DUMMYTV. COM wants to make clear their feeling that MR. IVAN DIXON’S credits, while impressive, tell the least about his place in motion picture industry history. This iconic quiet giant's impact, accomplishments and hard work in the Director’s Guild (and in "the business" across the board) to increase opportunities for women and other minorities came at a time and was done in a way that deserves special recognition. Mr. Dixon was a voice when there were not many.  He was always insistent. Smart. Reasoned. Forward moving. Every human who values the idea of "inclusion"(creative, political "American"--and otherwise) owes a great debt to MR. IVAN DIXON. Along with MR. BILL COSBY, Mr. Dixon quietly carried the torch of progress when there was not a lot of fire.

Ivan Dixon was born in New York City on April 6, 1931. One of his first acting credits was on the television anthology series "The Dupont Show of the Month" in the 1960 production of "Arrowsmith." Mr. Dixon went on to act in the film version of the theatrical drama "A Raisin in the Sun" with Ruby Dee and Sidney Poitier in 1961. He also portrayed Jim in the 1959 film version of "Porgy and Bess."  Other early film work includes: "Something of Value" (1957), "The Murder Men" (1961), and "The Battle at Bloody Beach" (1961).

The film for which DUMMYTV.COM proclaims Mr. Dixon to be the most significant Black American actor in a single role in film history is the acclaimed drama "Nothing But a Man" (1964). "Nothing But A Man" is a subtle, complicated character study in which Mr. Dixon plays Duff, a Southern railroad worker. It is a masterful portrayal of a fully realized black male character. He deserved an Academy Award for that performance if there was ever one given.  See it.

Mr. Dixon acted with Sidney Poitier in the 1965 film "A Patch of Blue".  Also in 1965, Mr. Dixon began "Hogan's Heroes".  He left the series in 1970, one year before the show ended.

Other film roles include: "Suppose They Gave a War and Nobody Came?" (1970), "Clay Pigeon" (1971),  and "Car Wash" (1976).

Other television acting credits include the 1987 mini-series "Amerika," the 1986 mystery film "Perry Mason: The Case of the Shooting Star," in which he played the judge, and the 1974 action drama "Fer-de-Lance" (aka "Death Dive").

Mr. Dixon began directing films in the early 1970s. In 1972 he directed the gang warfare movie "Trouble Man".  In 1973 Mr. Dixon produced and directed the greatly under-appreciated "The Spook Who Sat by the Door". Among Mr. Dixon's many television credits are stints on "Love Is Not Enough" (1978),  "Palmerstown, U.S.A." (1980), "Hawaiian Heat" (1984), and the Steven Spielberg developed boxing movie for television, "Percy & Thunder" (1993).


Untitled (Mon Dec 2, 2002 11:19am ET) report post
by Marilyn Penner
I know that Mr. Dixon does not think much of "Hogan's Heroes", perferring his serious roles on the "Twilight Zone" and the works he's directed. It is as Sgt. Kinchloe that I first saw him, and it is Sgt. Kinchloe for whom I have the most respect; but Mr. Dixon is one of the most remarkable and underrated of dramatic actors. I don't know why his name is not mentioned in the same was as Sidney Poitier or Harry Belefonte or Bill Cosby. "Nothing but a Man" "A Patch of Blue" "Raisin in the Sun" Fine work. Sterling stuff. Mr. Dixon, as much as Mr. Poitier, put African-Americans up front and centre not only as serious actors and directors; but as a people worthy of respect.
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Untitled (Thu Aug 21, 2003 12:13pm ET) report post
by Kimberly
That is so true about Mr. Dixon. I really enjoyed his performance in "Nothing But A Man" with Abbey Lincoln. I wish he had been a bigger star. He certainly had the talent. I always thought he was a stand-up type of guy in his movies. "Nothing But A Man" is a must see movie!
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