Actress Kim Hamilton Dies at 81

KIM HAMILTON Obit

Kim Hamilton, an African American actress who appeared onstage, in films and on television and was the wife of the late actor Werner Klemperer — Col. Klink on “Hogan’s Heroes” — at a time when mixed marriages were uncommon even in Hollywood, died of natural causes in Los Angeles on Sept. 16, four days after her 81st birthday.

Two of her early and most noted roles in a career that spanned more than six decades were as Brock Peter’s wife in “To Kill a Mockingbird” and as Harry Belafonte’s wife in “Odds Against Tomorrow.” She had most recently appeared in the 2010 film “The Beginners.”

She appeared in many other films, including “The Greatest Story Ever Told,” “Body & Soul,” “The Wild Angels” and the cult film “Leach Women.”

Her long career on television began with a role as Andy’s girlfriend on “Amos & Andy.” Other credits included “Ben Casey,” “Dr. Kildare,” “The Twilight Zone,” “Stony Burke,” “All in the Family,” “The Jeffersons,” “Sanford & Son,” “Quincy M.E.,” “Law & Order,” “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and “Private Practice.” She was the only African American to ever appear on the series “Leave It to Beaver” and she was the first black actress of color to appear on the daytime soap opera ”General Hospital”. She also appeared on “Days of Our Lives,” “Guiding Light” and “The Young and The Restless”

Onstage she played Ruth in the premiere production of Lorraine Hansberry’s “Raisin in the Sun” at the Adelphi Theater in London and appeared in many different productions in Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C., where she appeared in a production of August Wilson’s “Fences.” She appeared in a production of “The Blacks” at the Mark Taper Forum and at the Ivar Theater in Los Angeles and played Abbie in a production of “Desire Under The Elms” at Theater West.

Hamilton won an NAACP Image Award for her work in the play “Like One of the Family,” as well as a Dramalogue Award for that same Theatre West production, which starred Paul Winfield.

In 2007, Columbia University honored Hamilton with a Life Achievement Award.

Hamilton was married to actor Werner Klemperer for 24 years until his death in the year 2000. They appeared onstage together in a production of “Love Letters” in the 1990s.

Survivors include her daughter, four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

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  1. Felixya VonTheodorez says:

    Information declaring Kim Hamilton was in matrimony with actor Werner Klemperer for those number of years is FALSE (she confirmed that herself when interviewed by Alan K. Rode at Los Angeles, 13.04.2007). I believe Werner liked to expand the consciousness of his audience as a whole as they were entertained. Evidently, he was busy working a lot, with limited time for dates. Furthermore, there does exist doubt whether Werner and she got hitched in the end.

  2. David Z. Gilchrist says:

    I’VE ALWAYS HAD A CRUSH ON MS. HAMILTON SINCE I FIRST SAW HER AS CAROL ON SANFORD AND SON. SORRY I MISSED HER ON LEAVE IT TO BEAVER. HOWEVER, PROUD TO READ SHE WAS THE ONLY African American TO APPEAR ON THAT SHOW. I’M SURE HER FAMILY ARE PROUD OF HER WORK AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY. THAT LUCKY COL. KLINK! CONTINUE TO REST IN PEACE MS. HAMILTON, YOU WILL ALWAYS BE MY NUMBER ONE FEMALE AFRICAN AMERICAN ACTRESS. TO THE HAMILTON FAMILY, PLEASE BE BLESSED.

  3. I just found out about this sad news today in the Actors magazine.,Kim was a very lovely Lady and a good actress. She was a friend.

  4. Tina Andrews says:

    I’m just hearing about this and I am so saddened. When I was an actress, Kim played my mother on three occasions. She was always a classy lady and the most gentle and beautiful in the room. RIP Kim. I will always remember you.

  5. She was a wonderful person and actress. I directed her in a stage production of “Finian’s Rainbow” in the 1970s. A total professional! She would not like being referred to as “a black actress.” She told me more than once —“I am an actress…please don’t allude to color.”

  6. Kim & Werner were together for 24 years, They got together in 1978. No, They did not marry until 1997. But they might as well have been married. It was what used to be known as a ‘common law’ marriage until 1997, when the were actually legally married. The point is, they were together all those years as a couple.. Those are the facts.

  7. Marc says:

    “Wife of Werner Klemperer … at a time when mixed marriages were uncommon even in Hollywood”. This seems like an overstatement, IMDB says they were married in 1997. It’s not like we are talking about the 1960s.

    • Dee says:

      They were together for more than two decades and obviously part of that time would’ve been during a time when mixed relationships were uncommon. However, they did marry in 1997. So yes they skipped facts and worded it wrong and that is unacceptable.

  8. Terry Jones says:

    I love this woman!!! I still remember her guest starring on The JEFFERSON’s. She played the role to the T!! Such a regal person.

  9. Jim says:

    Amazing woman!

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