Bernie Hamilton proved himself to be a man who took things in his stride without being overly sentimental. He had been in films and TV for 25 years before Starsky & Hutch made the 47-year-old actor a household name.
There’s no denying that the 1970s television series Starsky and Hutch in which Hamilton played the no-nonsense police captain made him a household figure. For 67 episodes, from 1975 to 1979, he kept his two subordinate policemen, David Starsky and Kenneth “Hutch” Hutchinson at bay from mischief.
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After Starsky and Hutch wrapped up, Hamilton spent the next 20 years in the music business producing R&B and gospel records on his own Chocolate Snowman label established in the early 1980s. He produced and even sang on the album “Capt. Dobey Sings the Blues”.
Hamilton also opened a nightclub/art gallery called Citadel d’Haiti on Sunset Boulevard in the 1960s.
Regarding his film work, Hamilton appeared in more than 20 films, including The Young One (1960), The Devil at 4 O’Clock (1961), Synanon, The Swimmer, Walk the Walk and The Organization (1971). He also featured in the Oscar-nominated One Potato, Two Potato (1964).
Hamilton was born in East Los Angeles in 1928, into a family of five brothers and a sister. He attended Oakland Technical high school after running from home as a teenager. He played football and then developed an interest in acting.
He was married to Maxine King and was divorced when he passed from cardiac arrest on December 30, 2008, aged 80. He left behind son Raoul Hamilton and daughter Candy.