UFC Fighter Taylor Wily Passes Away at 56

Taylor Wily, 56, of Hawaii Five-0 and former wrestling fame, has passed away.

The celebrity, who was born in Hawaii, died on Thursday.

Wily has guest starred on “Hawaii Five-0” for 171 episodes as Kamekona Tupuola and has also featured in episodes of other rebooted programs, including “MacGyver” and “Magnum P.I.”

Teila Tuli was born on June 14, 1968, in Honolulu, Hawaii. Prior to his acting career, Wily weighed a formidable 450 pounds when competing in sumo, UFC, and mixed martial arts bouts.

According to Paul S. Almond, Wily’s entertainment lawyer, the actor had a stellar reputation for his upbeat demeanor and devotion to his neighborhood.

Almond said of all the people out there, Taylor was one of the nicest. 

Halona, his wife, and their two children are his only surviving relatives. The actor/athlete’s cause of death has not been announced.

Latoya Levaiosina, his niece, paid tribute to her uncle in a heartfelt message, saying

His passing seems like a nightmare. She expressed her eternal love for Big Tee in a Facebook post.

Wily was of American Samoan ancestry.

After making his UFC fighting debut in the 1993 television special UFC 1: The Beginning, Wily leaped into acting.

Shortly after his defeat against Dutch kickboxer and mixed martial arts pro-Gerard Gordeau, in which he also lost three teeth, he decided to retire from fighting.

He had a perfect record in sumo wrestling, winning all fourteen of his fights. At about 440 pounds, he was one of the largest competitors.

He became the first wrestler born outside of Japan to win the championship in the third-highest Makushita class after winning his first fourteen matches.

Knee problems forced him to quit sumo in 1989.

In 2008, Wily co-starred with Jason Segel, Paul Rudd, and Kristen Bell in the comedy “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.” 

His other credits include “MacGyver,” “Radical,” “Marker,” and “North Shore.”