Many viewers didn't know that Robert Clary who played a POW in a Nazi prison camp on Hogan's Heroes, was in real life a survivor of Buchenwald.
Robert Clary (born Robert Max Widerman; March 1, 1926) is a French-born American actor, published author, and lecturer. He is best known for his role in the television sitcom Hogan's Heroes as Corporal Louis LeBeau ("Frenchie"), and is the only surviving male original cast member.
Born in 1926 in Paris, France, Clary was the youngest of 14 children. At the age of twelve, he began a career singing professionally on French radio and also studied art at the Paris Drawing School. In 1942, because he was Jewish, he was deported to the Nazi concentration camp at Ottmuth. He was later sent to Buchenwald, where he was liberated on April 11, 1945. Twelve other members of his immediate family were sent to Auschwitz.
In this Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014, photo, actor, artist and singer Robert Clary stands near some of his paintings at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif. Clary, who starred in the sitcom “Hogan’s Heroes,” turns 88 on Saturday, March 1, 2014.
"Every day I wake up is a birthday," said Clary, who as a Jewish French teenager survived the Nazi Holocaust that claimed 12 family members, including his parents.