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November 01, 2002 - Image 93

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-11-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.



EMAG

NOW OPEN at FOUNTIAN WALK

bly heard — and told — some
of the jokes in this book 1,000
times. More than a few are
older than I am. Others were
actually new to me. But I can't
think of a good Jewish joke that
isn't in this collection."

NOVI'S NEWEST MOVIE THEATRE

18 AUDITORIUMS

COCKTAILS

ALL STADIUM SEATING

Hogan's Hero

Clary, 76, has had a fascinating
life and show business career,
and he does a good job of
telling his story in the autobiog-
raphy From the Holocaust to
Hogan's Heroes, which contains
many Jewish anecdotes.
The youngest of 14 children
in an Orthodox family in Paris,
little Robert Widerman began
singing professionally at the age
of 12. But in 1942, at the age
of 16, the Nazis deported
Robert and 12 members of his
immediate family. Only Robert
survived. He spent 31 months
in four concentration camps.
"I survived because I was
Robert
forced to entertain my captors,
for which they gave me an extra
piece of bread a day. I wasn't tortured,
nor did I have to work as hard as oth-
ers, and I was strong and in good
health," Clary explained in an interview
from his Beverly Hills, Calif., home.
The deaths of his innocent family
members erased his belief in God.
"Nothing has been learned from their
deaths, and man's inhumanity to man
still exists," he intoned. 'As a result, I'm
not very religious."
After the war, Clary came to America
and got his big break when he appeared
in the Broadway revue New Faces of
1952, which introduced Eartha Kitt,
Paul Lynde, Carol Lawrence and Alice
Ghostley. The production was written
by Mel Brooks, with music by Sheldon
Harnick of Fiddler on the Roof fame.
In 1965, Clary was cast as French
prisoner of war Louis Lebeau in Hogan
Heroes without even having to read for
the part. The show was a big hit, lasted
six seasons and still is in syndication
around the world.
How did he feel about doing a come-
dy series dealing with Nazis and con-
centration camps?
"The show was about prisoners of
war in a stalag, not a concentration
camp — and it was a comedy, not to
be taken seriously," he said. He prefers
not to discuss the late actor Robert
Crane, who played Hogan, and a con-
troversial new movie titled. Auto Focus,
about Crane's strange life and mysteri-
ous death. Actor Christopher Neiman

ROCKING CHAIR SEATS
WITH CUPHOLDERS

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CONCESSION STATIONS

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DIGITAL SOUND

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EXCLUSIVE SHOOTERS CLUB

AND MORE!!!

BOY A LARGE
I POPCORN I

I
I

Clary regales Book Fair visitors on Nov. 9.

EMAGINE

for the price of
a small Popcorn

I
SAVE $2.00
I
1. 11AGINE

I

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I

P(I

OFR ONO' =01/
VA

44425 WEST 12 MILE ROAD • NOVI, MI 48377

(located at the Fountain Walk Shopping Center 1/2 mile west of Novi Road, north of 1-96)

plays Clary in the film, which opens
Friday, Nov. 1, in Detroit.
Clary regards the 1950s-1960s period
when he appeared in night clubs and
stage shows — and not his role in
Hogan — as the highlight of his career.
The book is laced with show business
tidbits, including some about his
appearances in Detroit, at the old Gay
Haven Lounge and the London Chop
House.
In the 1980s, he began publicly dis-
cussing his Holocaust experiences for
the first time, and has lectured through
the Simon Wiesenthal Center and
director Steven Spielberg's Shoah
Foundation.
Clary is now semi-retired. His wife,
Natalie, one of Jewish singer-comedian
Eddie Cantor's five daughters, died in
1997 after a 47-year marriage.

FOR SHOWT1MES CHECK THEATRE DIRECTORY.
FOR TICKET INFORMATION CALL: (248) 319-3456 OR LOG ONTO: www.emagine-entertainment.com

VOTED #1

by CRAIN'S
Detroit Business



Alan King opens Book Fair 8
p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 6, at the
Jewish Community Center in
West Bloomfield (free), preceded
by his appearance at a patron
event at 6:30 p.m. (there is a
charge). For tickets to the patron
event, call (248) 432-5577.
Robert Clary entertains in "An
Evening with Robert Clary" 8
p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, at the
JCC in West Bloomfield (free).

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2002

93

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