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Hawaii Five-0: The 10 Best Guest Stars

Hawaii Five-0 has had some amazing guest stars, and we've listed the best of them — even Nick Jonas once made an appearance!

Based on the original series, the 2010 reimagined Hawaii Five-O has introduced a classic series with a modern take to a new generation. The show’s longevity is due to a lot of factors. Talented cast, stunning Hawaiian scenery, action-packed scenes, angst, comedy, and of course, Steve’s and Danno’s famed “carguments.” However, let’s not forget the numerous accomplished guest stars that have come to Hawaii over the last nine years, adding to storylines and giving us more reasons to love the show. In this line-up, we’ve taken the liberty of picking out some of the most memorable guest stars to have made appearances on the show. Check out the stars below!

10 Martin Starr

Starr plays Adam “Toast” Charles, a gifted computer hacker that occasionally lends Five-0 a hand with their cases. He first appeared in the second episode of Season 1, “Ohana”, where we see his character in action and find that he has an affinity for marijuana (hence the nickname “Toast”) and lollipops. “Toast” made a couple more appearances before his character was killed. Five-0’s showrunner, Peter M. Lenkov, commented that they had been following Starr in his role as software designer Bertram Gilfoyle on Silicon Valley. You can catch Starr in an upcoming role in Spider-Man: Far From Home. 

9 Willie Garson

Gracing Five-0’s screen since 2015, Garson portrays former illegal art dealer turned criminal informant and crime scene cleaner Gerard Hirsch. Hirsch harbors a massive crush on Officer Kono Kalakaua (Grace Park), which is often a source of comedic dynamic among the characters. Hirsch is goofy but loveable, and his impressive turn-around from criminal to honest civilian is admirable. Garson is known for playing Stanford Blatch on Sex and the City and as Mozzie on White Collar. 

8 Nick Jonas

Jonas made a few appearances as sociopath hacker Ian Wright. Ian eludes and infuriates Five-0, nearly taking down a plane with hundreds of people onboard and kidnapping the daughter of one of Five-0’s members, Lou Grover (Chi McBride). Granted, Ian is selfish, crazy and downright unlikable. Ironically, he is killed by another criminal, yet audiences can still go back and re-watch Jonas play his complete opposite.

If you don’t know Jonas from his Disney Channel or Jonas Brothers days, you can watch him as Ian Wright and see him in the upcoming film, Midway. 

7 Rick Springfield

“Jessie’s Girl” played in our heads the moment Springfield appeared onscreen as Renny Sinclair in Season 1, a famous photographer that quickly dies in a fiery explosion, trapped in his trailer. Even more brutal? His daughter was the one to kill him, and as the episode reveals, for no good reason. If you don’t know Springfield for his music, you should know him as Vince Vincente in Supernatural or as Dr. Irving Pitlor on True Detective. 

6 James Caan

Caan guest-starred as retired New York Police Department bomb expert Tony Archer. Archer aids in the pending investigation as he was a friend of the victim. Archer comes complete with brusque Northeastern attitude, wiseguy antics and a no-nonsense approach. It’s especially funny the way his character interacts with his real-life son, Scott Caan’s character of Danny ‘Danno’ Williams and Steve McGarrett, teasing them regarding their dynamic as partners and sharing a beer with them at the end of the episode. Caan is known for roles such as Sonny Corleone in The Godfather and Walter Hobbs in Elf. 

5 Will Yun Lee

Yun Lee started off with a bang, making his first appearance in “Pilot.” He guest stars as criminal Sang Min, who begins as an antagonist and gradually becomes more of an ally to Five-0. Sharp, witty and savvy, Sang Min has escaped custody more than once but never fails to come through for Five-0 (notably in a Season 3 episode in which Sang Min aids Chin Ho Kelly on the inside when he is falsely thrown into prison in a revenge plot). Yun Lee currently stars as Dr. Alex Park on The Good Doctor. 

4 Terry O’Quinn

O’Quinn plays Commander Joe White, the man who trained Steve McGarrett to be a Navy SEAL (and according to Danny, is to blame for Steve’s reckless ways). Joe was friend to Steve’s father John and is later found to have been keeping secrets from Steve about his family. Most significantly, the identity of Shelburne—Steve’s mother. Joe is by all accounts Steve’s surrogate father following John’s murder in “Pilot” and they share a close bond, going to great lengths to help and protect one another.

O’Quinn played John Locke on fan favorite Lost and recently portrayed Dale Lacy on Castle Rock. 

3 Dennis Chun

Chun portrays Sergeant Duke Lukela of the Honolulu Police Department. Duke is a good friend of the Five-0 taskforce and is a friendly face to viewers. What viewers may not know is the unique background surrounding Chun. Chun’s father, Kam Fong Chun, played Chin Ho Kelly on the original Hawaii Five-0, and Dennis made appearances on the original show himself. Therefore, Chun has a special familial connection to Five-0, plus gives the show a sense of the old-school sentimentality. Chun has also recently guest-starred on the reimagined Magnum P.I. (and even guest-starred on the original Magnum, P.I. back in the eighties).  

2 Claire Van Der Boom

Australian actress Claire van der Boom has been guest starring as Detective Danny Williams’ ex-wife, Rachel Hollander (formerly Edwards) since Season 1. Originally a native of England, Rachel met Danny in New Jersey and they divorced prior to the events in “Pilot.” The two share a daughter, Grace, and later a son, Charlie. Their relationship has been on-again, off-again throughout the show’s nine seasons. Rachel is a source of angst and various subplots for Danny, rendering her impact on his character development significant. van der Boom has also made appearances on Masters of Sex, Game of Silence, and Pulse. 

1 Carol Burnett

Burnett made her first appearance as Steve’s beloved “Aunt Deb”, the sister of his late father, in Season 4. Deb is spunky, independent and fun (one of her more comical moments involves driving Steve’s truck at debilitating speeds). She arrives with the devastating news that she is terminally ill, but over the course of Deb’s appearances she decides to fight it, get married, and live life to the fullest until she sadly passes away. Nevertheless, Deb’s character was important considering the McGarrett family had lost so much and her presence illustrated them as less of a broken family. Burnett is known for her variety show, The Carol Burnett Show. 

Unfortunately, there’s only so many people we can name on this list. Yet, these are certainly among the many, many honorable mentions of the people Five-0 has brought in to up the ante, produce drama and action, and add to Five-0’s existing and impressive cast, Hawaiian scenery and compelling storylines.

What do you think of these Hawaii Five-0 guest stars? Let us know in the comments!

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