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Ivan Dixon
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Actor
    (April 6, 1931-March 16, 2008)
    Born in Harlem, New York
    Portrayed Staff Sergeant James 'Kinch' Kinchloe in Hogan's Heroes
    Appeared in the films 'Porgy and Bess' (1958), 'A Raisin in the Sun' (1961), 'Nothing But A Man' (1964), 'A Patch of Blue' (1965), 'Suppose They Gave a War and Nobody Came?' (1970) and 'Car Wash' (1976)
    Appeared in the TV miniseries 'Amerika' (1987)
    Appeared on Broadway in 'The Cave Dwellers' (1957) and 'A Raisin in the Sun' (1959)
    Directed the films 'Trouble Man' (1972) and 'The Spook Who Sat By the Door' (1973) and episodes of 'The Waltons,' 'The Rockford Files,' The Greatest American Hero' and 'Magnum P.I.'
    Growing up, he would cut classes to hang out at the Apollo Theater.
    Although Kinchloe was his highest-profile role, he admitted he 'didn't really enjoy being that character.'
    His film 'The Spook Who Sat by the Door' was controversial for both its plot (a token black agent in the CIA uses what he learns to plot a guerrilla war by blacks in America) and its use in the title of the word 'spook' (both a slang word for a spy and a racial slur).
    He complained, 'Even among black directors today there is more concern with making movies that make money, that titillate and get people to the box office. And I think that is the kind of horror of black American life, that we have accepted that struggle for the dollar instead of struggling for humanity.'
    He was married to Berlie Ray for 53 years until his death.
    He outlived two of his four children.
    He won four NAACP Image Awards.
    He moved into directing partly because he wanted to avoid stereotyped acting roles.
    He was lifelong friends with Sidney Poitier, starting when he was Poitier's stunt double in 'The Defiant Ones.'
    Poitier said, 'As a fellow actor, one had to be on one's toes, otherwise he was quite likely to walk away with the scene.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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