Lani Kai (Lani Kai)

Lani  Kai

Lani Kai, whose real name was George Clarence Dennis James Von Ruckleman Woodd III, represented the image of the handsome, native Polynesian man for viewers of a television series in the early 1960s. His big break in show business came when he accompanied his mother to a casting call for the TV series Adventures in Paradise (1959) in 1959 and wound up being chosen for a regular role. He also had a feature role in Elvis Presley’s hit movie, Blue Hawaii (1961), in 1961.  Kai was an accomplished songwriter whose most notable songs are “Puka Shells” and “Tutukane.” His performances and acts are credited for transforming the local entertainment scene in Hawaii.  He continued to write music and scriptwriting until his sudden death at a friend’s home on August 24, 1999. Kai was 63 and survived by a brother and half-sister. At his request, his ashes were scattered at Chun’s Reef.


  • August, 15, 1936
  • USA
  • Honolulu, Hawaii


  • August, 24, 1999
  • USA
  • Oahu, Hawaii


  • Cremated

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