting their child, she also asked for a divorce as she did not want to live in the U.S. and wanted to raise their son alone.


Despite his excitement about starting a family, some reports say Lord did not see his son in the course of his life. Contrary to that belief, MGM publicists and noted fan magazine writer Jerry Asher said Lord saw his son once before he died.

One theory surrounding Lord’s son’s death says he passed on following a sickness while still very young. A second theory says he was a teen when he died from drowning.

The “Walk Like A Dragon” actor reportedly told Asher that his son died in an accident when he was thirteen, and Lord only got to learn about it when he received a death certificate in the mail, with no letter.

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