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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Staff Sgt. James Kinchloe

Ivan Dixon, best known for playing Staff Sgt. James Kinchloe on Hogan's Heroes, has unfortunately passed. Kinchloe was the African American Communications Officer, for Colonel Hogan's hilarious band of insurgent POW, in the first 5 seasons of the show.

Kinchloe, known to the other POW's as "Kinch" was the straight man of the group. He never got the one-liners which always generated laughs but did have an essential role, none the less.

Kinch's talent for mimicking foreign dialects was always a funny bit. He frequently called Colonel Klink, the Commandant of Stalag 13, and fooled him into doing something preposterous. He even mimicked Adolf Hitler once.

Dixon was replaced by another African American actor, Kenneth Washington, who played "Sargent Baker", for the final season. I've never heard why this happened and it's too bad he didn't finish with the rest of the cast. I don't even know if it were ever explained as to where he disappeared to, on the show. Did he escape?