Robert Clary 'Hogan's Heroes' Corporal LeBeau R.I.P.

Page 1 of 2 [ 26 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

ASPartOfMe
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 65
Gender: Male
Posts: 30,428
Location: Long Island, New York

19 Nov 2022, 7:25 pm

'Hogan's Heroes' Star and Auschwitz Survivor Robert Clary Dead at 96

Quote:
Robert Clary, the Auschwitz survivor who starred as Corporal LeBeau on Hogan's Heroes, has died. He was 96.

The French actor died on Wednesday morning at his home in Los Angeles, his granddaughter Kim Wright told The Hollywood Reporter. A cause of death was not provided.

Clary was best known for his role on the World War II sitcom Hogan's Heroes, which ran on CBS from September 1965 to April 1971.

Clary — born Robert Max Widerman — was the last living member of the show's original cast.

When he was a teenager, Clary and his family were taken to Auschwitz where his parents were killed in a gas chamber on the day of their arrival, per THR.

"My mother said the most remarkable thing," he recalled in a 2015 interview with THR "She said, 'Behave.' She probably knew me as a brat. She said, 'Behave. Do what they tell you to do.'"

Clary was kept captive for 31 months in the Nazi concentration and death camp. He credited his love of performing with helping him to survive the experience, the outlet reported.

Clary waited nearly four decades to speak publicly about his Holocaust experience. In the 2001 memoir, From the Holocaust to Hogan's Heroes, the actor revealed how starring in the sitcom helped him to talk about his time in the concentration camp.

"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 wrote, per THR.

In addition to Hogan's Heroes, Clary starred on soap operas Days of Our Lives, The Bold and The Beautiful and The Young and the Restless.


_________________
Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


kraftiekortie
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Feb 2014
Gender: Male
Posts: 87,144
Location: Queens, NYC

20 Nov 2022, 8:19 am

Lebeau was a great cook. I believe Clary was, too.

I hope his passing away was painless.



naturalplastic
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 26 Aug 2010
Age: 68
Gender: Male
Posts: 30,784
Location: temperate zone

20 Nov 2022, 8:41 am

There were two Hollywood blockbusters about allied POWs in German camps:1953's "Stalag 17" (starring William Holden), and 1963's "the Great Escape" (starring Steve McQueen). Those films probably inspired the idea of a TV sitcom series set in a German POW camp. Hogan's Heroes had a good six year run. But the show, then and now, rubs many the wrong way largely because - comic characters being guarded by Germans in a camp- is just too evocative of the Holocaust in a tacky way.

Its a complicated sensitive subject.

Ironically at least one cast member of the show was a surviving victim of the Holocaust (Robert Clary/Le Beau), and another was a refugee from the Holocaust (Werner Klemperer/Col. Klink). Klemperer was the son of Symphony conductor Otto Klemperer. The family (who were of Jewish ancestry) emigrated from Germany to America in the mid Thirties.



ASPartOfMe
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 65
Gender: Male
Posts: 30,428
Location: Long Island, New York

20 Nov 2022, 12:49 pm

naturalplastic wrote:
There were two Hollywood blockbusters about allied POWs in German camps:1953's "Stalag 17" (starring William Holden), and 1963's "the Great Escape" (starring Steve McQueen). Those films probably inspired the idea of a TV sitcom series set in a German POW camp. Hogan's Heroes had a good six year run. But the show, then and now, rubs many the wrong way largely because - comic characters being guarded by Germans in a camp- is just too evocative of the Holocaust in a tacky way.

Its a complicated sensitive subject.

Ironically at least one cast member of the show was a surviving victim of the Holocaust (Robert Clary/Le Beau), and another was a refugee from the Holocaust (Werner Klemperer/Col. Klink). Klemperer was the son of Symphony conductor Otto Klemperer. The family (who were of Jewish ancestry) emigrated from Germany to America in the mid Thirties.


As said the three Jewish actors had no problem with it. Our Jewish family watched it and had no objections, we thought it was a funny show. Since it was aired during the 1960s a large part of the viewing audience had faught in WWII, knew people who were killed or injured in that war and there was no controversy that I recall.

