EmptyIvan Dixon, an actor-director who played Sgt. James Kinchloe on the 1960s sitcom "Hogan's Heroes" but whose films brought to life the story of black struggles in the South, died March 16 of kidney disease complications in Charlotte, N.C. He was 76.
In "Nothing but a Man," Dixon played a young railroad worker who gives up his job to marry a minister's daughter (Abbey Lincoln) and then runs into trouble for not knowing his place in the Deep South.
"The Spook Who Sat by the Door," based on the novel by Sam Greenlee, tells of Dan Freeman, the first black officer in the CIA. After five years of menial assignments, Freeman quits, takes what he has learned about terrorist tactics and goes to Chicago, where he tries to put together a black guerrilla operation.
Dixon began his career in theater. He played Joseph Asagai, a Nigerian student, in the original 1959 Broadway production of "A Raisin in the Sun" as well as in the 1961 film version.
Dixon directed episodes of "The Bill Cosby Show," "The Waltons," "The Rockford Files," "Magnum, P.I.," "Quincy, M.E." and "In the Heat of the Night."
"Hogan's Heroes" ran from 1965-71 on CBS and was nominated three times for the best comedy series Emmy.
Raymond E. Goldstone, an award- winning television writer, died March 13 of a heart attack and subsequent coronary arrest at Valley Presbyterian Hospital in Van Nuys, Calif. He was 88.
He broke in as a story analyst at Warner Bros. in the 1950s and in 1970 joined the writing staff of "Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing." From 1973-76, Goldstone worked on the writing staff of "Search for Tomorrow," where he shared a Writers Guild Award. Later he was a writer or head writer on "Days of Our Lives," "General Hospital," "Knots Landing" and "Falcon Crest."
In 1979, he co-wrote the action-disaster miniseries "The Night the Bridge Fell Down."
Wilfred Middlebrooks, a bassist who backed Ella Fitzgerald for many years, died March 13 of cardiac arrest at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena. He was 74.
A native of Chattanooga, Tenn., Middlebrooks played bass and tuba in an Army band. After the service he settled in Los Angeles, where he and saxophonist Eric Dolphy played in a band at the Oasis Club.
Middlebrooks went on to tour and record with Fitzgerald and perform in Los Angeles as a member of the Paul Smith trio.
George Justin, a prolific production executive and producer for many decades, died March 9 in Santa Monica. He was 92.
Justin played a key role in New York filmmaking in the 1950s and '60s. As production manager, associate producer or producer, Justin worked on such watershed films as Elia Kazan's "On the Waterfront" and "A Face in the Crowd"; Sidney Lumet's "12 Angry Men," "Long Day's Journey Into Night" and "The Fugitive Kind"; and Paddy Chayefsky's "The Goddess" and "Middle of the Night." Later, in Los Angeles, he served as a production executive for several major studios on many boxoffice successes.
Frank Berger, a psychiatrist who discovered the once-popular tranquilizer Miltown, died March 23 after a heart attack at his home in New York. He was 94.
Berger was an anonymous researcher in England when he noticed that a chemical he was working with, myanesin, had a tranquilizing effect on laboratory animals.
Years later, it had became Wyeth's Miltown, and quickly won favor in Hollywood. A drugstore at Sunset and Gower "splashed huge red letters across its window when a shipment arrived: 'Yes, we have Miltown,' " Time magazine noted in the early 1960s.