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Kim Hamilton

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Kim Hamilton
Hamilton with Ivan Dixon and Steven Perry in The Twilight Zone episode
"The Big Tall Wish" (1960)
Dorothy 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
Years active1952–2010
Spouse(s)Robert Henry Hamilton (1951-1969)
Werner Klemperer (1997–2000; his death)

Kim Hamilton (born Dorothy Mae Aiken; September 12, 1932 – September 16, 2013) was an American film and television actress, as well as a director, writer, and artist. Her career spanned more than half a century, from the early 1950s to 2010.[1] Hamilton's early film credits included the 1959 film noir Odds Against Tomorrow opposite Harry Belafonte and The Leech Woman in 1960.[1] She was also one of the first African-American actors to appear on the soap opera Days of Our Lives and was the only African-American to appear in a speaking role on Leave It to Beaver.[2][1]

Hamilton portrayed, in an uncredited role, Helen Robinson in the 1962 film adaptation of 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]

Early life and career[edit]

Hamilton was born in Los Angeles, California and, as a young woman, initially wanted to work as a model. However, she said she could not find work in the fashion industry, owing to her short stature and race.[1] Instead, prompted by an advertisement in the Los Angeles Times, she enrolled in acting classes and enlisted the services of an agent.[1] Hamilton made her professional acting debut in the 1950s television sitcom Amos 'n' Andy, playing the girlfriend of Andy (Spencer Williams) in several episodes.[1]

She briefly moved to London to pursue acting there.[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 a work permit, a practice commonly used against American actors at the time.[1]

Hamilton appeared in more than 60 television series and television films throughout her career. In 1960, she guest-starred in an episode of The Twilight Zone titled "The Big Tall Wish."[1] In 1963 and 1964, she played a high-school librarian on two episodes of the popular series My Three Sons.[4] She was also one of the first black actresses to appear on the soap opera Days of Our Lives.[2] She made numerous guest appearances on popular television shows, including Adam-12, The Thin Man, General Hospital, Sanford and Son, Good Times, The Jeffersons, In the Heat of the Night, All In The Family, and Law & Order.[5] She portrayed 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.[4]

Hamilton was also an artist, director, and writer. In her final works, she was credited as Kim Rousseau.[4]

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, which focused on To Kill a Mockingbird through guest lectures, productions, and panel discussions.[3]

Personal life and death[edit]

Kim Hamilton was married twice. Her first marriage, at age 18, was to Robert Henry Hamilton in 1951. They had two children and divorced ten years later. Her son Robert predeceased her.[citation needed]. She then dated German-born actor Werner Klemperer for more than two decades before they married in 1997.[1] They remained together until Klemperer's death on December 6, 2000.[6]

In her later years, Hamilton divided her time between her home in Manhattan and her other residence in her hometown of Los Angeles. In 2013, four days after her 81st birthday, she died of undisclosed causes while in Los Angeles.[2][7][8]



Year Title Role Notes
1957 Something of Value Kipi's Wife Uncredited
1959 Odds Against Tomorrow Ruth Ingram
1960 The Leech Woman Young Malla
1961 The Wizard of Baghdad Teegra - Yasmin's Servant Uncredited
1962 A Public Affair Mrs. Hendrickson
1962 To Kill a Mockingbird Helen Robinson - Tom's Wife Uncredited
1966 The Wild Angels Nurse
1971 Kotch Emma Daly
1973 Heavy Traffic Voice
1978 Lady of the House Mary
1981 Body and Soul Mrs. Johnson


Year Title Role Notes
1960 The Twilight Zone Frances Episode: "The Big Tall Wish"
1962 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Maid Season 7 Episode 36: "First Class Honeymoon"
1963 77 Sunset Strip Letha Episode: "White Lie"
1963 Leave it to Beaver Maid Episode: "The Parking Attendants"
1967 Mannix Alice Bradley Episode: "A Catalogue of Sins"
1970 Mannix Hallie Woods, Nightclub singer Episode: "Time Out of Mind"
1972 The Mod Squad Mildred Jameson Episode: "Can You Hear Me,Out There?"
1972 Sanford and Son Carol Davis Episode: "Fred & Carol and Fred & Donna"
1973 Adam 12 Mrs. Hardy Episode: “Citizens Arrest”
1974 Kojak Sgt Donna Mill Episode: "Hush Now, Don't You Die"
1974 All in the Family Mrs. Helen Willis Episode: "Lionel's Engagement"
1975 Good Times Betty Episode: "Florida's Rich Cousin"
1975 Sanford and Son Grace Episode: "The Older Woman"
1983 The Jeffersons Pauline Episode: "My Wife... My Maid"
1984 Guiding Light Victoria Tamerlaine Spaulding Recurring role
1985 Alice Mrs. Reynolds Episode: "Vera's Grounded Gumshoe"


In the Heat of the Night Mrs. Johnson

Ellen Shore

Episode: “Promise Child”

Episode: "Ches and the Grand Lady"

2008 Private Practice Frances Episode: "Serving Two Masters"


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Robe, Alan K. (2007-04-13). "Kim Hamilton interview with Alan K. Rode-PtS 1 and 2". Film Noir Foundation. Retrieved 2013-10-13.
  2. ^ a b c "Kim Hamilton, one of the first African-American actresses on "Days", passes away". SalemSpectator. 2013-08-29. Archived from the original on 2014-12-25. Retrieved 2013-10-13.
  3. ^ a b c "Harlem community honors 'Mockingbird' actress". USA Today. Associated Press. 2007-04-13. Retrieved 2013-10-13.
  4. ^ a b c "Kim Hamilton". IMDb. Retrieved August 23, 2017.
  5. ^ "Kim Hamilton Joins General Hospital Cast". Jet. September 26, 1969. Retrieved October 13, 2013.
  6. ^ Woo, Elaine (2000-12-08). "Werner Klemperer; Played Col. Klink in 'Hogan's Heroes'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-10-13.
  7. ^ "Actress Kim Hamilton, From TNG's 'Final Mission', Dies". Archived from the original on 2013-10-06. Retrieved 2013-10-13.
  8. ^ Dagan, Carmel (November 6, 2013). "Actress Kim Hamilton Dies at 81". Variety. Retrieved March 12, 2019.

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