Bernie Hamilton ’46

Bernie Hamilton Class of 1946

Bernie Hamilton, Class of 1946, was an actor best known for his role as Captain Dobey, the gruff police captain, on the 1970s television series Starsky and Hutch. He was born in East Los Angeles and had six siblings. He ran away from home and, according to his obituary in the New York Times, lived in someone’s garage while attending Oakland Tech, where he played football and studied acting.

In 1950 he got a role as a baseball player in the movie The Jackie Robinson Story, and that began a long career in television and on the big screen. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s he operated a nightclub in Los Angeles. One of his brothers was composer and conductor Chico Hamilton. Other screen credits included The Young One, The Swimmer, Walk the Walk, and Scream Blacula Scream.

After guest appearances on numerous television shows, Hamilton played the role of Capt. Dobey from 1975-1979. Once the series ended, he returned to his music-loving roots, producing R&B and gospel records including his own album, Captain Dobey Sings the Blues. He died in Los Angeles in 2008.