Comedy about real life traumatic situations have always been around because it is a useful way of coping. Portraying your enemy as hilariously incompetent same idea. This is concept many today just don’t get.


_________________
Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


kraftiekortie
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Feb 2014
Gender: Male
Posts: 87,144
Location: Queens, NYC

20 Nov 2022, 2:57 pm

Werner Klemperer said he had to play Klink as a buffoon; any positive attributes in Klink would cause him to quit the show.



Fenn
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 1 Sep 2014
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,055
Location: Pennsylvania

20 Nov 2022, 3:32 pm

I saw “Stalag 17” and the “Great Escape”. In one they dig a tunnel in the other they make and launch an airplane. The book about the “Great Escape” was good too. The movie “Chicken Run” uses images and themes from these movies.

I liked Hogan Hero’s as a kid.

There was a lot of fiction and some facts. One of the factual parts was one of the highly placed german officials was a flyer and he decided that pilots even enemy pilots must be ubermensh (advanced beings) so the American pilots and RAF pilots were put in luffstalogs with some limited privileges.

Sorry to see M. Clary go.


_________________
ADHD-I(diagnosed) ASD-HF(undiagnosed - maybe)
RDOS scores - Aspie score 131/200 - neurotypical score 69/200 - very likely Aspie


naturalplastic
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 26 Aug 2010
Age: 68
Gender: Male
Posts: 30,784
Location: temperate zone

20 Nov 2022, 5:44 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
naturalplastic wrote:
There were two Hollywood blockbusters about allied POWs in German camps:1953's "Stalag 17" (starring William Holden), and 1963's "the Great Escape" (starring Steve McQueen). Those films probably inspired the idea of a TV sitcom series set in a German POW camp. Hogan's Heroes had a good six year run. But the show, then and now, rubs many the wrong way largely because - comic characters being guarded by Germans in a camp- is just too evocative of the Holocaust in a tacky way.

Its a complicated sensitive subject.

Ironically at least one cast member of the show was a surviving victim of the Holocaust (Robert Clary/Le Beau), and another was a refugee from the Holocaust (Werner Klemperer/Col. Klink). Klemperer was the son of Symphony conductor Otto Klemperer. The family (who were of Jewish ancestry) emigrated from Germany to America in the mid Thirties.


As said the three Jewish actors had no problem with it. Our Jewish family watched it and had no objections, we thought it was a funny show. Since it was aired during the 1960s a large part of the viewing audience had faught in WWII, knew people who were killed or injured in that war and there was no controversy that I recall.

Comedy about real life traumatic situations have always been around because it is a useful way of coping. Portraying your enemy as hilariously incompetent same idea. This is concept many today just don’t get.


Though Gentiles my WWII generation parents looked down on "that show about lovable Nazis". But my middle school self loved the show, thought it was funny, and watched it by myself. But I gradually ...either outgrew it...or succumbed to both parental and peer pressure (not sure which)...and stopped liking it about the time it went off the air anyway. Critics and writers in the intervening decades tend to disparage the show. As do many ordinary folks.

But a certain WP person worships the show, and interacting with this person forced me to actually think about the show for the first time in 50 years again. This WP person described it as a "multicultural comedy". And my 14 year old self kinda liked it for that reason too. It showed guys from different countries (the allied prisoners) cooperating to outwit their captors.



CockneyRebel
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 17 Jul 2004
Age: 48
Gender: Male
Posts: 109,289
Location: On a special base where the Christmas soldiers of the world live

20 Nov 2022, 7:22 pm

My little Sweet Pea is gone. RIP, Cockroach :cry:


_________________
Oberfeldwebel

Age: 48
Gender: Non-Binary
Pronouns: He/Him/His
IQ: 86 and I use all 86 of them.


kraftiekortie
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Feb 2014
Gender: Male
Posts: 87,144
Location: Queens, NYC

20 Nov 2022, 7:39 pm

The Nazis in Hogans Heroes were buffoons…..not loveable.



