Beloved Actor from Popular 1960s Sitcom Passes Away at 96

Beloved actor Robert Clary, famous for his role as Corporal Louis LeBeau in the popular 1960s sitcom Hogan’s Heroes, passed away at the age of ninety-six. Clary’s granddaughter, Kim Wright, confirmed his death, leaving fans of the show saddened by the loss.

But Robert Clary’s life story goes beyond his acting career. He was also a Holocaust survivor, having narrowly escaped the clutches of Hitler’s Nazis at the age of sixteen. Sent to Auschwitz with his family, he endured nearly three years in the concentration camp. His incredible survival story is a testament to his luck and unwavering determination.

Hogan’s Heroes, which ran for six seasons from 1965 to 1971, remains a beloved show even today, with reruns available on various channels. Clary was the last surviving member of the principal cast until his passing in November.

Aside from his work in Hollywood, Clary had an extensive Broadway career. Born as Robert Max Widerman in Paris on March 1, 1926, he came from a large Orthodox Jewish family. Despite the hardships he faced during his teenage years, Clary discovered his talent for entertainment early on. He would sing and entertain audiences starting at the age of twelve.

When his family was taken to Auschwitz, his mother gave him a piece of advice that would help him survive: “Behave. Do what they tell you to do.” Clary, aware of his reputation as a bit of a brat, listened and followed her words diligently. His ability to entertain and maintain good health was key to his survival as he performed for soldiers at the camp.

In 2015, Clary courageously shared his experience during the Holocaust after some denied the truth of the gas chambers. Refusing to let conspiracy theorists and Nazi sympathizers undermine his suffering and the millions of others who endured the Holocaust, he spoke out. He emphasized that Hogan’s Heroes was about prisoners of war in a stalag, not a concentration camp. Although he acknowledged the hardships faced by soldiers, he stressed that the conditions in concentration camps were far more horrific.

Robert Clary’s passing is a loss not only for the entertainment industry but also for those who admired his strength and resilience. His legacy as an actor and a survivor will continue to inspire future generations.

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