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'Hogan's Heroes' Actor Leon Askin Dies

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'Hogan's Heroes' Actor Leon Askin Dies

Old 06-03-05, 10:25 PM
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'Hogan's Heroes' Actor Leon Askin Dies

VIENNA, Austria - Leon Askin, the actor who played Gen. Albert Burkhalter in the 1960s television comedy "Hogan's Heroes," has died, Austrian officials said Friday.

The actor was 97. Neither city officials nor the Vienna hospital where he died disclosed the cause or date of his death.

Askin was best known for his role as the Nazi general who constantly threatened to send the prisoner of war camp's inept commander, Col. Wilhelm Klink, to the Russian front because of his stupidity.

"Beverly Hills school children would call after me, 'Klink, Klink!'" Askin wrote on his Web site. "People driving through Beverly Hills who saw these children raising their arms in the Hitler salute couldn't continue out of sheer shock and amazement and brought traffic to a standstill."

Born Leo Aschkenasy in Vienna on Sept. 18, 1907, Askin worked as a cabaret artist in the 1930s before fleeing first to France and then to the United States to escape persecution by the Nazis.

He had roles in dozens of films, including Billy Wilder's "One, two, three" and the Austrian director Fritz Lang's "Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse." In the course of his career, he appeared opposite Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Peter Ustinov.

Askin took up residence in Vienna in 1994, returning to his roots in cabaret. He also took roles in Vienna's Festwochen and the city's second opera, the Volksoper.

He was decorated with Vienna's Gold Medal of Honor, one of the most distinguished prizes the city offers.

"We have lost a huge actor and artist and a wonderful man," Mayor Michael Haeupl said in a statement.

Wow, I thought this guy died like 20 years ago!
Old 06-04-05, 01:11 AM
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More info on him:

Leon Askin (born September 18, 1907 as Leo Aschkenasy) is an Austrian actor.

Born into a Jewish family in Vienna, Askin already wanted to be an actor as a child. His dream came true, and in the 1930s he worked as a cabaret artist and director at the "ABC Theatre" in Vienna: in this position he also helped the career of the writer Jura Soyfer get off the ground in 1935.

Persecuted by the Nazis, Askin escaped to the United States via France, arriving in New York in 1940 with no money and less than a basic knowledge of English. When the U.S. entered the Second World War Askin joined the U.S. Army. While serving in the military he learned that his parents had been killed at Majdanek Concentration Camp near Lublin, Poland.

After the war, Askin went to Hollywood, invariably portraying foreign characters who speak English with a strong accent. He gained wide popularity by appearing as Gen. Albert Burkhalter in the sitcom Hogan's Heroes in the late 1960s.

As opposed to other exiled Austrians, Askin never refused to work again in his home country. In 1994 he permanently took up residence in Vienna.

Goodbye fake jewish nazi funnyman.

Last edited by BJacks; 06-04-05 at 01:14 AM.
Old 06-04-05, 01:58 AM
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That background information was really interesting. I didn't know any of that about him.

RIP Leon.
Old 06-04-05, 02:44 AM
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One of my favorite shows. I don't know of any of his other work, but the General will be missed.

PS: Dear Paramount Home Video, please get some commentaries with the remaining Hogan's Heroes cast members while we can and include them on future HH releases. Thanks.

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