Lynch publishes Jack Lord biography

Published 10:40 am Friday, May 18, 2018

HARROGATE, Tenn. — Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) Carter and Moyers School of Education Dean Sylvia D. Lynch has published “Jack Lord: An Acting Life” (McFarland, $39.95).

The biography explores the life and work of actor Jack Lord, whose personal story is as colorful and interesting as the characters he played on the big and small screens. Before his rise to superstardom portraying detective Steve McGarrett on the long-running police drama Hawaii Five-O, Lord was already a dedicated and versatile actor on Broadway, in film and on television. His range of roles included a Virginia gentleman planter in colonial Williamsburg (The Story of a Patriot), CIA agent Felix Leiter in the first James Bond film (Dr. No) and the title character in the cult classic rodeo TV series Stoney Burke. Lord’s career culminated in 12 seasons on Hawaii Five-O, where his creative control of the series left an indelible mark on every aspect of its production.

Lynch said she set off to learn more about him after she watched all twelve seasons of Hawaii Five-O when it came out on DVD. “I just realized how busy he was all those years before Five-O and the more I read about him the more intrigued I became. I had no idea just how much I would find, however, once I got into the research.”

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Lynch’s book, the first to draw on Lord’s massive personal archive, gives a behind-the-scenes look into the life and work of a TV legend.

“I was fortunate to discover that he donated his personal papers to the Cinematic Arts Library at the University of Southern California,” Lynch said. “It was an uncatalogued collection, and I enjoyed looking through the boxes just as he had left them. The things he saved told me a lot about what he valued and how he approached his work as an actor. I have always loved reading biographies and writing them is even more fun.”

Lynch has published two books of Western outlaw history, and her short stories have appeared in a number of anthologies. Lynch received Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees from LMU and a Master of Science and the Doctorate in Education from the University of Tennessee. Her association with LMU is long and distinguished. She began in an adjunct position in 1985 and has served in various capacities including alumni director, J. Frank White Academy principal, chair of the department of humanities, assistant vice president for university advancement, professor of education and has helmed the Carter and Moyers School of Education as dean since 2016.

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