Hamilton with Ivan Dixon and Steven Perry in The Twilight Zone episode "The Big Tall Wish," 1960.
|Born||Dorothy Mae Aiken
September 12, 1932
Los Angeles, California, United States
|Died||September 16, 2013
Los Angeles, California, United States
|Other names||Kim Rousseau|
|Spouse(s)||Robert Henry Hamilton (1951–19??)
Dave Geisel (1962–65; divorced)
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, whose career spanned from the 1950s to the 2010s. Her early film credits included the 1959 film noir Odds Against Tomorrow opposite Harry Belafonte and The Leech Woman in 1960. Hamilton was 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.
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.
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Hamilton initially wanted to be a model but could not work in the fashion industry owing to her short stature and race. Instead, she found an advertisement in the Los Angeles Times that led to acting classes and an agent. Hamilton made her professional acting debut in the 1950s television sitcom Amos 'n' Andy. She played the girlfriend of Andy (Spencer Williams) on the show for several episodes.
She briefly moved to London to pursue acting. 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.
Hamilton appeared in more than sixty television series and television films throughout her career. In 1960, she guest-starred in an episode of The Twilight Zone called "The Big Tall Wish." She became one of the first black actresses to appear on the soap opera Days of Our Lives. Other roles included guest spots on The Thin Man, General Hospital, 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 series Private Practice.
Hamilton was also an artist, director, and writer. In her final credits, she was credited as Kim Rousseau.
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. 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.
Personal life and death
Hamilton was born Dorothy Mae Aiken on September 12, 1932, in Los Angeles, California. A former resident of Harlem, she divided her time between her homes in Los Angeles and the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
She 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 second marriage was to television director Dave Geisel (1962–65). She dated German-born actor Werner Klemperer for more than two decades before their marriage in 1997. They remained together until Klemperer's death on December 6, 2000.
|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||To Kill a Mockingbird||Helen Robinson - Tom's Wife||Uncredited|
|1966||The Wild Angels||Nurse|
|1981||Body and Soul||Mrs. Johnson|
|1974||Kojak||Sgt Donna Mill||Episode: "Hush Now, Don't You Die"|
|2008||Private Practice||Frances||Episode: "Serving Two Masters"|
- Robe, Alan K. (2007-04-13). "Kim Hamilton interview with Alan K. Rode-PtS 1 and 2". Film Noir Foundation. Retrieved 2013-10-13.
- "Kim Hamilton, one of the first African-American actresses on "Days", passes away". SalemSpectator.com. 2013-08-29. Archived from the original on 2014-12-25. Retrieved 2013-10-13.
- "Harlem community honors 'Mockingbird' actress". Associated Press. USA Today. 2007-04-13. Retrieved 2013-10-13.
- "Kim Hamilton Joins General Hospital Cast". Jet. Johnson Publishing Company. September 26, 1969. Retrieved October 13, 2013.
- Kim Hamilton filmography
- Woo, Elaine (2000-12-08). "Werner Klemperer; Played Col. Klink in 'Hogan's Heroes'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-10-13.
- Actress Kim Hamilton, From TNG's 'Final Mission', Dies
- Actress Kim Hamilton Dies at 81, November 6, 2013, 04:42PM PT, article by Carmel Dagan, Variety.com, accessed November 6, 2013.