What Was Robert Clary’s Net Worth at His Time of Death?

On Nov. 16, 2022, the last surviving star of the irreverent 1960s TV series Hogan’s Heroes died of natural causes in his Beverly Hills home at age 96. Actor Robert Clary will always be remembered for his enthusiastic portrayal of French Corporal Louis LeBeau, who used his small stature and cooking skills to help his fellow prisoners of war outsmart their bumbling Nazi captors. Clary, also a talented artist and singer, led an extraordinary life. As a teenager, he survived nearly three years of captivity in Nazi concentration camps. He then built a successful acting career and an impressive net worth, all due to his unwavering desire to entertain and bring joy to the people around him.

Robert Clary began his career as a child in Paris, France

Robert Clary in Hogan's Heroes
Robert Clary as Cpl. Louis LeBeau in an episode of ‘Hogan’s Heroes’ in 1965 | CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

Born Robert Max Widerman in Paris, France, on Mar. 1, 1926, Clary grew up in Île Saint-Louis, an island in the Seine River. He was the youngest of 14 children, including six from his father’s first wife, who died in childbirth. In 1923, Clary’s parents — Moishe Widerman and his second wife Baila — moved their blended family from Poland to a two-bedroom Paris apartment owned by a benevolent woman who rented to Jewish families in need.

According to The New York Times, young Clary was a natural entertainer who taught himself to dance by watching Fred Astaire movies. At 12, he was singing professionally on a weekly radio show. Unfortunately, his budding career was cut short by the German invasion of France in 1940. On Sept. 23, 1942, Clary’s family and their neighbors were arrested and shipped off to concentration camps. His parents and 10 siblings lost their lives in the death camps.

Clary credited his survival to his entertaining skills. He sang and danced for other prisoners and his captors. Always the optimist, Clary was still imprisoned when he adopted his stage name from the 1942 film Le Destin Fabuleux de Désirée Clary.

After American forces liberated him from the Buchenwald camp in 1945, Clary returned to Paris and began performing in nightclubs and dance halls. He was determined to be a star in France, but his big break came from U.S. talent scouts, namely Harry Bluestone, who traveled to Paris looking for new singers to record. Under Bluestone’s mentorship, Clary gained popularity in the United States with his light-hearted rendition of “Put Your Shoes On Lucy” (1949) and the romantic “Johnny Get Your Girl” (1949). Both are available on Internet Archive.

What was Robert Clary’s net worth at the time of his death?

Clary worked in nightclubs, appeared in the comedy series The Ed Wynn Show, and joined the cast of several Broadway shows before landing his iconic role in Hogan’s Heroes. In a 2015 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Clary called his casting for the series “a fluke.”

At the urging of his agent, he went to see the show’s producer, Edward Feldman, who offered him a part without an audition. “And I said yes,” Clary recalled. “And I’m lucky I did say yes because people still remember Hogan’s Heroes.”

The World War II-based sitcom ran from 1965 to 1971. After the show wrapped, Clary continued acting, appearing in several films, including Remembrance of Love (1982), about Holocaust survivors.

Idol Net Worth estimated Robert Clary’s net worth at $1.9 million when he was 94. At the time of his death at 96, The Teal Mango estimated his fortune was $1.5 million. The site also acknowledged that some sources quoted the previous figure, adding that most of Clary’s wealth came from his acting career.

The actor appeared in 3 American soap operas

Robert Clary and Bob Crane in Hogan's Heroes
Robert Clary (right) and Bob Crane on the set of ‘Hogan’s Heroes’ in 1969 | CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

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In the early 1970s, Robert Clary broke into daytime drama and was instantly typecast as a romantic Frenchman. According to Soaps, he debuted in 1972 as singer Robert LeClair on Days of Our Lives. IMDb credits him with 506 episodes.

In 1973, he appeared in two episodes of The Young and the Restless as Pierre Roulland. Both LeClair and Roulland were gallant souls who married heartbroken women spurned by the fathers of their children.

And from 1990 to 1992, Clary played Pierre Jourdan in 43 episodes of The Bold and the Beautiful. Jourdan, like Roulland, was a restaurateur.

In his later years, Clary, who had never spoken publicly about his wartime experience, joined the Simon Weisenthal Center to do so after seeing a documentary about a woman who survived Auschwitz.

“I used to have nightmares I’m going to be arrested again, and this time they’re not going to catch me,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “But as soon as I talked, the nightmares disappeared … I think it’s the best … thing I’ve done in my life.” 

Clary’s niece Brenda Hancock, who confirmed the news and cause of his death, told NPR, “He never let those horrors defeat him. He never let them take the joy out of his life. He tried to spread that joy to others through his singing and his dancing and his painting.”