Robert Clary, ‘Hogan’s Heroes’ Star With Tragic Background, Has Died

Robert Clary on Hogan's Heroes
(Image credit: MeTV)

Robert Clary, who played Cpl. Louis LeBeau, French prisoner in Stalag 13 on Hogan’s Heroes, died November 16 at home in Beverly Hills. He was 96. 

Hogan’s Heroes was on CBS from 1965 to 1971. The cast included Bob Crane, Werner Klemperer and John Banner. Clary was the show’s last living star, according to the New York Times.  (opens in new tab)

Clary was born Robert Max Widerman in 1926 in Paris. When he was 12, he performed in a children’s chorus on a radio show in Paris. 

Clary spent three years in concentration camps in Germany, noted the Times, and lost his parents and ten of 13 siblings in the Holocaust. He said his song-and-dance routines, performed for prisoners and for SS guards, helped him survive. 

After the war, Clary returned to Paris, and began a singing career. He moved to the United States in 1949. He appeared on Broadway and in movies, including Thief of Damascus. 

Clary was married to Natalie Cantor Metzger, daughter of singer Eddie Cantor. She died in 1997. 

Clary was in the cast of Days of Our Lives throughout much of the ‘70s and ‘80s. 

He authored the book From the Holocaust to Hogan’s Heroes

Vintage-TV network MeTV has a Hogan's Heroes marathon showcasing Clary's character on November 21-November 23, at 10 and 10:30 p.m. ET/PT. ■ 

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.