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Classic Television Memories: African-Americans in 1960's Television: Ivan Dixon (Hogan's Heroes)

Updated on August 4, 2017
Ivan Dixon as Hogan's Heroes' Sgt. Ivan Kinchloe
Ivan Dixon as Hogan's Heroes' Sgt. Ivan Kinchloe

Beginnings

Ivan Dixon, producer, director, actor, writer, best known for his role as Staff Sgt. James Kinchloe on the hit TV series Hogan's Heroes (1965-1970), was born in Harlem, New York in 1931. The son of working-class parents.

He graduated from from the Lincoln Academy in North Carolina, and received a degree in Drama from Central University in 1954. During this time, he was also a member of Omega Psi Phi.

In 1957, he appeared in the Broadway play Cave Dwellers. In 1958, he was Sidney Poitier's stunt double in the film The Defiant Ones.

1961 found him co-starring in the film A raisin In The Sun, starring Poitier.

Television

Mr. Dixon appeared in two of Rod Serling's Twilight Zone episodes; In the Big Tall Wish (1960), in which he played boxer Bolie Jackson, who was the subject of a wish made by his friend, a young boy named Henry, played by Steven Perry, and in the acclaimed episode entitled I Am The Night, Color Me Black (1964), he portrayed Reverend Anderson, the minister of a small racist town.

He guest-starred in many television shows in that era, but his most memorable role was that of Sgt. James Kinchloe in Hogan's Heroes, starring Bob Crane.

In the series (1965-1971), he was part of an ensemble cast which included the late Richard Dawson, playing communications expert Kinchloe. His character was an integral part of the group, participating in missions that took him away from the radio; once being called upon to impersonate a visiting African prince, and many times impersonating the voice of Adolph Hitler, to a bewildered Colonel Klink (Werner Klemperer).

Dixon left the series in 1970, and was replaced by Kenneth Washington as Baker.

Post Hogan, he went on to act, and direct numerous films and TV shows, including the controversial film, The Spook Who Sat By The Door, and the Blaxpliotation hit Trouble Man, starring Robert Hooks.

He died on March 16 2008, at the age of 76 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Hogan's Heroes opening

Enjoy this interview excerpt

Products

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    • penman51 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dale K Lynn 

      6 years ago from Cincinnati Ohio

      montecristo, thanks for kind comment

    • montecristo profile image

      Angel Caleb Santos 

      6 years ago from Hampton Roads, Virginia

      Good article. Well written.

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