Kim Hamilton

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Kim Hamilton
Ivan Dixon Steven Perry Kim Hamilton Twilight Zone 1960.JPG
Hamilton with Ivan Dixon and Steven Perry in The Twilight Zone episode "The Big Tall Wish", 1960.
BornDorothy Mae Aiken
(1932-09-12)September 12, 1932
Los Angeles, California, United States
DiedSeptember 16, 2013(2013-09-16) (aged 81)
Los Angeles, California, United States
Other namesKim Rousseau
OccupationActress
Years active1952–2010
Spouse(s)Robert Henry Hamilton (1951–19??)
Dave Geisel (1962–65; divorced)
Werner Klemperer (1997–2000; his death)
Children2
 
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For the television writer, see Kimberly Hamilton.
Kim Hamilton
Ivan Dixon Steven Perry Kim Hamilton Twilight Zone 1960.JPG
Hamilton with Ivan Dixon and Steven Perry in The Twilight Zone episode "The Big Tall Wish", 1960.
BornDorothy Mae Aiken
(1932-09-12)September 12, 1932
Los Angeles, California, United States
DiedSeptember 16, 2013(2013-09-16) (aged 81)
Los Angeles, California, United States
Other namesKim Rousseau
OccupationActress
Years active1952–2010
Spouse(s)Robert Henry Hamilton (1951–19??)
Dave Geisel (1962–65; divorced)
Werner Klemperer (1997–2000; his death)
Children2

Kim Hamilton (born Dorothy Mae Aiken; September 12, 1932 – September 16, 2013) was an American film and television actress, whose career spanned from the 1950s to the 2010s.[1] Her early film credits included the 1959 film noir, Odds Against Tomorrow, opposite Harry Belafonte, and The Leech Woman in 1960.[1] Hamilton, who was one of the first African American actors to appear on the soap opera, Days of our Lives,[2] broke the color barrier[clarification needed] on the television series, Leave It to Beaver.[1]

Hamilton portrayed, in an uncredited role, Helen Robinson in 1962 film adaptation, To Kill a Mockingbird, based on Harper Lee's novel of the same name. She was the film's last surviving African American adult cast member with a speaking role.[3]

Biography[edit]

Career[edit]

Hamilton initially wanted to be a model, but could not work in the fashion industry due to her short stature and race.[1] Instead, she found a advertisement in the Los Angeles Times, which led to acting classes and an agent.[1] Hamilton made her professional acting debut in the 1950s television sitcom, Amos 'n' Andy.[1] She played Andy's (Spencer Williams) girlfriend on the show for several episodes.[1]

She briefly moved to London to pursue acting.[1] Hamilton was able to find some roles, but returned to the United States after the British Actors' Equity Association and the Secretary of State for Employment denied her work permit, a practice commonly used against American actors at the time.[1]

Hamilton appeared in more sixty television series and television films throughout her career. In 1960, she guest starred in an episode The Twilight Zone called "The Big Tall Wish."[1] She became one of the first black actresses to appear on the soap opera, Days of Our Lives,[2] Other roles included guest spots on The Thin Man, General Hospital,[4] Sanford and Son, In the Heat of the Night and Law & Order. She played Songi in "Final Mission" a 1990 episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Her last television credit was a 2008 episode of the ABC series, Private Practice.

Hamilton was also an artist, director, and writer. In her final credits, she was credited as Kim Rousseau.[5]

In December 2007, Hamilton was honored for her career achievements by Columbia University and the Harlem community at an event held at the Museum of the City of New York.[3] Hamilton's honor was part of series of Columbia University's Big Read program, focusing on To Kill a Mockingbird through guest lectures, productions, and panel discussions.[3]

Personal life and death[edit]

Hamilton was born Dorothy Mae Aiken on September 12, 1932 in Los Angeles, California.[2] A former resident of Harlem, she divided her time between her homes in Los Angeles and the Upper West Side of Manhattan.[3]

She was married three times in her life and had two children; her son, Robert, predeceased her. Her first marriage, at age 18, was to Robert Henry Hamilton (1951 until divorce later that decade); this union produced two children. A second marriage was to television director, Dave Geisel (1962–65). She dated German-born actor Werner Klemperer for more than two decades before their marriage in 1997.[1] They remained together until Klemperer's death on December 6, 2000.[6]

Hamilton died of undisclosed causes on September 16, 2013, aged 81, in Los Angeles, California.[2][7][8]

Filmography[edit]

Films[edit]

YearTitleRole
1959Odds Against TomorrowRuth Ingram
1960The Leech WomanYoung Malla
1961The Wizard of BaghdadTeegra
1962To Kill a MockingbirdHelen Robinson
1966The Wild AngelsNurse
1971KotchEmma Daly
1981Body and SoulMrs. Johnson

References[edit]

External links[edit]