Me-TV presents 10 Reasons Jack Lord was Truly the Most Interesting Man on Television. Here are three of my favorites…
4. He was an accomplished painter.
In his youth, Lord also studied at NYU — where he had a football scholarship, no less — and earned a degree in Fine Arts. Yes, he was an artistic athlete. He had at one time hoped to be an art instructor. At the age of 20, he had two of his works accepted by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. You can spot his paintings through Hawaii Five-O, hanging on the walls, in episodes like “Invitation to Murder,” “How to Steal a Masterpiece,” and “‘V’ for Vashon.”
6. He was offered the role of Captain Kirk before Shatner.
In some alternate universe, Star Trek reruns are airing with Jack Lord and Martin Landau in the roles of Kirk and Spock. (Now that sounds like a Star Trek plot.) After the captain of the original pilot episode, Jeffrey Hunter, was given the boot on the show, Gene Roddenberry offered the new lead role of James Kirk to Lord. However, Lord had rather high salary demands. He reportedly wanted 50% ownership of the series. Shatner was simply cheaper.
7. He holds a notable place in James Bond history.
While he never made it aboard the Enterprise, Lord did take part in another iconic series. In the first James Bond film, Dr. No, Lord portrayed Felix Leiter, the familiar C.I.A. ally of 007. He was the first actor to play the role in the film series. He might have appeared in more — but money was again the issue. For Goldfinger, Lord wanted more screen time and higher billing. Alas, these are Bond movies, not Leiter movies.