Robert Max Widerman was born on March 1st, 1926, in Paris, France. He came from an Orthodox Jewish household with 14 children. According to the Florida Sun-Sentinel, Clary was just 16 years old when he was detained in Ottmuth, Poland, and afterwards Buchenwald. The actor attributed his survival to his youth, good health, and musical talent; he had been singing and playing for SS members at Buchenwald every other Sunday since he was 12 years old.
Initially hesitant to discuss his time at Buchenwald, Clary ultimately started accepting speaking engagements, travelling the world, and sharing his experience. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Clary reportedly remarked, “For 36 years I kept these memories during the war locked up inside myself, but those who are trying to deny the Holocaust, my anguish and the misery of millions of others have pushed me to speak up.”
Following his 31-month incarceration, Robert Clary published a memoir about his journey called “From the Holocaust to Hogan’s Heroes: The Autobiography of Robert Clary.” On April 11, 1945, Clary was freed along with the remaining survivors of the camp.
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He grabbed Capitol Records’ notice after moving back to Paris and starting to perform in nightclubs, and they sent him to Los Angeles to record an album. Eddie Cantor, a renowned Broadway and Vaudeville artist, mentored Clary when he was in Los Angeles and helped establish his career as a nightclub singer and Broadway star.
He met Natalie Cantor, one of the actor’s five daughters, through his mentor. Before getting married, Cantor and Clary remained close friends for more than ten years. 32 years would pass between them before her passing in 1997.
How Robert Clary Died
Robert Clary, an actor best known for his role as Corporal Louis LeBeau on the venerable sitcom “Hogan’s Heroes, passed away on November 15 at the age of 96. No cause of death was disclosed, according to a statement made by his granddaughter Kim Wright to The Hollywood Reporter.
The actor was the last surviving member of the extended cast; Kenneth Washington, who joined the show during its sixth season as Sgt. Richard Baker, is the only remaining member of the long-running sitcom’s principal cast. LeBeau, the squad’s enthusiastic foodie, wasn’t above utilising his culinary prowess to gain favour with Colonel Wilhelm Klink and Sergeant Hans Schultz (John Banner) and his imprisoned unit (Werner Klemperer).
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LeBeau had a flirty personality and frequently had romantic notions about women. He was also an expert at cramming himself into small spaces despite his claustrophobia. LeBeau had a heavy accent that was an exaggerated imitation of Clary’s own, and he spoke with a great deal of pride in his French origin. Before and after the sitcom’s final episode aired in 1971, the actor who played him had a successful career. He overcame an enormous amount of personal anguish to go to the top of Hollywood.