Ivan Dixon in a dual role in the Hogan's Heroes episode
"The Prince From the Phone Company"
Ivan Dixon, best known for his groundbreaking role as the radio operator on Hogan's Heroes, died Sunday (March 16) of a hemorrhage in Charlotte, North Carolina. His daughter reported he had also been suffering from kidney failure.
Dixon was a highly-honored actor who appeared in movies (A Raisin in the Sun, Car Wash), plays, and television shows as guest stars. He was nominated for an Emmy for his role in "The Final War of Olly Winter," a CBS Playhouse presentation, in 1967.
Bob Crane & Ivan Dixon
It was his role as Sergeant James Kinchloe, nicknamed "Kinch," for five years in Hogan's Heroes that brought him his greatest popularity. Dixon had a leading role on a popular program in the 60s, when blacks were few and far between on television. Highlights during his five years on the show included the episode "The Softer They Fall," where the racism of Nazi Germany was a prominent part of the story (General Burkhalter warned Colonel Klink about the repercussions should a Nazi soldier be defeated in a boxing match by a black American prisoner, mentioning that Hitler left the stadium in 1936 when Jessie Owen won gold over Hitler's "master race"), and the first season episode "The Prince From the Phone Company," where Dixon played a dual role as Kinch and African prince Makabana.
Dixon is survived by his wife of 53 years and two children. He was 76.