Ivan Dixon

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Ivan Dixon
Ivan Dixon.jpg
BornIvan Nathaniel Dixon, III
(1931-04-06)April 6, 1931
New York City, New York, US
DiedMarch 16, 2008(2008-03-16) (aged 76)
Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S.
Cause of death
Renal failure
OccupationActor, director, producer
Years active1957–91
Spouse(s)Berlie Ray Dixon (m. 1954–2008)
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Ivan Dixon
Ivan Dixon.jpg
BornIvan Nathaniel Dixon, III
(1931-04-06)April 6, 1931
New York City, New York, US
DiedMarch 16, 2008(2008-03-16) (aged 76)
Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S.
Cause of death
Renal failure
OccupationActor, director, producer
Years active1957–91
Spouse(s)Berlie Ray Dixon (m. 1954–2008)

Ivan Dixon (April 6, 1931 – March 16, 2008) was an American actor, director, and producer best known for his series role in the 1960s sitcom Hogan's Heroes, for his role in the 1967 telefilm The Final War of Olly Winter, and for directing many episodes of television series. Active in the civil rights movement since 1961, he served as a president of Negro Actors for Action.[1][2]

Early life and career[edit]

Ivan Nathaniel Dixon, III, was born in Harlem, the son of a grocery store owner. When he was young, Dixon lived in the brownstone at 518 West 150th Street in Harlem, on the same block with Josh White, Ralph Ellison, and the Hines brothers, (Gregory and Maurice).[2] He graduated from the Lincoln Academy in Gaston County, North Carolina,[3] and went on to earn a drama degree from North Carolina Central University in 1954,[2] where the theater troupe is now known as the Ivan Dixon Players.[3] While at NCCU, he joined the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.

In 1957, Dixon appeared on Broadway in William Saroyan's The Cave Dwellers, following this in 1959 with an appearance in Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun.[4] In 1958, he was a stunt double for Sidney Poitier in the film The Defiant Ones, and went on to television roles on The Twilight Zone (in the episodes "The Big Tall Wish" and "I Am the Night—Color Me Black"), Perry Mason, and other series.

On February 20, 1962 Dixon co-starred with Dorothy Dandridge in the "Blues for a Junkman" episode of "Cain's Hundred", which was highest rated episode of the series. Extra footage, including a nude scene, was added to the TV version and released as a feature film in Europe titled The Murder Men, which was " Dandridge's last screen appearance.

On September 25, 1962, he portrayed Jamie Davis, a livery stable groom, in the episode "Among the Missing" of NBC's Laramie western series.[5] In 1963 he played the role of John Brooks, alias Caleb Stone IV, in the Perry Mason episode, "The Case of the Nebulous Nephew."

In 1964, Dixon starred in the independent film Nothing But a Man, written and directed by Michael Roemer; it was Dixon's performance in this film he was most proud of.[2] He also appeared in an episode of ABC's The Fugitive entitled "Escape into Black".

Hogan's Heroes[edit]

In his best-known role, Dixon appeared as POW Staff Sergeant James (Ivan) "Kinch" Kinchloe in the ensemble cast of the television sitcom Hogan's Heroes. "Kinch" was the communications specialist, a translator of French, and the default third in command. Dixon played Kinchloe from 1965 to 1970, the only one of the series' long-time cast not to remain for the entire series. Kenneth Washington succeeded Dixon for the last year of the show's run, albeit with a different character name.

Film work and directing[edit]

From 1970 to 1993, Dixon worked primarily as a television director on such series and TV-movies as Trouble Man, The Waltons, The Rockford Files, The Bionic Woman, Magnum, P.I., and The A-Team. He also directed the controversial 1973 feature film The Spook Who Sat by the Door, based on Sam Greenlee's novel of the same name, about the first black CIA agent, who takes his espionage knowledge and uses it to lead a black guerrilla operation in Chicago. The New York Times wrote in 2008:

Although The Spook caused controversy and with suppression facilitated by the F.B.I., was soon pulled from theaters, it later gained cult status as a bootleg video and in 2004 was released on DVD. At that time Mr. Dixon told The Times that the movie had tried only to depict black anger, not to suggest armed revolt as a solution.[2]

Occasionally returning to acting, Dixon played a doctor and leader of a guerrilla movement in the controversial 1987 ABC miniseries Amerika, set in post-Soviet invasion Nebraska.

