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Robert Clary (born March 1, 1926 as Robert Max Widerman) is a French-born American actor, published author, and lecturer.

Early life and career

Clary was the youngest of 14 children. At the age of 12, he began a career singing professionally. In 1942, he was deported to the Nazi concentration camp, Buchenwald with 12 other members of his immediate family. Clary was the only survivor [1]. When he returned to Paris after the war, he was ecstatic when he found that some of his siblings had not been taken away and survived the Nazi occupation of France.

Clary returned to the entertainment business and began making songs that not only became popular in France, but in America as well. He came to the United States in October of 1949. One of Clary's first American stints was a French language comedy skit on The Ed Wynn Show in 1950. Clary later met Merv Griffin and Eddie Cantor. This eventually led to Clary meeting Cantor's daughter, Natalie Cantor Metzger (whom he later married in 1965). Cantor later got Clary a spot on the Colgate Comedy Hour. His comedic skills were quickly recognized by Broadway, where he appeared in several popular musicals including New Faces of 1952 (which was later produced as a film in 1954).

LeBeau on Hogan's Heroes

In 1965, Clary was offered the role of Corporal Louis LeBeau on a new series called Hogan's Heroes. He later went on to fully accept the role when the pilot sold.

After his stint on Hogan's Heroes, Clary appeared in a handful of feature films with World War II themes including the made-for-television film, Remembrance of Love about the Holocaust. Clary also made notable appearances on Days of Our Lives and The Young and the Restless.

Robert appeared in the 1975 movie The Hindenburg which dramatized a fictional plot to blow up the Nazi airship after it arrived at the Lakehurst, New Jersey Air Station. His character was a showman/escape artist who hoped to use the airship in one of his shows.

 


 

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