Robert Clary of “Hogan’s Heroes” fame celebrated his 88th birthday this weekend simply, at a dinner out with friends, and with gratitude for his long life.
“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.
He’s resisted bitterness, he said: “You learn from the bad things and you learn from the good things.”
TV viewers still recognize Clary as Cpl. Louis LeBeau from the 1965-71 sitcom improbably set in a World War II prisoner-of-war camp. He also sang in clubs, recorded pop songs and standards and performed in musical theater.
After “Hogan’s Heroes,” his TV work included the soap operas “The Young and the Restless,” “Days of Our Lives” and “The Bold and the Beautiful.”
Clary remained publicly silent about his wartime experience until the early 1980s when, he said, he was provoked to speak by those who denied or diminished the orchestrated effort by German leader Adolph Hitler’s government to exterminate Jews.
Since then, he’s appeared in a documentary and written an autobiography, “From the Holocaust to Hogan’s Heroes,” to document his experience.
Dixie Chicks reunite for Rubin
The Dixie Chicks made a rare U.S. concert appearance Thursday night as the headlining act at a benefit for the David Lynch Foundation.
Held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, the evening doubled as a salute to record producer Rick Rubin, who oversaw the Dixie Chicks’ Grammy-winning 2006 album “Taking the Long Way” and Thursday received the Lifetime of Harmony Award from the foundation that promotes Transcendental Meditation.
When offers to perform arrive, “usually the answer is no,” said the Dixie Chicks’ frontwoman, Natalie Maines, during the group’s 30-minute set. But this time they accepted after learning that Rubin – “the man who never allows himself to be honored,” as Maines described him – would be in attendance.
Once one of country’s biggest live acts, the Dixie Chicks have played only intermittently in the United States since 2006, three years after Maines set off a storm of criticism over remarks she made about President George W. Bush in the run-up to the Iraq war.
Last year the singer released a rock-leaning solo album, while her bandmates Martie Maguire and Emily Robison put out their second record as Court Yard Hounds. (The Dixie Chicks toured Canada in the fall and are scheduled to play a string of European dates next month.)
The birthday bunch
Actor John Cullum (“Northern Exposure”) is 84. Author Tom Wolfe is 84. Author John Irving is 72. Actress-comedian Laraine Newman is 62. Singer Jay Osmond (The Osmonds) is 59. Singer Jon Bon Jovi is 52. Actor Daniel Craig is 46. Singer Chris Martin of Coldplay is 37. Actor Robert Iler is 29. Actress Nathalie Emmanuel (“Game of Thrones”) is 25.