“Hogan’s Heroes” Star Robert Clary Dies At Age 96

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Robert Clary, the actor known for playing Corporal LeBeau on the beloved sitcom Hogan’s Heroes, has died at the age of 96. He was the last surviving member of the show’s original principal cast.

Clary’s granddaughter,  Kim Wright, told The Hollywood Reporter he died on Wednesday (November 16) at his home in Los Angeles.

Clary was born as Robert Max Widerman in Paris, France on March 1, 1926. He was the youngest of his parents’ 14 children.

Performing came naturally to Clary, who started singing and performing at the age of 12. But his life took a tragic turn when his family, who was Orthodox Jewish, was sent to Auschwitz. Clary was 16 years old at the time.

Clary was in the concentration camp for 31 months. He was the only member of his family who survived.

Upon his return to France in 1945, Clary started singing in dance halls. He moved to Los Angles in 1949, and appeared in a French comedy skit on a CBS variety show in 1950. Some movie appearances followed in projects such as Ten Tall Men and Thief of Damascus.

Clary then formed a connection with superstar Eddie Cantor, who brought him to New York to perform. The two shared a close relationship, and Clary married Cantor’s daughter, Natalie, in 1965. She passed away in 1997.

That eventually led to him appearing in the Broadway musical revue New Faces of 1952. He made another Broadway appearance in 1955 in the musical Seventh Heaven.

Hogan’s Heroes started on CBS in September 1965, and Clary was cast as Corporal Louis LeBeau. The series ran for six seasons before it ended in April 1971.

The popularity of Hogan’s Heroes made Clary a household name.

Clary later went on to appear in the soap operas Days of Our Lives, The Young and the Restless, and The Bold and the Beautiful. He also had a role in the 1975 movie The Hindenburg.

The actor told his life story in his 2001 memoir From the Holocaust to Hogan’s Heroes: The Autobiography of Robert Clary. He frequently opened up about his life and career in interviews, like in the video below.

Our hearts go out to all of Clary’s loved ones during this difficult time. May he rest in peace…