R.I.P. Robert Clary, Corporal LeBeau on Hogan's Heroes, familiar face on daytime television

The Holocaust survivor spent over two years in a concentration camp before achieving a successful career in Hollywood.

The Everett Collection

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Hogan's Heroes actor Robert Clary has died.

Clary was known for his role as Corporal LeBeau, one he played for six seasons on the World War II comedy sitcom. THR says the actor, who was "the last surviving memeber of the show's original principal cast," passed away Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022. 

The only living principal cast member from Hogan's Heroes is Kenneth Washington, who played Sergeant Richard Baker in the final season of the series. 

Clary played one of the allied French prisoners of war on Hogan's Heroes. He was part of the sabotage unit working from inside the POW camp "Stalag 13."

He was born in Paris in 1926 and was the youngest of 14 children, according to THR. As a child, Clary enjoyed performing and singing. "One day when he was 16, he and his family were rounded up and sent to Auschwitz."

Clary was in the concentration camp for 31 months and sadly, was the only member of his captured family to leave.

Once freed from the camps, Clary went to LA to record for Capitol Records, according to THR. Shortly after, he was on a CBS variety show hosted by Ed Wynn, performing a French comedy skit. 

Clary could be seen in films such as Ten Tall Men and Thief of Damascus before he became Corporal LeBeau on Hogan's Heroes. As far as his role on the show and his history, Clary felt there was a clear difference between the two. 

"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's quoted as saying in The Hollywood Reporter, from his 2001 memoir From the Holocaust to Hogan's Heroes

After Hogan's Heroes ended, Clary could be seen as a familiar face on daytime television. He was in episodes of The Young and the Restless and General Hospital before playing Robert LeClair on Days of Our Lives, appearing in episodes across 15 years. In the early '90s, Clary continued on his soap opera path with his role as Pierre Jourdan on The Bold and the Beautiful

Clary was 96. 

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73 Comments

logicgrrl 1 month ago
Hogan's Heroes was one of my Dad's favorite shows. Ironic, because Dad was a POW of the Nazis! One thing I never understood is that Dad told me back when it was first broadcast that the Nazis were played by Jews and that Robert Clary was in a concentration camp. That was in the pre-internet days so I don't know how he knew that info.

RIP Robert Clary
Massageman logicgrrl 1 month ago
Clary wasn't the only Jew portraying Germans in HH. (excerpt from the web). "The actors who played the four major German roles—Werner Klemperer (Klink), John Banner (Schultz), Leon Askin (Burkhalter), and Howard Caine (Hochstetter)—were Jewish. Furthermore, Klemperer, Banner, Askin, and Robert Clary (LeBeau) were Jews who had fled the Nazis during World War II. Clary says in the recorded commentary on the DVD version of episode "Art for Hogan's Sake" that he spent three years in a concentration camp, that his parents and other family members were killed there, and that he has an identity tattoo from the camp on his arm ("A-5714"). Likewise John Banner had been held in a (pre-war) concentration camp and his family was killed during the war. Leon Askin was also in a pre-war French internment camp and his parents were killed at Treblinka. Howard Caine (Hochstetter), who was also Jewish (his birth name was Cohen), was American, and Jewish actors Harold Gould and Harold J. Stone played German generals.

As a teenager, Werner Klemperer (Klink) (son of the conductor Otto Klemperer) fled Hitler's Germany with his family in 1933. During the show's production, he insisted that Hogan always win over his Nazi captors or else he would not take the part of Klink. He defended his playing a Luftwaffe Officer by claiming, "I am an actor. If I can play Richard III, I can play a Nazi." Banner attempted to sum up the paradox of his role by saying, "Who can play Nazis better than us Jews?" Ironically, although Klemperer, Banner, Caine, Gould, and Askin play typecast World War II German types, all had actually served in the US Armed Forces during World War II — Banner and Askin in the US Army Air Corps, Caine in the US Navy, Gould with the US Army, and Klemperer in a US Army Entertainment Unit. " Talk about bitter irony!!!!!!
Moverfan Massageman 8 days ago
I would have loved to see Eerner Klemperer play Richard III--"Now is the winter of our discontent....SCHULTZ!"
Randall 2 months ago
Very sad news, not only was he brilliant on Hogans Heroes, He was awesome in the 1974 film about the Hindenburg disaster! He played a traveling acrobat and was amazing! Must see movie and I wish I could find it!
FLETCH 2 months ago
He lived an amazing life and made it to 96. RIP
CecilMJames1 2 months ago
He was married to Eddie Cantors daughter until she passed away and he was on Days of Our Lives Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful.
ron 2 months ago
You will be missed very much love you will be praying for your family
JohnGrant 2 months ago
Thats nice he lived long but sad their all gone now except Kenneth Washington. One of the best shows ever made and yet never to be repeated. Their was one episode I remember where LeBeau (with Carter/Newkirk) clearly showed his Broadway talent ,
PatrickRegan 2 months ago
When LeBeau gets to heaven I heard that St.Peter had a tree stump with a lid installed out side the Gates Of Heaven so upon arrival LeBeau will feel right at home. God Bless Robert
Rest In Peae
Moverfan PatrickRegan 8 days ago
And John Banner will be at the bottom of the ladder to give him a big hug...and to ask for strudel...
LalaLucy 2 months ago
One of my favorites on the show. I have always loved this guy's incredible story and his indomitable spirit. Prayers to all mourning his loss.
Klink 2 months ago
Sad day, part of the greatest show in TV history
Snickers 2 months ago
Rest in peace little Cockroach. Rest in Peace Robert.
Peter_Falk_Fan 2 months ago
I was sad to hear about his passing. He was a great entertainer. He said that his skill as an entertainer helped keep him alive in the concentration camps. “For the 10 minutes that I worked, or the 15 minutes that I sang,” he added, “they had forgotten where they were. And that was the most important thing.”

R.I.P. Robert Clary

I found this on the internet:
mdit21 2 months ago
I remember Robert Clary in the film "The Hindenburg." It was about the airship disaster and starred George C. Scott. R.I.P. Robert Clary.
Wufferduck 2 months ago
What a great gentleman, and an amazing career. And a wonderful attitude for life. Thank God we have reruns love watching Hogan’s Heroes. RIP Mr. Clary.
ShineyRock 2 months ago
I can honestly say I have watched every episode of Hogans Hearos at least twice. And LeBeau was one of the best actors in the part he played, Rest in Peace little man you definitely played the part!!!
DZee ShineyRock 2 months ago
I can honestly say I have watched every episode at least 50 times.
BillThorp 2 months ago
Rest in Peace Lebeau, I'll be watching tonight.
ENCarlan 2 months ago
I knew that one day I would turn on the news and see this, yet I still have no words.
CoreyC 2 months ago
I hope Me TV would put a block of LeBeau episodes to honor him.
sanman1970 CoreyC 2 months ago
FYI - Just saw an ad on MeTV that all Hogan's Heros episodes next week (Nov. 21st) will feature Robert Clary best.
BrittReid 2 months ago
What a front row seat in life. R.I.P. Robert Clary. Never missed Hogan's Heroes growing up. Many thank you's for all the smiles you gave us......
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