A suave, street savvy, hardworking, man-about-town of small stature who manages the King Kamehameha Club, a private beachfront club in southeast Oahu. Rick often provides situation-based comic relief in the show. He is often seen wearing humorous costumes or uniforms while assisting Magnum with his cases. A running gag in the series is that in brawls he is easily dispatched by the opponents!
He is a former U.S. Marine Corp door gunner, and weapons specialist, who served in the Vietnam War with T.C. and Magnum in the VMO-2 squadron. Like Magnum and T.C., he served three Tours of Duty in Vietnam. As a civilian, when needed, Rick usually arms himself with a Detonics CombatMaster .45 ACP semi-automatic pistol, or an Uzi submachine gun.
He has close ties with Hawaii's criminal underworld and often uses these connections to help Magnum in his investigations. His main source of information comes from an elder underworld boss named "Icepick".
Rick and his kid sister Wendy were born and raised in a tough inner city neighborhood of Chicago. In 1958, when he was 12, both of his parents were killed in a tragic automobile accident. Family friend Francis Hofstetler (aka "Icepick") assumes the role of stepfather by proxy and "looks after him" and Wendy. Wendy would later be murdered by a drug dealer in Oahu in 1983 (in "Distant Relative").
Orville loves the ladies and he loves to wager bets. He is a big fan of the 1942 classic movie Casablanca (and Humphrey Bogart) and he is skipper of the King Kamehameha II & III luxury yachts. He's a big baseball fan and grew up rooting for the Chicago Cubs. He has a fondness for expensive suits, tight designer jeans, and cuban heel shoes.
In the late seventies, he owned a glittery discotheque called Rick's Cafe Americain, otherwise known as The Snow Palace (!). Rick dressed, talked, and acted like Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca during this period. He even referred to the DJ as "Sam", even though that wasn't his real name. The club folded in 1980 due to financial problems and Rick soon became manager of the King Kamehameha Club.
He married Cleo Mitchell, a former prostitute, in 1988, in the show's last episode, although the words "I Do" were never seen uttered.
- On March 16, 2018, Zachary Knighton will play the original Larry Manetti as Rick Wright.