( b. Apr 06, 1931 NYC, New York - d. Mar 16, 2008 Charlotte, North Carolina ) Male
Ivan Dixon was an actor and director best known for playing Sgt. James Kinchloe on the 1960s sitcom “Hogan’s Heroes” but whose films included vivid portrayals of black struggles in the American South and insurrectionist inclinations in the North.
In “Nothing but a Man” Mr. Dixon played a young black railroad worker who gives up his job to marry a minister’s daughter, played by Abbey Lincoln, and then runs into trouble for not knowing his place in the Deep South. In a 1991 article on the history of black films, Vincent Canby wrote in The New York Times that “Nothing but a Man” was “way ahead of its time.”
“The Spook Who Sat by the Door,” based on the novel by Sam Greenlee, tells the tale of Dan Freeman, the first black officer in the Central Intelligence Agency. After five years of menial assignments, Freeman quits, takes what he has learned about terrorist tactics and goes to Chicago, where he tries to put together a black guerrilla operation.
Although “The Spook” aroused controversy and 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.
Mr. Dixon directed scores of television shows, including episodes of “The Waltons,” “The Rockford Files,” “Magnum, P.I.,” “Quincy” and “In the Heat of the Night.” In 1967 he played the title role in a CBS Playhouse drama, “The Final War of Olly Winter,” about a veteran of World War II and the Korean War who decides that Vietnam will be his final war. For that role he received an Emmy nomination for best single performance by an actor.
Mr. Dixon graduated from North Carolina Central University in 1954 with a drama degree. His big break came in 1957 when he appeared on Broadway in William Saroyan’s “Cave Dwellers.” Two years later he played Joseph Asagai, the charming, mannerly Nigerian student visiting the United States in Lorraine Hansberry’s “Raisin in the Sun,” the first play written by a black woman to be produced on Broadway.
source: NYT obituary