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Kim Hamilton

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Kim Hamilton
Kim Hamilton Law & Order
Kim Hamilton shown here in an episode of the NBC-TV drama series "Law And Order", originated the role of Helen Willis in Season 4 of AITF.
Personal Information
Birthname: Dorothy Mae Aiken
Gender: Female
Born: (1932-09-12)September 12, 1932
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Died: September 16, 2013(2013-09-16) (aged 81)
Deathplace: Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation/
Career:
Actress
Years active: 1952–2010
Spouse(s): Robert Henry Hamilton (1951–19??)
Dave Geisel (1962–65; divorced)
Werner Klemperer (1997–2000; his death)
Related to: 2 children, four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren
Character/Series involvement
Series: All In The Family
Episodes appeared in
(and/or) involved with:
"Lionel's Engagement" (Season 4)
Character played: Helen Willis
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Kim Hamilton (born Dorothy Mae Aiken; September 12, 1932 – September 16, 2013) originated the role of Helen Willis, wife of Tom Willis, in the Season 4 episode of All In The Family titled "Lionel's Engagement", before being replaced in the role by Roxie Roker in the Season 5 AITF episode titled "The Jeffersons Move Up", which would also be used as the pilot episode for The Jeffersons, the very next week it was first aired on AITF. as an African American, Kim was a pioneering veteran film and television actress, whose career spanned from the 1950s to the 2010s. Her early film credits included the 1959 film noit, 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 on the 1957-63 CBS television series, Leave It to Beaver.

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]

BiographyEdit

CareerEdit

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.

She briefly moved to London, England to pursue acting. Kim 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.

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 NBC-TV daytime soap opera, Days of Our Lives, 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-TV 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 deathEdit

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

Kim 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 third marriage was to television director, Dave Geisel (1962–65). She dated German-born actor Werner Klemperer, better known to TV viewers as "Colonel Klink" on the CBS-TV sitcom series Hogan's Heroes, 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]

FilmographyEdit

FilmsEdit

Year Title Role
1959 Odds Against Tomorrow Ruth Ingram
1960 The Leech Woman Young Malla
1961 The Wizard of Baghdad Teegra
1962 To Kill a Mockingbird Helen Robinson
1966 The Wild Angels Nurse
1971 Kotch Emma Daly
1981 Body and Soul Mrs. Johnson

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

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