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Hogan's Heroes' star Robert Clary passes away at 96

Washington: Late-French veteran star Robert Clary, who portrayed the role of Corporal LeBeau on the World War II-set sitcom Hogan's Heroes, passed away at 96.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Clary's granddaughter Kim Wright, he passed away on Wednesday morning at his Los Angeles home. Clary, who was mentored by renowned singer Eddie Cantor and married one of his five daughters, passed away on Wednesday morning. In the CBS television series Hogan's Heroes, played by Bob Crane, Colonel Robert E. Hogan was an American who oversaw a multinational team of Allied prisoners of war in a clandestine operation to overthrow the Nazis from within the Luft Stalag 13 camp. The show ran for six seasons, from September 1965 to April 1971.
The 5-foot-1 Clary played the patriotic Cpl. Louis LeBeau and used his culinary prowess to help the perplexed Nazi Colonel Wilhelm Klink (Werner Klemperer) get out of trouble with his superiors. Clary dreamed about girls, hid in tight spaces, got along well with the guard dogs, and enjoyed hiding in small spaces.
The final surviving original primary cast member of the show was Clary.
Clary, the youngest of 14 children in a strict Orthodox Jewish household, was born Robert Max Widerman in Paris on March 1, 1926. He started singing and performing at the age of 12, and at the age of 16, he and his family were taken away and brought to Auschwitz.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Clary's parents were murdered in the gas chamber that day.
Clary served a 31-month sentence (while producing 4,000 wooden shoe heels per day in a factory) and had "A-5714" tattooed on his left forearm as a form of identification. He was the only member of his abducted family to survive.
Clary returned to France in May 1945 after being released, where she performed in nightclubs. He arrived in Los Angeles in 1949 to record for Capitol Records, and a year later he made an appearance on a CBS variety show hosted by comedian Ed Wynn in a French comedy spoof.
After appearing in movies like Thief of Damascus (1952) and Ten Tall Men (1951), Clary met Cantor, who brought him to New York to sing at the upscale La Vie en Rose club. Producer Leonard Sillman noticed him and decided to cast Clary in the Broadway musical revue New Faces of 1952.
For more than 20 years, Clary collaborated closely with the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, giving speeches at universities all throughout the nation.
The second daughter of Eddie Cantor and a talented painter, Natalie Cantor, passed away after 32 years of marriage to Clary, 1997 saw her death. (ANI)

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