Obituary: Greg Howell, 1954-2012

Jan. 11, 2013 | 0 Comments
<em>Greg Howell, right, in 2006 with Chris Lee, left, and Daniel Dae Kim. (Star-Advertiser File)</em>

Greg Howell, right, in 2006 with Chris Lee, left, and Daniel Dae Kim. (Star-Advertiser File)


Greg Howell, Po‘okela Award-winning actor, hair-stylist and wig designer, will be remembered with a memorial/celebration of life at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 28, at Manoa Valley Theatre, 2833 East Manoa Rd. Howell died Christmas Eve in Honolulu after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 58.

Although he had a large and loyal clientele at the Paul Brown Salon and Spa, where his skill at shaping eye brows was legendary, Howell was best known for his work in Hawaii’s vibrant community theater scene. In the seven year period between 2005, when the Hawaii State Theatre Council restructured the Po‘okela Awards to allow up to six honorees per category, and the presentation of the 2012 Po‘okela Awards last August, Howell received 13 “Pokies” for hair, make-up and wig design.

He received two additional Po‘okela Awards for his work as an actor.

Howell starred twice in “Fully Committed,” a one-man show in which the performer plays several dozen characters of both sexes. The first production, at The Arts at Marks Garage in 2002, earned him rave reviews but was not eligible for a Po‘okela. Howell reprised the role at Manoa Valley Theatre in 2006 and received a Po’okela Award (Leading Male in a Play) for his performance.

Howell received his second award as an actor in 2009 for his portrayal of a 78-year-old man in the title role of MVT’s production of “Tuesdays With Morrie.”

In addition to his award-winning work for MVT and TAG, Howell received “Pokies” for hair and make-up design at Army Community Theatre.

His final appearance as an actor was in MVT’s production of “August: Osage County” in 2011. His career as a hair and makeup stylist ended in 2012 with MVT’s production of “Spring Awakening” and The Actors Group staging of “Seven Guitars.”

In August, Howell received the Hawaii State Theatre Council’s Pierre Bowman Award for his lifetime career achievements as an actor and his work in hair and makeup design.

Howell’s many friends in the theater community rallied around him when he was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of non-Hodgkins lymphoma B-cell cancer. They staged a couple of fund-raising shows to help cover his medical bills. Howell was in the audience for the last one, at Paliku Theatre, in December.

Howell is survived by his mother, Peggy H. Howell, of Madison, Tennessee, his biological father, Ocie G. Wood, of Beech Island, South Carolina, his brothers, Jesse Clyde Howell, Michael J. Howell and Clinton T. Howell, sisters Delilah Howell Reynolds and Brooke Howell Pinkerton, maternal uncle, Thomas B. Huffman, Sr., four nephews, two nieces, a great nephew and a great niece.

Greg Howell

Po’okela Awards 2006-2012


Hair, Wig, Makeup Design
» “M. Butterfly” (Manoa Valley Theatre)
» “Pageant ” (Manoa Valley Theatre)


Leading Male in a Play
» “Fully Committed” (Manoa Valley Theatre)

Hair, Wig, Makeup Design
» “Sweeney Todd” (Army Community Theatre)


Hair, Wig, Makeup Design
» “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” (Manoa Valley Theatre)
» “The Rocky Horror Show” (Manoa Valley Theatre)


Leading Male in a Play
» “Tuesdays With Morrie” (Manoa Valley Theatre)

Hair, Makeup and Wig
» “Tuesdays With Morrie” (Manoa Valley Theatre)
» “Oliver!” (Army Community Theatre)


Hair, Makeup and Wig
» “Hair” (Manoa Valley Theatre)
» “Once Upon One Time” (Manoa Valley Theatre)
» “Winter Wonderettes” (Manoa Valley Theatre)


Hair and Wig Design
» “Duets” (The Actors Group)
» “Zombie Prom” (Army Community Theatre)


Hair and Wig Design
» “Seven Guitars” (The Actors Group)

John Berger has been a mainstay in the local entertainment scene for
more than 40 years. Contact him via email at

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