Veteran actor Robert Clary died on Nov. 16, at the age of 96. Although best known for playing Corporal LeBeau on the classic sitcom HOGAN’S HEROES, he also appeared in numerous daytime dramas.
Soap fans might know Clary best from his role as Robert LeClair on DAYS OF OUR LIVES, where he appeared from 1972-86 as Doug’s friend who often sang with him at Doug’s Place. He also enjoyed a brief stint as Pierre on THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS in 1973 before his restauranteur character was murdered. Then, from 1990-92, the actor appeared as Pierre Jourdan on THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL, another restauranteur who befriended Brooke in Paris and eventually moved to the United States to open a restaurant in Los Angeles with Eric’s help. His IMDb page also lists a credit as “French Man” in an episode of GENERAL HOSPITAL in 1985.
Clary is best known for starring as Corporal LeBeau on HOGAN’S HEROES for its six seasons on CBS, and although the French actor and singer was actually imprisoned in Auschwitz during WWII and lost his parents there, he had no reservations about being in the series. “I had to explain that [HOGAN’S HEROES] was about prisoners of war in a stalag, not a concentration camp,” he wrote in his 2001 memoir From the Holocaust to Hogan’s Heroes, “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.”
The performer also appeared in films like Ten Tall Men, Thief of Damascus, A New Kind of Love, and The Hindenburg, on Broadway in the musical Seventh Heaven, and in primetime series such as LOVE, AMERICAN STYLE, LOVE THY NEIGHBOR, FANTASY ISLAND, MASQUERADE, THE MUNSTERS TODAY, and THE NEW ADAM-12. His voice could also be heard singing on jazz albums from songwriters Irving Berlin and Johnny Mercer.
Our thoughts are with Clary’s family and friends during this difficult time.