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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Ivan Dixon has died at 76

Ivan Dixon, best known as Sgt. Kinchloe on "Hogan's Heroes", died on Sunday, March 16th. Dixon helped change racial stereotypes in his film and TV roles, was active in the Civil Rights movement, and president of Negro Actors for Action. After a long and celebrated career as an actor and director, he was the owner-operator of radio station KONI-FM in Maui. In 2001 he left the islands for health reasons and sold the radio station in 2002.

In his role as POW Staff Sergeant James Kinchloe in the hit TV series Hogan's Heroes, SSG Kinchloe's role was the communications officer; he would frequently be ordered by Colonel Hogan to encode a message and send it to Allied Headquarters in London, a submarine, or to the German underground. Dixon played Kinchloe from 1965 to 1970, making him the only original actor on Hogan's Heroes not to stay for the entire series (Hogan's Heroes finished in 1971, by which time Kenneth Washington had replaced him).

In 1964 he starred in the independent film Nothing But a Man, which was written and directed by Michael Roemer. He was practically unrecognizable as "Lonnie" in the cult classic Car Wash (1976). Dixon spent many years (1970–1993) behind the camera directing television shows and movies such as Trouble Man, The Rockford Files, The Bionic Woman, Magnum, P.I. and The A-Team.

He played a doctor and leader of a guerrilla movement in the controversial 1987 ABC miniseries Amerika, set in post-Soviet invasion Nebraska. Perhaps his most memorable scene was his dramatic rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner, which had been banned by the puppet government led by Robert Urich.

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Blogger Kvatch said...

I didn't have any idea that Dixon had had such a wide-ranging career. I also read that he was a prolific director.

title="comment permalink">March 19, 2008 4:09 PM  

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