HomeTelevisionRobert Clary, Corporal LeBeau on ‘Hogan’s Heroes,’ Dies at 96

Robert Clary, Corporal LeBeau on ‘Hogan’s Heroes,’ Dies at 96

Robert Clary, the French actor, singer and Holocaust survivor who portrayed Corporal LeBeau on the World War II-set sitcom Hogan’s Heroes, has died. He was 96. 

Clary, who was mentored by famed entertainer Eddie Cantor and married certainly one of his 5 daughters, died Wednesday morning at his dwelling in Los Angeles, his granddaughter Kim Wright advised The Hollywood Reporter.

CBS’ Hogan’s Heroes, which aired over six seasons from September 1965 to April 1971, starred Bob Crane as Colonel Robert E. Hogan, an American who led a world group of Allied prisoners of conflict in a convert operation to defeat the Nazis from contained in the Luft Stalag 13 camp.

As the patriotic Cpl. Louis LeBeau, the 5-foot-1 Clary hid in small areas, dreamed about ladies, acquired alongside nice with the guard canine and used his skilled culinary expertise to assist the befuddled Nazi Colonel Wilhelm Klink (Werner Klemperer) get out of bother together with his superiors.

Clary was the final surviving member of the present’s unique principal forged.

Born Robert Max Widerman in Paris on March 1, 1926, Clary was the youngest of 14 youngsters in a strict Orthodox Jewish household. At age 12, he started singing and performing; at some point when he was 16, he and his household have been rounded up and despatched to Auschwitz.

“My mother said the most remarkable thing,” Clary told The Hollywood Reporter’s Peter Flax in late 2015. “She said, ‘Behave.’ She probably knew me as a brat. She said, ‘Behave. Do what they tell you to do.’”

Clary’s dad and mom have been murdered within the fuel chamber that day.

At Buchenwald, Clary sang with an accordionist each different Sunday to an viewers of SS troopers. “Singing, entertaining and being in kind of good health at my age, that’s why I survived,” he advised Flax.

Clary was incarcerated for 31 months (he labored in a manufacturing unit making 4,000 wood shoe heels every day) and tattooed with the identification “A-5714” on his left forearm. He was the one certainly one of his captured household to make it out alive.

He selected to not speak about his Holocaust expertise for nearly 4 many years. “For 36 years I kept these experiences during the war locked up inside myself,” he as soon as mentioned. “But those who are attempting to deny the Holocaust, my suffering and the suffering of millions of others have forced me to speak out.”

Did Clary have any reservations about doing a comedy sequence coping with Nazis and focus camps?

“I had to explain that [Hogan’s Heroes] was about prisoners of war in a stalag, not a concentration camp, and although I did not want to diminish what soldiers went through during their internments, it was like night and day from what people endured in concentration camps,” he wrote in his inspirational 2001 memoir, From the Holocaust to Hogan’s Heroes.

After being liberated, Clary returned to France in May 1945 and sang in dance halls. He got here to Los Angeles in 1949 to document for Capitol Records and a yr later appeared in a French comedy skit on a CBS selection present hosted by vaudevillian Ed Wynn.

Clary appeared in such movies as Ten Tall Men (1951) and Thief of Damascus (1952), then met Cantor, who took him to New York to carry out on the tony La Vie en Rose membership. He got here to the eye of producer Leonard Sillman, who forged Clary within the Broadway musical revue New Faces of 1952.

He sang “Lucky Pierre” and “I’m In Love With Miss Logan” within the present, which additionally featured Eartha Kitt, Paul Lynde, Ronny Graham, Alice Ghostley and Carol Lawrence and had sketches written by Mel Brooks. New Faces was filmed by Fox and performed in film theaters in 1954.

Clary then appeared once more on Broadway in 1955 within the musical Seventh Heaven, which starred Gloria DeHaven, Ricardo Montalban and Bea Arthur.

The actor confirmed up within the Paris-set Paul Newman-Joanne Woodward movie A New Kind of Love (1963), and within the Robert Wise-directed The Hindenburg (1975), he portrayed a passenger (a circus acrobat) on the doomed airship’s last voyage.

Clary additionally labored on the daytime cleaning soap operas Days of Our Lives, The Young and the Restless (his character, Pierre Roulland, owned a restaurant/membership in Genoa City, then was murdered) and The Bold and The Beautiful.

He sang on a number of jazz albums that featured the work of songwriters like Irving Berlin and Johnny Mercer. (Also part of his discography: Hogan’s Heroes Sing the Best of WWII, recorded together with his castmates Richard Dawson, Larry Hovis and Ivan Dixon.)

Clary labored carefully with the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, talking at universities throughout the nation for greater than 20 years.

An completed painter, Clary was married for 32 years to the late Natalie Cantor, the second daughter of Eddie Cantor. She died in 1997.



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