Fenn
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 1 Sep 2014
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,055
Location: Pennsylvania

21 Nov 2022, 12:54 pm

The idea that Germans cannot be lovable is a bit hard for me to take. Germans are people too. I have a friend who grew up in the USA at a time where a German accent or a german looking actor was always the bad guy. When the bad guys always looked like her dad it was kind of hard on her. Her dad was a blacksmith.

The "lovable" Germans in Hogan's Heroes were those who were easily bested by the Heroes, and in fact abated them in running a resistance cell right inside Germany, by their stupidity and/or personal tameness, and occasionally respect for allied personnel. There were other Germans who were not lovable, but a bit stupid.

I can see how some people might be upset at the possibility of the threat of German rearmament being played down, especially shortly after WWII. German propaganda was a strong part of the success they enjoyed. I can also see those who feel that the importance of "never forget" and "repayment for wrongs" needs more people to see and believe that truly awful things were done during the war, things that some people have denied or tried to play down. People with this point of view might be hurt by the soft touch of the show.

It is hard to see the show as making the Nazi Germans attractive in any way.

If anything it is a good piece of propaganda AGAINST the idea of a German Master Race.

As kraftiekortie already pointed out, Werner Klemperer, who played Colonel Wilhelm Klink, always saw it that way.

Here is a quote from him (via the Wikipedia, via the New York Times):

Wikipedia - Hogan's Heroes

"Werner Klemperer as Colonel Wilhelm Klink, the commandant of the POW camp. He is painfully unaware of Hogan's operation and believes the camp has a perfect escape record under his command. In real life, Klemperer was from a Jewish family (his father was the orchestral conductor Otto Klemperer) and found the role to be a 'double-edged sword'; his agent initially failed to tell him the role of Klink was intended to be comedic. Klemperer remarked, 'I had one qualification when I took the job: if they ever wrote a segment whereby Colonel Klink would come out the hero, I would leave the show.'"

- Weinraub, Bernard (December 8, 2000). "Werner Klemperer, Klink in 'Hogan's Heroes,' Dies at 80". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 October 2018.


_________________
ADHD-I(diagnosed) ASD-HF(undiagnosed - maybe)
RDOS scores - Aspie score 131/200 - neurotypical score 69/200 - very likely Aspie


naturalplastic
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 26 Aug 2010
Age: 68
Gender: Male
Posts: 30,784
Location: temperate zone

21 Nov 2022, 2:56 pm

@Fenn: hate to break it to ya, but your mile long post was a waste of time. Because its 100 percent irrelevant.

Nobody said "Germans arent lovable".

Its that Nazis arent lovable.

BIG difference.


@Kraftie

Thats what I thought at the time too. It was mostly just Mom that would spout that line about "that show about lovable Nazis". I guess she had a visceral revulsion that was worse than even the normal revulsion of folks of her WWII generation. And I would silently think the same thing you said - that if she actually watched the show she would get it that the Nazi characters are all equal parts villians and bumblers. Not exactly 'lovable'.

Maybe my 14 year old self was right all along. Gosh. I am having a soul searching moment now... triggered by of all things...reruns of dumb old TV sitcom! :lol:



ASPartOfMe
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 65
Gender: Male
Posts: 30,428
Location: Long Island, New York

22 Nov 2022, 1:41 am

There were two more serious shows about WWII that were popular during that era "Combat" and "The Rat Patrol". Movies also. Those shows and movies were always on in my household. My dad took me to see "The Longest Day" when I was 5, my first movie.

Blame my Autism on that(LOL).


_________________
Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


naturalplastic
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 26 Aug 2010
Age: 68
Gender: Male
Posts: 30,784
Location: temperate zone

22 Nov 2022, 2:45 am

ASPartOfMe wrote:
There were two more serious shows about WWII that were popular during that era "Combat" and "The Rat Patrol". Movies also. Those shows and movies were always on in my household. My dad took me to see "The Longest Day" when I was 5, my first movie.

Blame my Autism on that(LOL).



We are not talking about war movies in general. We are talking about one tiny subset of war movies/shows. Those set in prison camps. One narrow niche.



