Home Entertainment Robert Clary, latest star of ‘Hogan’s Heroes’, dies at 96

Robert Clary, latest star of ‘Hogan’s Heroes’, dies at 96

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LOS ANGELES — Robert Clary, the French survivor of Nazi concentration camps during World War II who played a feisty prisoner of war in the unlikely 1960s sitcom Hogan’s Heroes, has died. He was 96 years old.

His niece, Brenda Hancock, announced Thursday that Clary died Wednesday of natural causes at his home in the Los Angeles area.

Of Clary’s wartime experience as a young man, Hancock said: “He never let those atrocities defeat him. He never allowed them to take the joy out of his life. He tried to pass that joy on to others through his songs and his dances and his paintings.”

When Hancock recounted his life to the students, he told them, “I never hate. He never lets hate defeat beauty in this world.”

Hogan’s Heroes, in which Allied soldiers in a prisoner-of-war camp beat up their buffoonish German Army captors with espionage schemes, played war strictly for laughs while running between 1965 and 1971. Measuring five feet five, Clary wore a hat and sneered as a corporal. . Louis LeBeau.

For his full interview see http://interviews.televisionacademy.com/interviews/robert-clary See more at http://televisionacademy.com/Interviews

Clary was the last surviving original star of the sitcom that featured Bob Crane, Richard Dawson, Larry Hovis, and Evan Dixon as prisoners. Werner Klemperer and John Banner, who played their captors, were European Jews fleeing Nazi persecution before the war.

For his full interview see http://interviews.televisionacademy.com/interviews/robert-clary See more at http://televisionacademy.com/Interviews

Clary began her career as a nightclub singer and has appeared on stage in musicals including ‘Irma la Douce’ and ‘Cabaret’. After ‘Hogan’s Heroes’, Clary’s television work includes the TV series ‘The Young and the Restless’, ‘Days of Our Lives’ and ‘The Bold and the Beautiful’.

He considered musical theater the pinnacle of his career. “I loved going to the theater at quarter past eight, putting on make-up and having fun,” he said in a 2014 interview.

Clary said he remained publicly silent about his wartime experience until 1980, when he was pressured to speak out by those who denied or downplayed Nazi Germany’s organized efforts to exterminate Jews.

A documentary about Clary’s childhood and years of terror spent at the hands of the Nazis, “Robert Clary, A5714: A Memoir of Liberation,” was released in 1985. Concentration camp prisoners are tattooed with identification numbers, and A5714 is Clary’s trademark for life.

He said, “They write books and magazine articles that deny the Holocaust, and make fun of the 6 million Jews – including a million and a half children – who died in the gas chambers and ovens.”

For his full interview see http://interviews.televisionacademy.com/interviews/robert-clary See more at http://televisionacademy.com/Interviews

Clary wrote in a biography posted on her website that 12 of her immediate family members, her parents, and 10 of her siblings were killed by the Nazis.

In 1997, he was among dozens of Holocaust survivors whose photographs and stories were included in the book Spirit Triumphant by photographer Nick Del Calzo.

“I beg the next generation not to do what people have done for centuries – hate others because of their skin, or the shape of their eyes, or their religious preferences,” Clary said in an interview.

After retiring from acting, Clary took care of her family, friends, and paintings. His memoirs, From the Holocaust to Hogan’s Heroes: The Autobiography of Robert Clary, was published in 2001.

One of the Lucky Ones, a biography of one of Clary’s older sisters, Nicole Holland, written by Hancock, her daughter. The Netherlands, which worked with the French Resistance against Germany, survived the war and another sister. Hancock’s second book, Courage, Luck, Talent, recounts the life and influence of Clary and Holland.

Clary Robert Federman was born in Paris in March 1926, the youngest of 14 children into a Jewish family. He was 16 years old when he and most of his family were taken away by the Nazis.

In the documentary, Clary recalls a happy childhood until he and his family were kicked out of their Paris apartment and put into a crowded cattle car that took them to the concentration camps.

“Nobody knows where we’re going,” Clary said. “We are no longer human.”

After 31 months of captivity in several concentration camps, he was liberated from the Buchenwald death camp by American forces. Clary said his youth and ability to work kept him alive.

After returning to Paris and meeting her sister, Clary worked as a singer and recorded songs that became popular in America.

After arriving in the United States in 1949, he moved from club and recording dates to Broadway musicals, including 1952’s New Faces, and then to movies. He appeared in such films as “The Thief of Damascus” in 1952, “A New Kind of Love” in 1963, and “Hindenburg” in 1975.

In recent years, Clary has recorded jazz versions of songs by Ira Gershwin, Stephen Sondheim and other big names, said her nephew Brian Garry, a songwriter who has worked on CDs with Clary.

Clary was proud of the results, Gary said, and was thrilled with the follow-up letter he received from Sondheim. “He hung this on the kitchen wall,” said Gary.

Clary felt uncomfortable with the comedy in “Hogan Heroes” despite the tragedy of her family’s devastating wartime experience.

“It was completely different. I know they (the prisoners of war) lived a terrible life, but compared to concentration camps and gas chambers, it was like a vacation.”

Clary married Natalie Kantor, daughter of singer and actor Eddie Kantor, in 1965. She passed away in 1997.

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