In Memory of
Gilbert Francis Lani Damian Kauhi
October 17, 1937 to May 3, 2004

The Hawaiian-born actor died from complication of Diabetes. He was 66 years old. He was best known for playing the character "Kono" on TV's Hawaii Five-0.

Born in Hilo, he was three-fourths Hawaiian, enough to get him accepted in schools that only took children of pure Island heritage. He loved sports, and received the nickname Zulu from his football buddies.

His father lost his job as a fireman and the family moved to Honolulu, where the father drove a taxi.

He attended high school in Oahu, where he performed in school plays. But he eventually dropped out of school.

He worked in construction and served a tour of duty in the Coast Guard before returning to Hilo to work as a disk jockey for radio station KHVH.

He also performed with Hawaiian music legends, such as the Sons of Hawaii, the Kahanamoku Brothers and Don Ho, and entertained on cruise ships.

In 1968, he attended a casting call for a new CBS crime drama that was to be set on the islands. The show, Hawaii Five-O.

Zulu was cast in the part of Kono Kalakauna, the Hawaiian detective to Jack Lord's "Steve McGarrett". He remained in the part of Kono for four seasons.

After Hawaii Five-0, he worked in several movies and TV shows that were filmed in hawaii. His movies included Rampage, Hawaii, Gidget, Day of Infamy and several Japanese and Italian movies. His TV credits included Magnum PI, Charlie's Angels and The Brian Keith Show.

He also actively worked for the many Hawaiian charities that were close to his heart.


In his last decade, his health worsened. He was hospitalied in 1994 with dangerously high blood pressure, and suffered several strokes that year. In 2000, he underwent triple bypass heart surgery. He received a kidney transplant in late 2002, which his body rejected. He continually battled Diabetes and kidney failure, and was awaiting a second transplate at the time he died. He lived in Hawaiian Paradise Park, and had been treated for a heart attack a few weeks before his death.

He died on May 3, 2004, at Hilo Medical Center. He had been on dialysis for six years, and had gone to the hospital for a treatment. His body shut down during the treatment, and doctors in the emergency room were unable to save him.

Zulu (still known as "Gil" to his family) was survived by his mother (Emma Kauhi), his brother (Allan Kauhi) and many nieces & nephews. Memorial services were held on June 5, 2004, at 11:00 AM at the Dodo Mortuary Chapel in Hilo. His mother fulfilled his desire for a beachboy funeral, and his ashes were scattered off the shores of Waikiki Beach from a canoe by old friends from the Hawaiian beach boys.

Zulu will long be remembered as a man loved by the Hawaiian people, as well as by fans everywhere. A man with a kind spirit who could always make people laugh ... a man who attended church every week ... a man with the biggest heart in Hawaii. He could have been a much bigger actor in films, but he like being in Hawaii, being a "local boy".

And more than anything, he will always be remembered for possessing the TRUE ...

Spirit of ...

The Aloha Spirit is a well known reference to the attitude of friendly acceptance for which the Hawaiian Islands are so famous. However, it also refers to a powerful way to resolve any problem, accomplish any goal, and to achieve any state of mind that you desire.

In the Hawaiian language, aloha stands for much more than just "hello" or "goodbye" or "love." Its deeper meaning is "the joyful (oha) sharing (alo) of life energy (ha) in the present (alo)."

The Meaning of Aloha

The Aloha Spirit is pervasive in the Hawaiian Islands. Living Aloha is living with warmth, compassion, genuine caring, and happiness. What could have described Zulu more?! Here is the true meaning of Aloha.

A stands for Akahai, meaning kindness, to be expressed with tenderness.

L stands for Lokahi, meaning unity, to be expressed with harmony.

O stands for Olu'olu, meaning agreeable, to be expressed with pleasantness.

H stands for Ha'aha'a, meaning humility, to be expressed with modesty.

A stands for Ahonui, meaning patience, to be expressed with perseverance.

Old Friends ... Kam Fong ("Chin Ho Kelly"), Zulu ("Kono") & James McArthur ("Danny Williams")

For everyting you gave us and for everything you were ...

Mahalo, Zulu!

We find comfort in the fact that you are now Heaven's "Big Kahuna"!

Rest in peace, Bruddar!

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