ASPartOfMe
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 65
Gender: Male
Posts: 30,428
Location: Long Island, New York

22 Nov 2022, 1:10 pm

naturalplastic wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
There were two more serious shows about WWII that were popular during that era "Combat" and "The Rat Patrol". Movies also. Those shows and movies were always on in my household. My dad took me to see "The Longest Day" when I was 5, my first movie.

Blame my Autism on that(LOL).



We are not talking about war movies in general. We are talking about one tiny subset of war movies/shows. Those set in prison camps. One narrow niche.

My point in bringing up the serious war movies was show that the popularity of Hogan’s Heroes did not happen in a vacuum, people were generally not nearly as easily traumatized and offended as they are now. I think the Jewish actors in Hogan’s Heroes made some good points about where to draw the line that is more needed than ever in today’s world of offended by everything, and being offensive just to show that you are not woke.

On this general topic I recommend the documentary “The Last Laugh”. Jewish comedians are interviewed about what they find acceptable or not about Holocaust themed jokes.


_________________
Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


naturalplastic
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 26 Aug 2010
Age: 68
Gender: Male
Posts: 30,784
Location: temperate zone

22 Nov 2022, 9:42 pm

I am not a knee jerk defender of wokness, but...

People were not more thick skinned then. They were actually more THIN skinned, more easily offended, and more dishonest then. Audiences are more honest about the subject in question now. Not more 'overly sensitive'. THATS the difference. For one thing Vietnam was only just then happening, and Iraq and Afghanistan were still in the future. We had a popular war to look back at, and the three nasty divisive wars weve had since were not yet in the rear view mirror. Today we have the need to look war straight in the eye in an honest way that folks back then were unwilling to do.

But there is another factor too (besides the fact that we now have more wars than just THE war in living memory).

And duhhhh... of course the popularity of HH did not 'exist in a vacuum'. My Sixties childhood was only a generation after the biggest war in human history, and everyone's dad was a veteran of it. So of course pop culture was still obsessed with the war, and of course they had tons of TV shows about it back then. How could they not have? But time and history has moved on since then. Thats why you see less WWII stuff in later decades on screen. Not because folks are 'offended' by it.

But also back then pop culture was obsessed with a mythologized and sanitized version of that war, and of war in general.

And the term 'holocaust' only meant 'a big barn fire' back then. It wasnt commonly heard as applying to the Final Solution until the Seventies. And it was in the late Seventies that audiences were shocked by a TV miniseries entitled "Holocaust" that was more nitty gritty than audiences were used to up to then.

The trend toward WWII being depicted on screen less frequently than during the Sixties, but with increasingly greater raw honesty when it iS depicted continues.

Compare "the Longest Day" to "Saving Private Ryan". The older movie still stands up, but seems hugely sanitized today largely because of the later film which has more All Quiet on the Western Front type gore among other things.

The other reason for that double think back in the Sixties (the obsession with the war, but only with seeing it through rose colored glasses) is because the audience back then was largely the generation that actually experienced the reality of the war and actively needed to forget much of that reality (and who can blame them?). The successive generations of audiences need to remember that reality. The costs as well as any glorious payoff to military adventuring.

I dont blame our fathers for wanting to forget the sights of the death camps they liberated. But posterity must see the footage. And after you do see it, or see Schindler's List, or Sophie's Choice it can make it creepy to watch a goofy sitcom about guys in a German prison camp.

Not saying that you cant enjoy HH, but I am saying that your analysis is quite simplistic to say the least.



kraftiekortie
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Feb 2014
Gender: Male
Posts: 87,144
Location: Queens, NYC

22 Nov 2022, 11:58 pm

Hogans Heroes never made any great claims to any depth or morality. It was a goofy comedy. Colonel Hogan was pretty much a sleazebag, though an effective and smart one.

The intention was to entertain, and keep viewers. Television, and the media in general, usually wasn’t directly confrontational. Directly confronting issues really started, in the US, with All In The Family, with Archie Bunker.

My father was in the Army at the time of Korea. He never went to Korea….though he hated talking about his time in Army. He wanted to forget that part of his life.