Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Bernie Hamilton (1928 - 2008)


Bernie Hamilton (June 12, 1928 – December 30, 2008) American Actor was born in East Los Angeles and attended Oakland Technical High School, where he first became interested in acting. In films from 1950, he laboured in bit roles for years before getting noticed in the film One Potato, Two Potato (1964), the story of an inter-racial marriage. He is best remembered for his role as the brusque, no-nonsense Captain Dobey in the classic 1970s police series Starsky and Hutch.
Bernie Hamilton was the brother of jazz drummer Chico Hamilton. Hamilton was also an impresario; since the late 1960s he had run a nightclub/art gallery called Citadel d’Haiti on Sunset Boulevard. Hamilton also produced Rhythm and Blues Gospel music recordings on his own record label called Chocolate Snowman. One of his releases featured himself, it was entitled Captain Dobey Sings the Blues.
Fred Williamson, the action star of two movies that Hamilton appeared in during the '70s -- the crime dramas "Hammer" and "Bucktown" -- has called Hamilton "an extraordinary actor." "He's a very versatile actor and never really got the recognition he deserved for his work," Williamson, who played Capt. Dobey in the 2004 movie version of "Starsky and Hutch," told the Oakland Tribune at the time.
Raoul Hamilton said his father's "authoritative" police captain performance hit close to home. "It was an extension of who he was as a real person," he said. "He was a self-made man. He comes from a family of five brothers and one sister from the east side of Los Angeles; they came from humble beginnings."
He phased out of acting after "Starsky and Hutch" and spent the next 20 years in the music business producing R&B and gospel records. Hamilton also sang, and one of the albums he produced was called "Capt. Dobey Sings the Blues." His record label was called Chocolate Snowman. And in the early '80s, his son said, he created a children's doll called the Chocolate Snowman that was manufactured in South Korea and sold at Toys "R" Us. In addition to his son, Bernie was survived by his daughter, Candy Hazarika Hamilton; his brothers Chico and Don; and two grandchildren.
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