Mel Kinney, whose boyish face was part of the opening credits of the original "Hawaii Five-0," died Tuesday after suffering a heart attack several days earlier. He was 57.
Mel Kinney, who appeared in ‘Five-0’s’ original credits, dies
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An avid big-wave surfer and member of the original Hokule’a crew, Kinney was a set dresser in recent years, working on the ABC TV shows "Lost," "Off the Map" and "The River" as well as the motion picture "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," said his sister, Leimana Damate.
Kinney had just come ashore at Sunset Beach after a surf session Feb. 1 when he was stricken, she said.
"He had an undiagnosed heart problem," she said. "He was in perfect health. He came in and took a shower and sat down to talk with a friend and had a major cardiac arrest. His last memory was of Sunset."
Kinney was born in Waimea on Hawaii island but grew up in Waikiki. He was 13 when someone with a movie camera stopped the lad on his way to surf in Waikiki in 1968. The cameraman gave him $5 to film him, and Kinney didn’t know what it was for until he saw the series premiere of "Five-0," Damate said.
If you blinked you could have missed him, but strangers continued to recognize Kinney, even decades later, as the boy from the original "Five-0."
Services are pending.