He also served as Chairman of the Expansion Arts Advisory Panel of the National Endowment for the Arts in 1978.

Later life and death[edit]

After his career as an actor and director, Dixon was the owner-operator of radio station KONI (FM) in Maui. In 2001, he left Hawaii for health reasons and sold the radio station in 2002.[6]

Ivan Dixon died on March 16, 2008, aged 76, at Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina, of complications from kidney failure.[7]

Selected filmography[edit]

1957Something of ValueLathela, Loyal Gun-BearerAlternative title: Africa Ablaze
1959Porgy and BessJim
1961A Raisin in the SunAsagai
1961Have Gun -- Will Travel (TV Series)"Long Way Home" (Air Date April 2, 1961)Isham Spruce
1962"Cain's Hundred" (TV Series)Joe Sherman"Blues for a Junkman" (February 20, 1962) Co-starring Dorothy Dandridge
1962The New BreedWick2 episodes
1963Perry MasonCaleb Stone IVEpisode: "The Case of the Nebulous Nephew"
Going My WayRobin Green"Run, Robin, Run"
Stoney BurkeDr. ManningEpisode: "The Test"
1964Nothing But a ManDuff Anderson
The Man from U.N.C.L.E.Jean Francis SoumarinEpisode: "The Vulcan Affair"
1965I SpyElroy BrownEpisode: "So Long, Patrick Henry"
A Patch of BlueMark Ralfe
1965 to 1971Hogan's HeroesStaff Sergeant Ivan Kinchloe145 episodes
1969Where's Jack?Naval Officer
1970Suppose They Gave a War and Nobody CameSgt. JonesAlternative title: War Games
1971Clay PigeonSimon
1971 to 1972NicholsDirector, 4 episodes
1973The Spook Who Sat by the DoorDirector
1974 to 1975The WaltonsDirector, 7 episodes
1975Starsky and HutchDirector, 1 episode
1975 to 1979The Rockford FilesDirector, 9 episodes
1976Car WashLonnie
1977McCloudDirector, 1 episode
1978The Bionic WomanDirector, 1 episode
1979Wonder WomanDirector, 1 episode
1981 to 1982Bret MaverickDirector, 3 episodes
1981 to 1983The Greatest American HeroDirector, 6 episodes
1984Trapper John, M.D.Director, 1 episode
1982 to 1986Magnum, P.I.Director, 13 episodes
1987AmerikaDr. Alan DrummondMiniseries
1989Quantum LeapDirector, 1 episode
In the Heat of the NightDirector, 1 episode
1991Father Dowling MysteriesRev. JohnsonEpisode: "The Joyful Noise Mystery"

Awards and honors[edit]

YearAwardCategoryTitle of work
1967Emmy AwardNomination:Outstanding Single Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a DramaCBS Playhouse: The Final War of Olly Winter



  1. ^ Hayward, Anthony (May 16, 2008). "Ivan Dixon: Kinchloe in 'Hogan's Heroes'". The Independent (London). Retrieved October 20, 2008. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Hevesi, Dennis. "Ivan Dixon, Actor in 'Hogan’s Heroes,' Dies at 76", New York Times (March 20, 2008).
  3. ^ a b Saunders, Barry. "School's starring role in an actor's life", News & Observer (April 5, 2008).
  4. ^ "Ivan Dixon" on the Internet Broadway Database
  5. ^ "Laramie: "Among the Missing", September 25, 1962". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved October 3, 2012. 
  6. ^ Engle, Erika (May 13, 2002). "The Buzz". archives.starbulletin.com. Retrieved October 20, 2008. 
  7. ^ Stewart, Jocelyn Y. (March 20, 2008). "Actor's roles reflected life for blacks in America". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 20, 2008. 

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