Robert Clary, final of the “Hogan’s Heroes” stars, dies at 96

Robert Clary, a French-born survivor of Nazi focus camps throughout World Warfare II who performed a feisty prisoner of warfare within the inconceivable Sixties sitcom “Hogan’s Heroes,” has died. He was 96.

Clary died Wednesday of pure causes at his residence within the Los Angeles space, niece Brenda Hancock mentioned Thursday.

“He by no means let these horrors defeat him,” Hancock mentioned of Clary’s wartime expertise as a youth. “He by no means allow them to take the enjoyment out of his life. He tried to unfold that pleasure to others by his singing and his dancing and his portray.”

When he recounted his life to college students, he instructed them, “Do not ever hate,” Hancock mentioned. “He did not let hate overcome the sweetness on this world.”

“Hogan’s Heroes,” during which Allied troopers in a POW camp bested their clownish German military captors with espionage schemes, performed the warfare strictly for laughs throughout its 1965-71 run. The 5-foot-1 Clary sported a beret and a sardonic smile as Cpl. Louis LeBeau.

Hogan's Heroes
Robert Clary as Corporal Louis LeBeau in “Hogan’s Heroes.” This scene was initially broadcast on September 17, 1965.

CBS through Getty Photos


Clary was the final surviving authentic star of the sitcom that included Bob Crane, Richard Dawson, Larry Hovis and Ivan Dixon because the prisoners. Werner Klemperer and John Banner, who performed their captors, had been each European Jews who fled Nazi persecution earlier than the warfare.

Clary started his profession as a nightclub singer and appeared on stage in musicals together with “Irma La Douce” and “Cabaret.” After “Hogan’s Heroes,” Clary’s TV work included the cleaning soap operas “The Younger and the Stressed,” “Days of Our Lives” and “The Daring and the Lovely.”

He thought-about musical theater the spotlight of his profession. “I liked to go to the theater at quarter of 8, put the stage make-up on and entertain,” he mentioned in a 2014 interview.

He remained publicly silent about his wartime expertise till 1980 when, Clary mentioned, he was provoked to talk out by those that denied or diminished the orchestrated effort by Nazi Germany to exterminate Jews.

A documentary about Clary’s childhood and years of horror at Nazi palms, “Robert Clary, A5714: A Memoir of Liberation,” was launched in 1985. The forearms of focus camp prisoners had been tattooed with identification numbers, with A5714 to be Clary’s lifelong mark.

“They write books and articles in magazines denying the Holocaust, making a mockery of the 6 million Jews — together with 1,000,000 and a half youngsters — who died within the fuel chambers and ovens,” he instructed The Related Press in a 1985 interview.

Twelve of his fast members of the family, his dad and mom and 10 siblings, had been killed beneath the Nazis, Clary wrote in a biography posted on his web site.

In 1997, he was amongst dozens of Holocaust survivors whose portraits and tales had been included in “The Triumphant Spirit,” a e book by photographer Nick Del Calzo.

“I encourage the subsequent era to not do what individuals have achieved for hundreds of years — hate others due to their pores and skin, form of their eyes, or spiritual desire,” Clary mentioned in an interview on the time.

Retired from appearing, Clary remained busy together with his household, buddies and his portray. His memoir, “From the Holocaust to Hogan’s Heroes: The Autobiography of Robert Clary,” was printed in 2001.

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA MARCH 22, 2013-Actor Robert Clary, 87, enjoys pencil painting at his house
Robert Clary, then 87, paints at his home in Beverly Hills.

Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Occasions through Getty Photos


“One Of The Fortunate Ones,” a biography of one among Clary’s older sisters, Nicole Holland, was written by Hancock, her daughter. Holland, who labored with the French Resistance towards Germany, survived the warfare, as did one other sister. Hancock’s second e book, “Expertise Luck Braveness,” recounts Clary and Holland’s lives and their impression.

Clary was born Robert Widerman in Paris in March 1926, the youngest of 14 youngsters within the Jewish household. He was 16 when he and most of his household had been taken by the Nazis.

Within the documentary, Clary recalled a cheerful childhood till he and his household had been compelled from their Paris house and put right into a crowded cattle automobile that carried them to focus camps.

“No one knew the place we had been going,” Clary mentioned. “We weren’t human beings anymore.”

After 31 months in captivity in a number of focus camps, he was liberated from the Buchenwald dying camp by American troops. His youth and talent to work stored him alive, Clary mentioned.

Returning to Paris and reunited together with his two sisters, Clary labored as a singer and recorded songs that turned widespread in America.

After coming to the US in 1949, he moved from membership dates and recording to Broadway musicals, together with “New Faces of 1952,” after which to films. He appeared in movies together with 1952’s “Thief of Damascus,” “A New Form of Love” in 1963 and “The Hindenburg” in 1975.

Lately, Clary recorded jazz variations of songs by Ira Gershwin, Stephen Sondheim and different greats, mentioned his nephew Brian Gari, a songwriter who labored on the CDs with Clary.

Clary was pleased with the outcomes, Gari mentioned, and thrilled by a complimentary letter he acquired from Sondheim. “He hung that on the kitchen wall,” Gari mentioned.

Clary did not really feel uneasy in regards to the comedy on “Hogan’s Heroes” regardless of the tragedy of his household’s devastating warfare expertise.

“It was fully completely different. I do know they (POWs) had a horrible life, however in comparison with focus camps and fuel chambers it was like a vacation.”

Clary married Natalie Cantor, the daughter of singer-actor Eddie Cantor, in 1965. She died in 1997.

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